Wheaton upsets Chang in Grand Slam finalBefore the Grand...

Sports briefly

December 16, 1991

Wheaton upsets Chang in Grand Slam final

Before the Grand Slam Cup, David Wheaton had a short resume: one victory in six years on the tour and career earnings of $960,000.

Yesterday in Munich, Germany, he doubled his victory total and more than doubled his career earnings by routing an injured Michael Chang, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4, winning $2 million and the Grand Slam Cup championship.

Wheaton, ranked 17th in the world, had won just one tournament his career, the 1990 U.S. Clay Courts at Charleston, S.C.

Chang, who won $1 million, is ranked 15th, although he has won one tournament in the past year.

The Grand Slam Cup, which doesn't count in the ATP Tour rankings, gathered the top finishers from the four Grand Slam tournaments. Illnesses, injuries and fatigue forced Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker to withdraw. Jim Courier, the French Open champion, lost his first match.

Olympics

South Korea and North Korea may field a joint team for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics after last week's historic accord toward reconciliation. Sports and Youth Minister Park Chul-un said during the weekend that he was considering asking the North to reopen inter-Korean sports talks at an early date to discuss a single Olympic team, several Korean newspapers reported. Park was quoted as saying there is no reason for the sports talks to be delayed since South Korea and North Korea have signed an agreement on reconciliation.

Earlier this year, the two countries sent single Korean teams to international table tennis and youth soccer matches. They were the first joint teams since Korea's division in 1945, but the countries failed to make further progress.

Skating

Despite another night of bone-chilling weather, Brian Wanek had his best outdoor time in a 5,000-meter race at the U.S. Olympic speed skating trials at Milwaukee. Wanek won in 7 minutes, 12.45 seconds. Dave Besteman won the men's 1,000 meters in 1:17.13.

Bonnie Blair, the defending Olympic champion, won the women's 1,000 meters in 1:25.0. She had a first-place cumlative 1,000 meter score of 85.070 from Saturday's and yesterday's rounds. Mary Docter won the women's 3,000 meters in 4:44.28.

Qualifiers for the U.S. Olympic team will be chosen after more trials next weekend at the state fairgrounds rink.

* Grzegorz Filipowski of Poland placed second in the free-skating event but earned enough points to win the overall men's single title in the NHK Cup International Championships at Hiroshima, Japan. Filipowski, 25, fifth at the 1988 Calgary Olympics, finished with 197.9 points after winning the original program Saturday. Vlacheslav Zagorodniuk of the Soviet Union was second with 192.1 points.

Bowling

Kevin McGerr held off Bob Vespi, 218-215, in the title match of the National Resident championship at Corpus Christi, Texas. McGerr, of Lincoln, Neb., led all the way. But Vespi, of Plantation, Fla., finished with six strikes to force McGerr to mark on his first ball in the 10th.

McGerr got just that when the six pin slowly tripped the 10. McGerr followed that with a nine to pick up the three-pin victory. The win meant $6,000 and a trip to the Firestone for the 29-year-old McGerr.

Rodeo

Bareback rider Clint Corey claimed his first world title and Ty Murray capped the most successful season in the history of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association as the final round of the $2.45 million National Finals Rodeo ended yesterday in Las Vegas, Nev.

Calf roper Fred Whitfield, the 1990 PRCA Rookie of the Year, won a world championship with $115,040 in 1991 earnings. Whitfield clobbered the record for total time on 10 rounds with a cumulative total of 91.7. He also broke the NFR calf roping earnings record with $70,609. With the title, Whitfield becomes the first black cowboy ever to win a PRCA timed event world championship.

Skiing

Alberto Tomba increased his lead on the World Cup circuit when he won a giant slalom at Alta Badia, Italy, for his fifth victory in seven races this season. It was his 23rd World Cup victory in four years, one short of the record set by four-time World Cup winner Gustavo Thoeni, now Tomba's slalom coach.

Tomba clocked the fastest time in both heats for a time of 2 minutes, 22.73 seconds down the steep Gran Risa track, which drops 1,297 feet. Tomba leads the overall Cup standings with 560 points, 30 ahead of Paul Accola of Switzerland. Accola, the only skier to beat Tomba this season, was third yesterday.

Jeremy Nobis, the only American qualified for the second heat, fell and withdrew at mid-course.

* Carole Merle, the defending World Cup Super-G champion, beat Petra Konberger by 1.15 seconds at Santa Caterina, Italy, to gain her first World Cup victory of the season. Merle, a 27-year-old from France, said she picked up speed from a mistake in the upper part of the Cevedale track and finished in 1:26.96. The top U.S. finisher, Kristin Krone, was 23rd, 0.15 ahead of teammate Edith Thys.

Soccer

Nole Dixon's overtime goal lifted La Dolce Vita over the Baltimore Hummers, 2-1, in the championship game of the Maryland Majors soccer league at Patterson Park. Stan Tyson scored La Dolce Vita's first goal. John Karpovich scored for the Hummers.

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