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Construction delays hurt Pan-Am Games

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 16, 2003

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Construction delays could force the cancellation of swimming, volleyball, gymnastics and soccer events for the Pan-American Games.

Michael Fennell, second vice president of the Pan-American Sports Organization, said Saturday most stadiums are under construction and missed deadlines could threaten the Games.

Construction and other officials also have warned that track cycling, rowing and equestrian events are at risk. After the construction deadline was extended to July 27, the organization warned that if any of the facilities are not finished on time, the events will be canceled.

After construction is completed, the organization needs time to inspect and approve the venues before their inauguration Aug.1.

HIGH SCHOOLS: James' appeal in peril?

Summit County Judge James Williams is considering a request to dismiss Lebron James' appeal of a ruling that declared him ineligible for getting two "throwback" jerseys for free from a clothing store. James was ruled ineligible in January by the Ohio High School Athletic Association, but his appeal has kept him playing basketball. Williams could schedule a hearing before the state finals next weekend, said Fred Nance, James' attorney.

TRACK: Americans strike gold

Americans Dwight Phillips and Michelle Collins made big breakthroughs to win gold medals at the World Indoor championships in Birmingham, England. Phillips won the long jump for his first medal at a major international competition. He jumped a career-best 27-2 1/2. Collins won the 200 meters in the third-fastest time ever, 22.18 seconds.

NCAA INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS: LSU sprinter Muna Lee and distance runner Alistair Cragg of Arkansas completed sweeps of their events to lead their teams to the women's and men's titles in Fayetteville, Ark. Lee, who broke the 21-year-old collegiate record in the 200 meters Friday in 22.49, won the 60 in 7.17. She is the first woman to sweep the sprints at the NCAA Indoors in nine years. Her victory clinched consecutive team titles for the Tigers. Cragg, who defended his 5,000 title Friday, led a 1-3 Arkansas finish in the 3,000 to clinch the 17th indoor championship and 37th track or cross-country title for coach John McDonnell.

WINTER SPORTS: U.S. skier wins slalom

Kristina Koznick won the final slalom of the season in Hafjell, Norway, her sixth career World Cup victory and first since last season. The American had a two-run time of 1 minute, 45.67 seconds on the Olympia course. Bode Miller's sixth-place finish cost him the giant-slalom overall title. Miller finished second to Michael von Gruenigen.

SNOWBOARDING: Olympic gold medalist Ross Powers won his first U.S. Open title in four years, and Gretchen Bleiler won her first U.S. Open title and seventh straight event in the halfpipe championships in Stratton, Vt.

SPEED SKATING: German Anni Friesinger won the 3,000 meters at the world single distance championships in Berlin, her second gold medal of the meet, in 4:06.07. Dutchman Erben Wennemars won the 1,500 in a track record 1:47.80. Joey Cheek of the United States won bronze in 1:48.56.


BOXING: Germany's Sven Ottke outpointed American Byron Mitchell to unify the IBF and WBA super-middleweight titles in Berlin. The judges ruled it 115-113, 116-114 for Ottke and 116-112 for Mitchell. Ottke improved to 30-0 after defending his title for the 17th time.

SWIMMING: Tampa's Matt Goodwin won his second NCAA Division II national championship in the 100-yard breaststroke in 56.50. ... Emma Igelstrom set a world record in the 100-meter breaststroke, finishing in 1:05.29 at the Swedish short-course championships in Stockholm. She trimmed nine-hundredths of a second off her record.

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