Meaning of YEAR IN REVIEW 1999: SPORTS-AND-GAMES in English

YEAR IN REVIEW 1999: SPORTS-AND-GAMES

SKIING Alpine Skiing. In 1998 Hermann "the Herminator" Maier (see BIOGRAPHIES) became the first Austrian to win the overall Alpine World Cup title since Karl Schranz in 1970. Maier won 10 World Cup events and two individual titles, sweeping the supergiant slalom (super G) races, winning the giant slalom title, and finishing second in the downhill standings. In February, however, just three days before he captured gold in the super G at the Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan, Maier's career appeared to be in jeopardy after he suffered one of the most spectacular crashes in skiing history. Traveling at nearly 105 km/h (65 mph) near the top of the downhill course, Maier lost control and was propelled head-first into the frozen retaining walls. Plowing through two fences, the 26-year-old Austrian miraculously escaped unhurt. Maier's downhill crash opened the gate for France's Jean-Luc Cretier, who edged Norway's Lasse Kjus to win France's first downhill gold since Jean-Claude Killy's 20 years earlier. Overall, the Austrian men captured 8 of a possible 15 Alpine medals. Italy's Alberto Tomba failed in his bid to become the first skier to win medals in four different Olympics. He crashed in the giant slalom and finished a disappointing 17th on his first run down the slalom course before dropping out of the event. Tomba's teammate Deborah Compagnoni, by winning the women's giant slalom, became the first skier to win gold in three consecutive Olympics. When the snow, fog, and rain relented after dogging skiers and schedule-makers at Nagano for nearly six days, Katja Seizinger of Germany stole the show. By winning the downhill gold, she became the first woman in Winter Olympics history to win consecutive golds in the same event. Seizinger went on to win the combined gold, with her teammates Martina Ertl and Hilde Gerg completing a German sweep of that event. Gerg also won gold in the women's slalom, erasing a 0.6-sec lead held by Compagnoni to win by just 0.06 sec. Zali Steggall captured Australia's first Alpine medal by placing third in the slalom. The German women took home six Alpine medals, and Seizinger's three medals tied a record for most in a single Winter Olympics. American downhiller Picabo Street overcame a serious 1996 knee injury to win the super G over the favoured Germans. Street skied cautiously, however, in her specialty, the downhill, and missed a medal by 0.17 sec. Later Street suffered a season-ending injury in a crash during a World Cup event in Switzerland. Seizinger capped the season with the women's overall World Cup title. Nordic Skiing. Norway ended Japan's six-year reign as Nordic combined champions with a dominant Olympic performance on the ski-jumping half of the event. Bjarte Engen Vik, who won the individual gold, helped bring home the gold in the team event as well, while the host Japanese fell to fifth. The Japanese, however, led by Masahiko "Happy" Harada (see BIOGRAPHIES ) pleased the home crowd by winning team gold in ski jumping. Norway's cross-country legend Bjrn Daehlie (see BIOGRAPHIES) established records for most Olympic gold medals (8) and most medals in the Winter Games (12) by winning three golds, but the baton may have been passed to his teammate Thomas Alsgaard, who edged Daehlie for the 15-km pursuit gold medal at Nagano and then won his first World Cup title. Russia's Larissa Lazutina medaled in all five women's Olympic cross-country races, capturing three golds. On the World Cup circuit, Lazutina rode the wave of her Olympic success by winning the last two events of the season to surpass Norway's Bente Martinsen for the overall title. Archery The 1998 European championships, four days of competition in the Olympic and compound bow divisions, were held in Boe, France, in August. The qualifying rounds were shot at 90 m, 70 m, 50 m, and 30 m, and the championship one-on-one rounds were all shot at 70 m (1 m = 3.28 ft). The men's Olympic bow winner was Baljinima Tsyrempilov of Russia, with Lionel Torres of France second and Igor Parkhomenko of Ukraine third. The women's champion was Lina Pavchuk of Ukraine, with Vladlena Priestman of the U.K. second and Natalia Valeeva of Italy third. The compound bow men's champion was Randall Thomas of France, with Dejan Sitar of Slovenia second and Peter Andersson of Sweden third. In the women's division Fabiola Palazzini of Italy finished first, with Fatima Agudo of Spain second and Maryann Richardson of the U.K. third. The National Archery Association (NAA) of the U.S. held its outdoor national championships in August in Canton, Mich. They consisted of two internationally sanctioned rounds shot at 90 m, 70 m, 50 m, and 30 m over four days of competition. The compound men's winner was Matt Cleland with a record score of 2,760 out of a possible 2,880; Roger Hoyle placed second and Pete Swanney third. The women's compound winner was Sally Wunderle; Tara Swanney placed second and Jamie Van Natta third. The Olympic bow men's winner was Victor Wunderle with a score of 2,634 