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Woman advances to PBA title round

By wire services
Published March 20, 2005


WYOMING, Mich. - Liz Johnson became the first woman to reach the championship round of a Professional Bowling Association event Saturday, beating Richard Wolfe 4-3 in the quarterfinals of the Banquet Open.

Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y., won the final game 248-200.

"I'm not feeling anything right now. I'm just numb," Johnson said. "It's an awesome feeling, and to have so many people behind me is great.

"I'm normally not an emotional person, especially when I'm bowling. But to have that much support in the bowling center, it broke me down."

Johnson spent eight seasons with the Women's PBA and won the 1996 U.S. Open as a rookie. She won 10 more titles and earned more than $500,000. She became the first woman to qualify for a PBA event in November.

Johnson earned the Banquet Open's final berth Wednesday in qualifying then advanced by finishing 11th in Thursday's exempt qualifying rounds.

Johnson faces Wes Malott in today's semifinals. Malott beat 40-time tour winner Walter Ray Williams Jr. 4-3.

TENNIS: Clijsters wins title

Former No.1 Kim Clijsters beat top-ranked Lindsay Davenport 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 to win the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, Calif. The Belgian rallied from down 4-0 in the first and took control in the third with groundstrokes consistently on or near the lines.

Roger Federer and Lleyton Hewitt reached the men's final. Federer beat Guillermo Canas 6-3, 6-1 behind seven aces and 12 forehand winners. Hewitt beat Andy Roddick 7-6 (7-2), 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (7-4) in a match that took 2 hours, 33 minutes. Roddick had 25 aces to Hewitt's 10 but made 53 unforced errors to Federer's 37.

SOCCER: U.S. beats Honduras

Eddie Johnson scored late in the first half to lift the United States to a 1-0 win over Honduras in Albuquerque, N.M., the final tuneup before a World Cup qualifier at Mexico on March27. Johnson, 20, scored his seventh goal in six games with the national team in the 45th minute, when he put in a rebound of Clint Mathis' shot that hit the crossbar.

Kevin Hartman preserved the shutout in the 88th minute when he smothered a shot from in front of the goal by Wilmer Velasquez.

WORLD CUP: FIFA reduced penalties against Albania and Costa Rica for unruly fan behavior during qualifiers. Albania's fine was cut from $34,000 to $17,000, and it will play one home game before no fans instead of two. Costa Rica still must play its March26 qualifier against Panama without fans, but its fine was reduced from $17,000 to $8,500.

WINTER SPORTS: Norwegian wins title

Norway's Ole Einar Bjoerndalen won the overall World Cup biathlon title after finishing second to France's Raphael Poiree in the final 15-kilometer mass start race in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. Germany's Sven Fischer led by 35 entering the event but withdrew because of the flu. Poiree finished in 40:31.9. Bjoerndalen was 14.5 seconds behind to finish with 923 points, nine more than Fischer.

Russia's Olga Zaitseva won the women's 12K mass start race, but France's Sandrine Bailly took 13th for the overall title.

SKIING: Americans Nate Roberts and Hannah Kearney won moguls titles at the Freestyle World Championships in Ruka, Finland. Jeremy Bloom, who won six consecutive events for the World Cup title, missed the landing on his second jump and was 36th.

ET CETERA

CROSS COUNTRY: Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist in the 10,000 meters, won his fourth consecutive short-course title at the world championships in Saint-Galmier, France. Bekele, who goes for his fourth consecutive long-course title today, won the 4K race in 11:33, five seconds faster than Kenya's Abraham Chebii. Bekele's countrywoman, Tirunesh Dibaba, won the women's long-course title. She finished the 8K in 26:34, three seconds faster than Ethiopia's Werknesh Kidane. Ethiopia also won the men's and women's team titles.

CYCLING: Alessandro Petacchi won the Milan-San Remo classic in Italy, his 12th victory this season. He took the lead in the final 200 meters then edged Germany's Danilo Hondo and Norway's Thor Hushovd in the 182.2-mile race.