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No fuss: Hamm is Sullivan winner

By wire services
Published April 14, 2005


Gymnast Paul Hamm finally won an easy one.

No spectacular comeback was necessary. No court battles are foreseen. The Olympic gold medalist received the 75th Sullivan Award in New York as the nation's top amateur athlete

"Oh, this is such a huge honor," Hamm said before turning to congratulate the other seven finalists in attendance Wednesday night. "It's just great to be one of the Sullivan Award winners."

Hamm - who rallied from 12th place in the final two events to win the all-around title in Athens, then survived a scoring error controversy that nearly cost him his medal - beat out previous winner Michael Phelps as well as Olympians Carly Patterson , Natalie Coughlin , Cael Sanderson , Andre Ward , Jeremy Wariner and Steven Lopez for the award.

Southern Cal quarterback Matt Leinart also was a finalist, along with Elisha Au (karate).

TENNIS

Quick work for Davenport

Top-ranked Lindsay Davenport needed just 55 minutes to advance to the third round of the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, S.C., beating Marie-Eve Pelletier 6-2, 6-2.

French Open champion Anastasia Myskina , seeded third, lost to unseeded 15-year-old Nicole Vaidisova 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, while defending champion and No.4 seed Venus Williams defeated Denisa Chladkova 7-6 (1), 6-2. MONTE CARLO MASTERS: Roger Federer won his 24th straight match, beating Albert Montanes 6-3, 6-4 in the second round. Defending champion Guillermo Coria easily beat Thierry Ascione 6-2, 6-1.

HORSE RACING

High Limit is favorite

f,10,on0 Undefeated High Limit was made the 9-5 favorite for the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.

High Limit was given a slight nod over Sun King , who will start at 2-1 on the morning linefor Saturday's 11/8-mile Grade I race.

ARKANSAS DERBY: Afleet Alex was made an early 2-1 favorite for the $1-million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. Early favorite Rockport Harbor withdrew from the 11/8-mile race to recover from a blood clot. Greater Good , a winner in five of seven starts, was the second-favorite at 5-2. BREEDERS' CUP: Emirates Airline signed a three-year agreement to become title sponsor of two races: the $2-million Distaff and the $1-million Filly & Mare Turf. SOCCER

Fans arrested

Premier Silvio Berlusconi said "drastic measures" may be needed to stem the rise of violence at Italian soccer stadiums, a day after a fan hit a goalkeeper with a flare in a European Champions League quarterfinal.

Milan police chief Paolo Scarpis said four fans were arrested in relation to Tuesday night's trouble. He said others were being identified and more arrests were likely.

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: In its first visit to Juventus since the 1985 Heysel Stadium tragedy, Liverpool played a 0-0 tie and advanced to the semifinals on a 2-1 aggregate score. Fans hurled objects at one another during a pregame ceremony. At the Champions Cup final 20 years ago in Brussels, Belgium, a riot caused by Liverpool fans led to 39 deaths. ET CETERA

CYCLING: Adam Bergman was suspended for two years by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency for testing positive for erythropoietin, a hormone that increases aerobic power. Bergman, 24, second in the Olympic trials last year, can return to competition in July 2006.

BOXING: Former heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe is challenging Tennessee boxing officials, who have refused to grant a license to a fighter they believe has brain damage. Bowe, 37, insists he's healthy and should be allowed to fight. He will be at a hearing today in Nashville to appeal the state's decision.