out of a possible 2,880; Jason McKittrick placed second and Justin Huish third. In the women's Olympic bow division, Janet Dykman outshot Denise Parker (second) and Ruth Rowe (third) to win the title with a score of 2,615 out of 2,880. The NAA held its 18-m indoor championships in March at three locations. Richard Johnson won the men's Olympic bow division, and Ruth Rowe was the women's champion. The senior compound winners were Dave Cousins and Tara Swanney. LARRY WISE Australian Football. The Adelaide Crows made it back-to-back premierships in 1998 and became the first club since Hawthorn in 1988-89 to win successive flags in the Australian Football League (AFL). They also became the first club to win the title from fifth place following the 22-round home and away series. Adelaide, the underdogs, stormed home in the second half against North Melbourne to win the grand final by 35 points in front of a crowd of 94,431 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The final score was Adelaide 15.15 (105) to North 8.22 (70). In the second half Adelaide kicked 11.12 to 2.7. Andrew McLeod of Adelaide was voted best on the ground, thus becoming the first player to win consecutive Norm Smith Medals. While Adelaide took the premiership accolades, the Melbourne FC produced the fairy-tale story of the season, coming from bottom place on the ladder (16th) in 1997 to fourth and a place in the preliminary finals in 1998. The AFL had a record attendance for the home and away series: 6,117,177, which beat the previous record of 5,842,591 established in 1997. Robert Harvey, of St. Kilda, won the Brownlow Medal (for the best and fairest player) for the second straight year--the first player to do so since Keith Greig of North Melbourne in 1973-74. Other major honours went to North Melbourne for winning the preseason Ansett Australia Cup competition, Wayne Carey for winning the Michael Tuck Medal in the Ansett Cup series, and Tony Lockett for winning the Coleman Medal as the AFL top goalkicker (109) in the home and away series. GREG HOBBS BADMINTON Many badminton experts were surprised when 20-year-old Peter Gade Christensen of Denmark finished 1997 on top of the men's singles world rankings. At the Japan Open in January 1998, however, Gade Christensen easily defeated Luo Yigang of China to win the sport's first major event of the year and proved his number-one status was no accident. Gong Zhichao of China rose to the top of the women's singles world rankings by way of her victory over compatriot and top seed Ye Zhaoying. The All-England Championships in March were characterized by early defeats of the world's number-one singles players. Zhang Ning of China upset Gong Zhichao and reached the final, only to lose to Ye Zhaoying. In the men's event Ong Ewe Hock of Malaysia defeated Gade Christensen in the third round and advanced to the final, where Sun Jun of China prevailed. Chinese players claimed a third title when world women's doubles champions Ge Fei and Gu Jun eliminated Ra Kyung Min and Jang Hye Ock of South Korea. South Korean players captured the men's doubles and mixed doubles titles. The Uber Cup and Thomas Cup competitions--the women's and men's world team championships, respectively--were staged in Hong Kong in May. The Indonesian men's team emphasized its dominance by winning its third consecutive Thomas Cup, with a 3-2 victory over Malaysia. The superb singles play of Indonesia's Hendrawan--in his first Thomas Cup appearance--established him as a new international badminton star. Four months later Hendrawan gave another glimpse of his promising future by defeating Sun Jun and Gade Christensen in the Singapore Open. The Chinese women's team regained the Uber Cup title with a 4-1 win over defending champion Indonesia.Key matches were Ye Zhaoying's defeat of Indonesia's Susi Susanti and Gong Zhichao's triumph as she came back from three match points down in the second set to vanquish Mia Audina. As 1998 drew to a close, Susanti, one of the game's legendary competitors, announced her retirement. DONN GOBBIE Baseball Energized by an unprecedented home-run barrage featuring sluggers Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa (see BIOGRAPHIES), in 1998 major league baseball produced a season that was hailed as the "greatest ever" by some experts. With two expansion franchises--the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays--attracting more than 6.1 million spectators, National League (NL) and American League (AL) teams combined for a record paid attendance in excess of 70 million fans. Bobsledding and Luge After 34 years the U.S. finally captured its first Olympic medals in the luge competition, but the spotlight belonged to legendary German luger Georg Hackl. (See BIOGRAPHIES.) Reaching speeds in excess of 129 km/h (80 mph), Hackl won his third consecutive singles luge gold medal, becoming only the sixth athlete in Winter Olympics history to win an event three straight times. In so doing, Hackl once again foiled the gold medal aspirations of Austria's Markus Prock, the previous world champion. Hackl's time of 3:18.436 was more than half a