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Sports briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 21, 2001


Karolyi's wife gets U.S. job

Martha Karolyi is picking up where her husband left off.

Karolyi was named national coordinator of the U.S. women's gymnastics team Tuesday, replacing her husband, Bela, who stepped down after the Sydney Olympics.

She will keep the position through the 2004 Summer Games.

"Martha's a great choice for a lot of reasons," said Bob Colarossi, president of USA Gymnastics. "She's a very seasoned, experienced coach. ... I know that Martha's going to lead us on to great things."

Like her husband before her, Martha Karolyi will be responsible for establishing an overall training program to help put the U.S. team back on the medals podium. She will continue to hold national team training camps, though they probably won't be as frequent as the monthly sessions before the Sydney Olympics.

She also will serve as an adviser to the gymnasts' personal coaches.

MORE OLYMPICS: Parents of U.S. athletes could be left out during the Opening and Closing Ceremonies at the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. U.S. Olympic Committee officials say they no longer can afford to buy tickets for parents. The perk may disappear when the executive board approves a four-year budget Friday.

TENNIS: Marat Safin, who tops the ATP rankings, lost to Max Mirnyi 6-7 (7-9), 6-4, 6-3 in the first round of the $750,000 ABN AMRO indoor tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Yevgeny Kafelnikov, looking for his second title in a row, needed 48 minutes to beat Slava Dosedel 6-2, 6-2. ... Second-seeded Mary Pierce opened the Dubai Open in United Arab Emirates with a 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 victory against Iroda Tulyaganova.

AUTO RACING: Tony Stewart, who sustained a mild concussion and a bruised left shoulder in a Daytona 500 accident, will race this weekend at Rockingham, N.C., ESPN.com reported.

COLLEGE BASEBALL: First baseman Mike Eylward hit his 35th career home run, tying teammate Daniel Boyd for third on South Florida's all-time list, as the host Bulls beat Bethune-Cookman 7-2. ... Winthrop led 7-0 after two innings and coasted past host Florida 11-7.

SOCCER: Goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, one of Denmark's best players, is quitting the national team. "I have always said that I'll stop when I don't think it's enjoyable anymore. And I have reached that point now," he said.

BOXING: Lennox Lewis will defend his world heavyweight title against Hasim Rahman on April 21 in South Africa, Frank Maloney, Lewis' manager, confirmed. ... Ex-referee Mills Lane's promotional company signed Prince Naseem Hamed, beginning with his April 7 fight against Marco Antonio Barrera.

SKIING: Bente Skari won the women's 10-kilometer classic-style race and Bjarte Engen Vik led the Norwegians to the Nordic combined team title to become double gold medalists at the World Nordic Championships in Lahti, Finland.

HIGH SCHOOLS: A U.S. Supreme Court decision that says the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association is an arm of the state government should have no impact on how the Florida High School Activities Association does business, FHSAA commissioner Bob Hughes said. "This (ruling) didn't do anything to help (the FHSAA) but it didn't do anything to hurt us at all," Hughes said. In the case of Brentwood Academy vs. TSSAA, the court ruled 5-4 that Brentwood could sue the state association in a dispute about football recruiting.

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