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U.S. shines at world gymnastics

By wire services
Published November 28, 2005


MELBOURNE, Australia - Led by Nastia Liukin , Chellsie Memmel and Alicia Sacramone , the U.S. women had their best performance in a gymnastics world championships, winning nine out of 15 medals.

The trio took the top two spots in the beam and floor exercise Sunday, adding four medals to the Americans' gold-silver finishes in the all-around and uneven bars and bronze in the vault.

Liukin, 16, took gold in the balance beam with a 9.612, .1 better than Memmel, 17, who beat Liukin for the all-around title by .001 on Friday. In addition to her bronze on the vault, Sacramone, 17, took gold on the floor with a 9.612, .187 better than Liukin.

Jason Gatson , the only American man to qualify for a final, finished seventh on the parallel bars after missing a release move and taking a step on his landing.

OLYMPICS

Weather ruins lighting

Heavy clouds over Ancient Olympia, Greece, frustrated efforts to use the sun's rays to light the flame for February's Winter Games in Turin, Italy. Bad weather disrupted the ceremony for the 1998 Winter Games, 2000 Summer Games and 2002 Winter Games. Officials used a flame lit in Saturday's rehearsal to start the torch run.

SOCCER

Fans start racist chant

Inter Milan's president apologized to an opposition player after he was racially abused during a game in Milan. Fans made monkey chants toward Messina's Marc Zoro , a black defender from the Ivory Coast, in the second half. Zoro, 21, was reduced to tears and threatened to leave the field before being consoled by several players, including Inter's Obafemi Martins , a Nigerian striker. In April, European soccer's ruling body ordered Inter Milan to play at least four games in an empty stadium after fan violence marred a Champions League quarterfinal.

WINTER SPORTS

U.S. men sweep

Americans Shani Davis , Joey Cheek and Casey FitzRandolph swept the 1,000 meters at a World Cup speed-skating event in West Allis, Wis. Davis, who set the world record of 1:07.03 Nov. 20, finished in 1:08.43, .25 and .68 faster than Cheek and FitzRandolph, respectively. Italy's Chiara Simionato won the women's 1,000 in 1:15.60, .08 faster than American Jennifer Rodriguez .

SKIING: Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal won the season-opening super-giant slalom in Lake Louise, Alberta. He finished in 1:26.04, .07 ahead of Austria's Benjamin Raich . American Bode Miller , who won the downhill and super-giant slalom at this event last year, led by .04 at the top interval. But he fell and finished 18th. He was 22nd in Saturday's downhill. HOCKEY: Chanda Gunn made 26 saves and was perfect in a shootout to lift the American women past Canada 2-1 in Columbus, Ohio. Natalie Darwitz and Sarah Parsons scored in the shootout for the United States, which ended a six-game losing streak against Canada. Jayna Hefford scored late for Canada to tie it. FIGURE SKATING: Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov won ice dancing at the Cup of Russia in St. Petersburg, completing a Russian sweep. Evgeni Plushenko won the men's event, Irina Slutskaya the women's and Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin the pairs. ET CETERA FOOTBALL: Sean Fleming 's 36-yard field goal in the second overtime lifted Edmonton past Montreal 38-35 in the Canadian league's Grey Cup in Vancouver. Damon Duval 's 27-yard field goal for Montreal on the final play of regulation tied it. In the first overtime, Montreal's Dave Stala caught 30-yard touchdown and Edmonton's Jason Tucker an 11-yarder. COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL: Florida's women are seeded No.8 nationally and host Florida Atlantic on Thursday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. If they win, they host Kansas State or Florida A&M on Friday. Match times will be announced today. AUTOS: Tampa's Dave Steele won the sprint car race Thursday at the Turkey Grand Prix in Irwindale, Calif. Riverview's Ricky Ehrgott took third in the grand prix.