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Sports briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 11, 2001

CART cancels its race in Rio

CART canceled its annual race in Rio de Janeiro because the city missed several deadlines.

"After exploring all possibilities with the promoter of the event, we unfortunately have reached the conclusion that it is impossible to go forward with this year's Rio 200," CART president and CEO Joseph Heitzler said in a statement. "This is most regrettable."

CART said Friday the Brazilian city missed deadlines for providing letters of credit guaranteeing the payment of sanction fees required by the existing contract.

The city also failed to give event promoter Emerson Fittipaldi, a former CART driving champion, access to the race venue, Nelson Piquet International Raceway, preventing Fittipaldi and his team from beginning preparations for the race, CART said.

A CART race has been held in Rio de Janeiro since 1996.

HORSE RACING: First Spear rallied past Creek's Shore for a 1-length victory in the Challenger Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. ... Subtle Power won a three-horse photo finish as long shots finished 1-2-3 in the $140,000 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap, a Grade I turf race for 3-year-olds and up. Subtle Power, getting through on the inside for Pat Day, finished a neck in front of Whata Brainstorm, who was a head in front of Stokosky. Ciro, the even-money choice in the nine-horse field, was fourth. ... Golden Ballet won her fourth race in a row, beating a field of six in the $200,000 Las Virgenes Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita. Golden Ballet covered 1 mile in 1:36 4/5 and paid $2.80, $2.60 and $2.10. The winning margin for the favorite was 21/2 lengths.

SOCCER: Steve Ralston scored an unassisted goal one minute after Miami took a 2-1 in the second half lead to give the Mutiny a 2-2 tiw with the Fusion in an MLS exhibition in Fort Myers. Amos Magee also scored for the Mutiny.

TRACK AND FIELD: Laban Rotich ran the fastest mile of the year, winning the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., in 3 minutes, 53.21 seconds. Seneca Lassiter finished second in 3:54.21, the best time of the year by an American. Top U.S. marks were set or matched this year in women's events by LaTasha Jenkins, with a 23.01 in the 200; Suziann Reid, 42.05 in the 400; Terri Tunks, 60 feet, 41/2 inches in the shot put; and Jearl Miles-Clark, 2:01.00 in the 800. For the American men, Shawn Crawford won the men's 200 in 20.61 and James Davis won the 400 in 46.11.

RUNNING: Colleen De Rueck won the Women's 8K National Championship in Columbia, S.C. It was De Rueck's first race since she became a United States citizen Dec. 11. With the victory, she qualifies for the Olympic trails in 2004.

BOXING: Harry Simon stopped Wayne Alexander 17 seconds from the end of Round 5 in Widnes, England, to hold on to his WBO junior middleweight title.

SKIING: Mario Matt beat teammate Benjamin Raich to win the gold medal in the men's slalom, the final race of the World Championships in St. Anton, Austria. The two medals gave the Austrian men a championship-high 11. The United States got one medal -- a gold by Daron Rahlves in the men's super-G. ... Thomas Alsgaard got a confidence-booster before the World Nordic Championships, winning a 10-kilometer classic-style World Cup race by 1.2 seconds in Otepaa, Estonia.

HOCKEY: Ukraine beat Norway 5-1 in Oslo to clinch an Olympic berth next year. Germany also qualified by tying Belarus 1-1. Austria and Latvia gained berths in a qualifying group at Klagenfurt, Austria. Austria beat Denmark 6-2 and Latvia tied France 1-1. ... Timo Parssinen set up the first goal and got the final one as Finland beat Russia 4-1 in Stockholm, Sweden, to retain the European Tour title.

LUGE: Armin Zoeggeler wrapped up consecutive World Cup luge titles with a record-setting performance at the Utah Olympic Park track that will be used for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. ... World champions Wolfgang and Andreas Schopf won a World Cup double-seat race in Moscow to tie Armin and David Mair in the overall standings.

FIGURE SKATING: Todd Eldredge, who withdrew from the Four Continents championships in Salt Lake City because of a jammed left ankle, has a bruised bone and a cyst in a joint below the ankle. Eldredge will not compete at next weekend's Grand Prix final in Tokyo. Japanese national champion Fumie Suguri held off a comeback by American Angela Nikodinov to win the Four Continents championship.

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