"TC5 Russian republics will compete as 1 in GamesAthletes...

SPORTS BRIEFLY

January 26, 1992

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5 Russian republics will compete as 1 in Games

Athletes from five republics in the former Soviet Union will compete this year as one Olympic team under an agreement reached yesterday by Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Juan Antonio Samaranch, president of the International Olympic Committee.

The agreement will bring together athletes from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan as teammates at the Winter Games next month.

"If the team is a winner, we will raise the Olympic flag and play the Olympic anthem," Samaranch said. "If an individual is the winner, the same thing, but after mentioning the name of the athlete belonging to the united team, we will also mention the name of the republic where he comes from."

Samaranch said the team members would wear the same uniform, except for a small emblem on the arm indicating the athlete's home republic.

He said he expected that National Olympic Committees of the 12 former Soviet republics will be recognized by the IOC before the Summer Games.

Track and field

Britain's Steve Backley broke his own world javelin record yesterday, becoming the first man to throw more than 90 meters since specifications were altered last year. Backley hurled the javelin 91.46 meters on his fourth throw to better his own record of 89.58 meters set in July 1990.

Baseball

Details of a Japanese-led investor group's offer to buy the Seattle Mariners will be presented to the current owner this week, a source close to the group said. The source said the information would be presented privately to Mariners owner Jeff Smulyan for referral to Major League Baseball's ownership committee. Canadians have been the only foreigners allowed to buy big-league teams, and commissioner Fay Vincent has expressed strong support for that policy, extending even to the minor leagues.

Pro basketball

The Atlanta Hawks have requested a review of an NBA computer count that omitted forward Dominique Wilkins from the top 10 All-Star vote recipients in the East. "It just doesn't make sense when a player like Chuck Person gets 309,049 votes and Dominique doesn't get half that many," Hawks vice president Lee Douglas said. "I believe Dominique would get as many votes in Indianapolis as Chuck did."

Person, who plays for the Indiana Pacers, finished fifth in the voting at forward behind Philadelphia's Charles Barkley, Boston's Larry Bird, Chicago's Scottie Pippen and Indiana teammate Detlef Schrempf.

Soccer

Akhrik Tsveiba's 19-yard blast off an American defender accounted for the lone goal in the Commonwealth of Independent States' 1-0 victory over the U.S. national soccer team in Miami. It was the first game played under the CIS banner by the former Soviet national team, and the crowd of 30,386 might have helped Miami's bid to hold some 1994 World Cup games.

Winter sports

Olympic downhill favorite Franz Heinzer of Switzerland, in his final warm-up for the event at the Games, won his fourth World Cup downhill of the season, and by the widest margin in the circuit's six races.

Heinzer, the third man down the run at Wengen, Switzerland, won by more than 1 1/2 seconds, covering the 2 2/3 miles in 2 minutes and 28.33 seconds. Markus Wasmeier of Germany was second, 1.60 back. Helmut Hoeflehner of Austria finished third, another .10 behind.

* Katja Seizinger led two German countrywomen to an unprecedented 1-2-3 sweep of a World Cup downhill in Morzine, France.

* American Robert Pipkins won the men's one-man competition at the World Junior Luge Championships in Sapporo, Japan. Pipkins, a member of the U.S. Olympic team, won the gold by speeding down the 2,927-foot Fujino course in a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 23.729 seconds. The 18-year-old had a time of 41.778 seconds in the first run and came back with a run of 41.951 seconds.

* Susi Erdman of Germany won the overall World Cup luge title, edging Cammy Myler of the United States by one point in Calgary, Alberta. Although Erdman had a bad first run and was not in contention for a medal in the season-ending race Friday, she won the championship when Myler finished fifth. Myler, of Lake Placid, N.Y., missed winning what would have been the first world title by a U.S. luger by .078 of a second.

Duncan Kennedy, also of Lake Placid, also lost his shot at the men's overall title by finishing 12th. That dropped him from first to second overall. Austria's Markus Prock won Friday's race and the World Cup title.

Speed skater Dan Jansen set a world record of 36.41 seconds in the 500-meter event at an international meet yesterday in Davos, Switzerland.

Jansen improved by .02 seconds a 6-day-old mark set by Olympic champion and World Cup leader Uwe-Jens Mey of Germany on the same Davos natural rink.

Jansen, Mey's main rival over the distance this season, said he would try to better his time today.

Golf

Ian Baker-Finch of Australia opened a three-stroke lead in the Vines Classic in Perth, Australia, by shooting a 6-under-par 66 in the third round on Saturday.

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