second better than that of silver medalist Armin Zoeggeler of Italy. Prock finished a disappointing fourth and thereby marked the fourth Olympics in which Hackl had bested the eight-time world champ. American Wendel Suckow, the 1993 world champion, finished sixth. In doubles the German tandem of Jan Behrendt and Stefan Krause won the gold medal by 0.22 sec, the closest margin of victory in Olympic history. The Germans edged out Americans Gordy Sheer and Chris Thorpe, the 1997 World Cup champs, who took silver. Meanwhile, the U.S.'s reigning World Cup titlists, Mark Grimmette and Brian Martin, won the bronze. In the women's luge Germany placed three competitors among the top four, winning gold and silver. Silke Kraushaar edged teammate Barbara Niedernhuber by 0.002 sec, the closest margin in Olympic history, whereas Susi Erdmann, one of the pre-event favourites, finished a disappointing fourth. In terms of close races, the bobsledders managed to outdo the lugers by producing ties for medals in the two-man and four-man events. In the two-man event, the Italian team of Guenther Huber and Antonio Tartaglia led Pierre Lueders and David MacEachern of Canada by 0.03 sec heading into the fourth and decisive run. After the Italians produced a run of 54.27 sec, the Canadians turned the tables with a run of 54.24 sec, so that both teams finished with identical times of 3:37.24. This represented the first time Olympic bobsledding had produced cochampions. In the four-man competition, the U.K. and France tied for the bronze, and Germany 2 blew away the competition for gold. German driver Christoph Langen, who also won bronze in the two-man, steered his sled to a 0.60-sec win over Swiss driver Marcel Rohner. Langen became the first German from former West Germany to win gold. The past four German winners had been from former East Germany. French driver Bruno Mingeon moved up from sixth to third with a great final run to tie Britain's Sean Olsson for the bronze medal and the second tie in as many competitions. American driver Brian Shimer, a veteran of three previous Olympics, had toiled for more than 10 years in an attempt to end the U.S.'s 42-year medal drought in the bobsled competition, but his sled finished fifth in the four-man, just 0.02 sec out of medal contention. Shimer and brakeman Garrett Hines finished a disappointing 10th in the two-man event. GREG GUSS BOXING The world heavyweight championship, reduced to an all-time low in 1997 when former champion Mike Tyson (U.S.) bit the ear of Evander Holyfield (U.S.) in a World Boxing Association (WBA) title clash in Las Vegas, Nev., made little recovery in 1998. With Tyson's suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission not lifted until October, there was a lack of lucrative matches. The one exception would have been a bout between Holyfield, the WBA and International Boxing Federation (IBF) champion, and Lennox Lewis (U.K.), the World Boxing Council (WBC) titleholder. The stranglehold that promoter Don King had on competition for the title held up proceedings, however, because King had to spend months in court fighting allegations that he had been involved in an insurance fraud against Lloyd's of London. He eventually won the case and later flew to London to negotiate a Holyfield-Lewis clash for the WBA, IBF, and WBC titles, which was scheduled to take place in March 1999. Tyson applied for a license to box in New Jersey but withdrew and reapplied in Nevada, which demanded that he undergo an examination for mental stability. With his license restored, Tyson was scheduled to fight Francois Botha (S.Af.) in January 1999. There were, therefore, no memorable heavyweight title bouts in 1998. Holyfield retained the WBA and IBF versions of the championship, outpointing Vaughan Bean (U.S.) over 12 rounds at Atlanta, Ga., in September. A week later Lewis retained the WBC crown against former European champion Zeljko Malrovic (Croatia) after 12 punishing rounds in Uncasville, Conn. Previously, Lewis had successfully defended the title by stopping Shannon Briggs (U.S.) in five rounds at Atlantic City, N.J. He was then scheduled to face Henry Akinwande (U.K.) in New York City, but a blood test on Akinwande revealed hepatitis B and the match was called off. The heavyweight situation sank even lower when the World Boxing Organization (WBO) sanctioned two title defenses by Herbie Hide (U.K.) against the almost unknown Damon Reed (U.S.) and Willi Fischer (Germany). Fischer was halted after 24 seconds of the second round, and Hide knocked out Reed in 52 seconds. The latter bout set a record for the fastest heavyweight championship knockout, the previous mark having been set when James J. Jeffries flattened Jack Finnegan in 55 seconds in 1900. The outstanding champion of the year was again Oscar de la Hoya (U.S.). The 25-year-old, who had won titles ranging from featherweight to welterweight, remained undefeated after 29 contests. A crowd of 50,000 attended his successful defense of the WBC welterweight crown when he defeated Patrick Charpentier (France) in three rounds at El Paso, Texas, in June. In September at Las Vegas