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© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 30, 2001

Officials check on Almonte's age

A public records expert traveled to Moca, Dominican Republic, on Wednesday to determine whether Little League pitcher Danny Almonte is 12 or 14.

Conflicting documents about Almonte's age have surfaced this week, even as he and his teammates were honored with a parade through the Bronx and a celebration at Yankee Stadium for their play at the Little League World Series.

The search by a Dominican Republic government official entails thumbing through books of birth records, verifying the identity numbers of the witnesses who signed the documents, and perhaps finding and interviewing those who notarized them years ago.

"We have sent a delegate to Moca to verify whether there are two different birth certificates," said Ramon Reyes, a spokesman for the national public records office.

Almonte's mother, Sonia Rojas Breton, has a handwritten, photocopied birth certificate that says he was born April 7, 1989.

Ten blocks away, the town's official records office has another birth certificate that says Almonte was born April 7, 1987.

GOODWILL GAMES: Maurice Greene, the Olympic and world champion at 100 meters, will not compete in Brisbane, Australia, because of injury.

WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES: The United States won four gold medals in track and field in Beijing, and Cuban world champion Osleidys Menendez broke the Games' javelin record at 229 feet 1 inch. The U.S. team collected a 400-meter double of sorts when Andrew Pierce won the men's final in 45.34 seconds and Demetria Washington took the women's in 51.22. Anthony Famiglletti led for most of the 3,000 steeplechase, surrendered the lead with 600 meters left, then overtook Poland's Jakub Czaja in the last barrier to win in 8:21.97. Miguel Pate won the long jump with a leap of 26 feet 53/4 inches, edging Namibia's Stephan Louw and Botswana's Gable Garenamotse.

NHL: Individual tickets for all Lightning regular-season home games will go on sale Tuesday at Beginning Saturday, tickets will be available at the Ice Palace box office, Camelot Music stores, the Sun Dome and Ticketmaster. ... The Islanders signed center Michael Peca to a five-year, $20-million contract.

COLLEGES: Olympic gold medalist swimmer Kim Black of Georgia heads 51 nominees for NCAA Woman of the Year. The nominees, representing each state and the District of Columbia, will be cut to 10 finalists next month. The winner will be announced Oct. 21. The nominee from Florida is UCF runner Sarah Kureshi.

GOLF: Robert E. Bass of Largo was in second place in flight 28 after the third round of the World Amateur Handicap Championship in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Bass shot 81 (net 67) for a total of 203. The final round is today. The winners of 55 flights advance to an 18-hole playoff Friday.

BOXING: Lennox Lewis said he will not fight again if he loses his rematch with WBC-IBF heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman on Nov. 17. "If I can't win this fight, why should I go on?" the 36-year-old Lewis said at a news conference.

SAILING: St. Petersburg's Ed Baird was one of eight seeded captains named for the Gold Cup, to be raced in Bermuda beginning Oct. 14.

HANDCYCLING: Michel Bond of St. Petersburg won the USHF national championships in three disciplines: time trial, road race and criterium. He will compete in the European Championships Sept. 6 in Zurich, Switzerland.

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