Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times, published November 19, 2000
Janica Kostelic has learned to bear the pain. Less than a year after tearing four knee ligaments, the 18-year-old Croatian burst back onto the World Cup scene, beating her nearest rival by 1.73 seconds in the season-opening slalom race Saturday in Park City, Utah.
"My knee still hurts, but I'll just have to handle it," Kostelic said. "I was really surprised, because I didn't expect to be first today and to win by so much."
The 19-year-old finished her two slalom runs in a combined time of 1 minute, 29.24 seconds, 1.73 seconds faster than Martina Ertl of Germany, and 1.78 seconds ahead of France's Christel Saioni. It was the second-largest margin of victory in a women's World Cup slalom event in 20 years.
Kostelic won two slalom events last year and led the Cup slalom standings, but her season ended when she tore six knee ligaments in a fall during downhill training. After two knee surgeries and a lengthy rehabilitation, she was able to resume full-speed competition last month.
She finished 12th in the first World Cup giant slalom at Soelden, Austria.
"I didn't really have much self-confidence before this race," Kostelic said. "This is really a comeback. Now I know I can do it."
Kristina Koznick of Burnsville, Minn., was the top American in 12th place.
For the men, Swiss veteran Michael Von Gruenigen won the giant slalom. Norway's Lasse Kjus, the 1999 World Cup champion, was second.
American Erik Schlopy finished in fourth place, the top result for an American man in giant slalom since 1984.
U.S. men's coach Bill Egan predicted Schlopy, a Park City resident, would win a World Cup this season.
Park City will be the site of skiing events during the 2002 Winter Olympics.
FIGURE SKATING: Russians Yevgeny Plushchenko and Irina Slutskaya repeated as men's and women's champions at the Cup of Russia International Skating Union Grand Prix. Elena Sokolova was runner-up among the women, and American Sarah Hughes was third. Sasha Cohen of the United States, daughter of a Soviet immigrant, was fourth. Plushchenko and compatriot Ilya Klimkin were the only two to land quads. Klimkin received an uneven array of marks from 5.0 to 5.6 for technique, but the marks were strong enough to boost him from fourth to second, dropping American Matthew Savoie to third. Michael Weiss of the United States was as tentative in the free skate as in the short program and finished sixth. Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze won the pairs title, drawing on their artistry to beat China's Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo. In ice dancing, Barbara Fusar-Poli and Maurizio Margaglio remained on top after the original dance.
HORSES: Keeneland's 14-day Breeding Stock Sale ended with 3,266 horses sold for $301,994,800, compared with last year's 3,461 for $317,666,000, both records for thoroughbred auctions worldwide. Thirty-nine sold for $1-million or more. Five horses sold for $4-million or more, topped by the $4.9-million paid by John Magnier for Jewel Princess, who is pregnant by Storm Cat. The highest price for a weanling at the sale was $1.2-million paid by Tim Hyde for a filly by Storm Cat out of Now That's Funny. Keeneland sold 223 horses during Saturday's session for $1,661,300. ... Acadamosby Award made his mark as the quarter horse world's most valuable player by winning the senior hunter hack at the American Quarter Horse Association championship. The 10-year-old bay gelding qualified for the finals in all four of his events, including the senior hunter hack and senior pleasure driving with Jason Martin of Pilot Point, Texas; the reserve world title in senior working hunter with rider Tracy Baer and got fourth place in senior hunter under saddle with Karen Skelly. ... Megans Bluff, ridden by Mark Guidry, won by three-quarters of a length over Uncharted Haven in the $174,150 Mrs. Revere Stakes at Churchill Downs, earning $107,973 to increase her lifetime earnings to $441,968. ... Cetewayo used a powerful late run for an upset in the $150,000 Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct. The 6-year-old earned $90,000, finishing a neck ahead of Understood. Third was Val's Prince, another three-quarters lengths back. ... Kelly Kip, one of thoroughbred racing's top sprinters with wins in 15 of 31 starts and earnings of more than $1.1-million, retired because of a front leg injury. Trainer H. Allen Jerkens said the 6-year-old "didn't walk off too good" after a morning gallop.
SOCCER: U.S. goalkeeper Brad Friedel, in his first game for England's first-division Blackburn, helped lead his team to a 1-0 victory over Wolverhampton. Friedel transferred from Liverpool of the Premier League after getting a work permit Nov. 3. In other Premier League games, Charlton beat Chelsea, Derby beat Bradford, West Ham beat Leeds, Leicester beat Middlesbrough, Sunderland beat Newcastle and Southampton beat Aston Villa. In Scotland, league-leading Celtic routed Hearts 6-1. ... AC Milan, on a goal by Andriy Shevchenko in the 54th minute, played to a 1-1 tie at defending champion Lazio in the Italian League. Christian Vieri scored in the 77th minute to lead Internazionale past Perugia 2-1. ... Manchester United defeated Manchester City 1-0, moving five points ahead of second-place Arsenal, which was upset 2-0 at Everton.
SPEED SKATING: Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann of Germany, the Olympic champion, captured the 98th World Cup race of her career, taking the women's 3,000-meter event in Berlin in a course-record 4 minutes, 03.73 seconds. Fellow German Anni Friesinger finished second in 4:08.45. Rintje Ritsma of the Netherlands won the men's 1,500 in 1:48.61. Ritsma, the 1998 Olympics bronze medalist, edged Japan's Hiro Jukinoake at 1:49.01, and Russia's Alexander Kibalko was third in 1:49.18, as all three beat the course record.
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