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Sports briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 22, 2001


Lightning signs two

The Lightning signed free-agent left wing Ryan Tobler and re-signed defensemen Mikko Kuparinen, general manager Rick Dudley said Tuesday. Terms were not disclosed.

Tobler, 25, split last season between Milwaukee of the IHL and Hartford of the AHL. After signing with Nashville as a free agent on May 1, 2000, the 6-foot-3, 222-pounder was traded to the Rangers on March 7, 2001, for defenseman Bert Robertsson.

Kuparinen, 24, was drafted by the Lightning in the ninth round in 1999. The 6-4, 215-pounder was traded to Atlanta on Oct. 29, 1999, and re-acquired from the Thrashers on March 11, 2000.

"Ryan is a big, strong kid with good skill who likes the tougher side of the game and can add some scoring to our system," Dudley said. "And we've seen enough from Mikko to know he's a strong prospect for our team so we're happy to retain him."

MORE NHL: The Red Wings are one of three teams in the bidding for free agent Brett Hull. The Rangers and Canadiens also reportedly are talking with the 37-year-old right wing. "I can't lie to you, we have talked to him," Detroit assistant general manager Jim Nill said. "We'll just see what happens." ... Penguins defenseman Darius Kasparaitis will take a pay cut in anticipation of becoming a free agent after the season. He will make $1.15-million. ... Mario Lemieux, already working out for what would be his first full season in five years, said he plans to sit out nearly one-quarter of the Penguins' games to stay healthy for the playoffs.

TENNIS: Venus Williams stopped her second-round match with Sandrine Testud for a three-minute medical timeout, then served two aces on the way to a 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 victory in the Pilot Pen Tournament in New Haven, Conn. Top seed Lindsay Davenport advanced with a 6-2, 6-1 win against qualifier Anastasia Myskina.

COLLEGES: Virginia named Craig Littlepage athletic director, a position he was holding on an interim basis since May.

AUTOS: Mika Hakkinen recorded the fastest lap time on the first of two days of Formula One testing in Silverstone, England. Hakkinen had a best time of 1 minute 23.223 seconds, almost a second faster than Alexander Wurz.

SOCCER: Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain and Tiffeny Milbrett were among 19 WUSA players chosen for the United States team that will play in the 2002 U.S. Women's Cup. ... Prosecutors ordered preventive detention for Colombian national team player Jairo Castillo after concluding he was driving a pickup truck that crashed and killed two women passengers. Castillo, who has denied being the driver, is recovering from minor injuries sustained during Sunday's crash.

OLYMPICS: Hungary's federal government will bid to host the 2012 Summer Games, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told state news agency MTI. ... Montreal will become home to the World Anti-Doping Agency, the Canadian Association said in a statement.

BOXING: An injury to Mike Tyson forced postponement of his Sept. 8 fight against Brian Nielsen in Copenhagen. "Mike's back is giving him problems, and we're looking to moving it back a few weeks," Tyson's adviser Shelly Finkel said.

GOLF: Chris Mundorf set a USGA record with 9-under 63 and claimed medalist honors at the 101st U.S. Amateur in Atlanta. Mundorf's round at Druid Hills Golf Club was a record in relation to par in a USGA championship. The final two spots among 64 players who advance to match play will be decided in a playoff among eight players today. Match play begins after the playoff. ... Two-time defending champion Will Frantz and Marty DeAngelo each shot 5-under 67 to tie for the lead after the first round of the North Florida PGA Section Championship at Orange County National Golf Club in Orlando.

CYCLING: Lance Armstrong moved up to 78th place, 6 minutes 11 seconds behind the leader, after the second stage of the Tour of Burgos in Spain. Armstrong had been in 91st place after Monday's opening stage. Juan Mercado took the overall lead by winning the second stage.

ROWING: The U.S. men's and women's coxless fours advanced to the final at the World Championships in Lucerne, Switzerland.

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