tampabay.com

Lambiel repeats at World Figures

By wire services
Published March 24, 2006


Stephane Lambiel of Switzerland needed every element and every second of his free skate to hold off France's Brian Joubert and win his second straight World Figure Skating Championships title.

Lambiel capped a magnificent program Thursday night in Calgary, Alberta, with a quadruple toe loop and four triples in the second half of his routine to Vivaldi's Four Seasons. He finished it off with a sizzling spin that could have melted the ice, and the Saddledome fans were on their feet long before he stopped turning.

"I am going to enjoy this world championship,' said Lambiel, who overcame a painful knee that he says will need a lengthy rest.

He barely edged Joubert in the free skate, but had a 3.39 point edge overall.

American Evan Lysacek, who won bronze a year ago, came back from a hard fall in warmups to win another bronze.

SOCCER: Second agent charged

A second player agent was charged in a widening game-fixing scandal, and Belgian authorities plan to extend their investigation to Finland and Germany.

The unidentified agent admitted trying to bribe two players in the Belgian league, asking them to lose a game for a gambling syndicate, prosecutors said.

The suspect was released by the judge but charged with active bribery and making threats, and could face up to three years in jail, prosecutors said.

TENNIS: King backs gay resort

Billie Jean King is endorsing a new resort and retirement community for gay seniors.

The tennis great signed a long-term deal with RainbowVision Properties, which plans to add a resort in Palm Springs, Calif., in 2007.

The company developed its first resort community last year in Santa Fe, N.M., offering independent and assisted living, health care, dining and the Billie Jean King Fitness Center & Spa.

King will design the tennis court and advise on fitness programs at Palm Springs.

BLAKE FEELS GOOD IN TOP 10: Seven years into his professional tennis career, Tampa native James Blake finally feels comfortable that less than his best can be more than enough. By plugging holes in his game, Blake cracked the top 10 for the first time this week, and he's among the favorites at the Nasdaq-100 Open in Key Biscayne. His confidence climbed as his ranking rose. "I always believed in myself," Blake said. "But I think I was in one way a little too hard on myself. I'd let things affect me if I didn't play perfectly.

ET CETERA

ADMINISTRATION: Steve Orsini, Central Florida's athletics director is expected to be named Southern Methodist University's athletic director today at a news conference in Dallas, a university source said. Orsini, 49, will replace Jim Copeland, who announced Feb. 2 he would retire as SMU's athletic director on May 31.

CYCLING: Already aiming toward the 2008 Beijing Olympics, USA Cycling hired Doug Martin as its first director of BMX programs. Martin has managed pro teams for more than 14 years. BMX racing will make its Olympic medal debut in Beijing.

COMMONWEALTH GAMES: WNBA star Lauren Jackson led Australia to the basketball gold medal in Melbourne, Australia, with 23 points and 11 rebounds in a 77-39 victory over New Zealand. The Seattle Storm forward was playing in her first major international tournament in Australia since winning the silver at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

FANS: Georgia football fans will face new tailgating and parking restrictions at games in Athens this fall. President Michael Adams' cabinet approved a set of nine gameday policy changes that include parking and tailgating restrictions and creating "family-friendly zones."

FISHING: Mac Weakley of Carlsbad, Calif., won't submit his 25-pound, 1-ounce largemouth bass for world-record consideration by the International Game Fish Association because of the controversy over the fish being foul-hooked.

HORSE RACING: Trainer Joe Woodard, posting five wins in the claiming ranks over the past two weeks, has been named Tampa Bay Downs trainer of the month. He has nine wins from 62 starts this season and 40 percent of starters in the money.