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Johnson cracks Aussie record

Sydney: Sprinter Patrick Johnson has become the first Australian to break the 10-second barrier for the 100m, clocking 9.93 seconds in Mito, Japan.

Johnson won the 100m final Monday with a legal tailwind of 1.8 metres per second to become the fastest Australian in history, shattering Matt Shirvington’s national record of 10.03 set in 1998.

Johnson, 30, becomes the fastest man in the world this year, the 17th fastest man of all time and only the 39th man to clock a legal sub 10-second time.

American Tim Montgomery holds the world record of 9.78sec, set in Paris last September.

Japan stadiums in the red

Tokyo: Operators at eight of the 10 giant stadiums used for last year’s World Cup football finals expect to run up huge losses again in the year ahead due to lessening demand for usage.

The eight stadiums, newly built or renovated for the 2002 World Cup, are expected to suffer combined losses of 2.5 billion yen ($ 21 million) in the year to March 2004, the mass-circulation Yomiuri Shimbun said in a poll.

They also have no prospects of making profits in the future, the paper said. The expected losses are down by only 340 million yen from estimated losses for the previous fiscal year that ended on March 31, it said.

World meet on schedule

Paris: The table tennis world championships will be held as planned later this month despite the outbreak of SARS in the sport’s leading nations, organisers said on Monday.

The competition’s press chief said the French health ministry had advised that provided the athletes from the most affected countries were closely monitored, there was no reason to reschedule the May 19-25 event in Paris.

“This is the last we heard from the ministry on April 23,” Hubert Gueriau said. “It’s pretty hot as the championships are only two weeks away. But we have not heard anything new since.”

Emma Richards sails to glory

Newport (Rhode Island): Britain’s Emma Richards has become the first woman and youngest person to complete a 29,000-mile round-the-world yachting race.

The 28-year-old sailed the 60-foot racer pindar across the finish line here Sunday in fourth place in the around alone race.

Her 135 days in conditions described as “the perfect storm” made her the first woman to complete the longest race on earth for any individual.

“I cannot believe this is actually over. I have literally lived, eaten, breathed and slept this race,” the she said. “It only seems yesterday I set off and yet I have done 30,000 miles.”

She also survived a battering by what she described as ”the perfect storm” 250 miles from the end of the race. Her vessel was hammered for 10 hours off the east coast of the US.

Ferrero moves up

Monaco: Juan Carlos Ferrero has moved up to the second spot from fourth in the standings issued by the ATP Tour champions’ race on Monday. Andre Agassi continues to keep the top position.

TOP TEN

1. Andre Agassi (US) 371 points; 2. Juan Carlos Ferrero (Spa) 262; 3. Rainer Schuettler (Ger) 248; 4. Carlos Moya (Spa) 247; 5. Roger Federer (Swi) 226; 6. Andy Roddick (US) 186; 7. Gustavo Kuerten (Bra) 172; 8. Guillermo Coria (Arg) 166; 9. Lleyton Hewitt (Aus) 166; 10. Agustin Calleri (Arg) 137.

n Soccer: Premier League highlights from 10 am on ESPN n Cricket: Australia vs West Indies, third Test Day V highlights from 11.30 am on ESPN n Soccer: Champions League semi-final first leg, Real Madrid vs Juventus live from 12 midnight on ESPN


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