de la Hoya stopped the legendary Julio Csar Chvez (Mexico) after eight rounds, thereby repeating a four-round win he had gained over the Mexican in 1996. Chvez had taken part in 35 world title fights and had suffered only three defeats in 105 contests. Roy Jones, Jr., (U.S.) established himself as one of the best light heavyweights in many years, knocking out Virgil Hill (U.S.) in a nontitle bout, but the WBC titleholder's ambitions to earn bigger purses among the heavyweights were dampened during a 12-round victory over WBA light heavyweight champion Lou Del Valle (U.S.). In the fight Jones suffered his first-ever count as a professional when knocked down in the eighth round. Naseem Hamed (U.K.), the WBO featherweight champion, remained undefeated, knocking out Wilfredo Vazquez (P.R.) in seven rounds at Manchester, Eng. His audience rating on the HBO cable network broke records in the U.S. He had earned $1.7 million when stopping Kevin Kelley (U.S.) in New York City's Madison Square Garden at the end of 1997. Though Hamed retained his title and unbeaten record by outpointing Wayne McCullough in Atlantic City at the end of October, his performance was criticized in light of his prefight boast of knocking out McCullough in three rounds. The end of a long, long trail appeared to have arrived for Roberto Duran. The 47-year-old Panamanian, fighting for the 116th time in 31 years, was battered in three rounds when challenging William Joppy (U.S.) for the WBA middleweight crown. It was a mismatch against a champion 20 years younger. Azumah Nelson (Ghana), one of Africa's greatest champions, announced his retirement. During his career of almost 20 years he won WBC featherweight and super featherweight titles. A bizarre end to a fight occurred when Bernard Hopkins (U.S.) defended the IBF middleweight crown against Robert Allen (U.S.). In the fourth round Hopkins was accidentally pushed from the ring by the referee, injuring his ankle so that he could not continue the fight, which was then declared "no contest." Despite much opposition women began establishing themselves in the sport. Female boxers, judges, and managers operated regularly in Nevada and New Jersey. Among them Mia Rosales St. John, a 31-year-old mother of two, commanded large purses. There was an outcry, however, when Maria Nieves-Garcia was found to be 21 weeks pregnant during the medical test before her scheduled fight against Christy Martin (U.S.). The British Boxing Board of Control lost a legal battle when Jane Couch (Eng.) took it to court. Couch had boxed in the U.S. and claimed that she had had to turn down lucrative matches in the U.K. because women were not allowed to box professionally there. Two bouts between young women had taken place in amateur tournaments in England. Because of Couch's legal victory the British Board was required to grant professional licenses to women. FRANK BUTLER Canadian Football. The Calgary Stampeders won the Canadian Football League (CFL) championship by defeating the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 26-24 in the Grey Cup on November 22, when Mark McLoughlin kicked a 35-yd field goal on the game's last play. Calgary quarterback Jeff Garcia was the game's Most Outstanding Player. Hamilton rebounded from a 2-16 record in 1997 to a record of 12 wins, 5 losses, and 1 tie and a share of the Eastern Division title with Montreal, which it eliminated from the play-offs on a game-ending field goal. Western Division winner Calgary (12-6) led the league in total offense and rushing defense, while Montreal led in rushing offense, and Toronto led in passing offense and total and pass defense. Mike Pringle of Montreal won the CFL's Most Outstanding Player award, set records with 2,065 yd rushing and 13 consecutive 100-yd games, and tied his own record with 2,414 yd from scrimmage. Hamilton slotback Mike Morreale was the Most Outstanding Canadian, Hamilton linebacker Joe Montford was the Most Outstanding Defensive Player and led the league with 21 sacks and six forced fumbles, British Columbia cornerback Steve Muhammad was the Most Outstanding Rookie and interception leader with 10, and Calgary tackle Fred Childress was the Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman. Toronto slotback Derrell Mitchell's 160 catches set a league record, and Lui Passaglia of British Columbia kicked a league-high 52 field goals in his record 23rd season. KEVIN M. LAMB Billiard Games Carom Billiards. Dick Jaspers of The Netherlands won the 1997 Billiards Worldcup Association world three-cushion championship in a four-stop tournament series. Jaspers's two victories, the Turkish Open in Goynuk and the Belgian World Cup in Antwerp, earned him enough points for the overall title. Six-time world champion Torbjrn Blomdahl of Sweden won the tour's final stop, the International Dutch Open in Barendrecht, and finished the year in second place. Frdric Caudron of Belgium was the champion at the Wetsteijn Dutch Open World Cup in Oosterhout, which earned him third place overall. The 1997 United States Billiard Association (USBA) national three-cushion championship in New York City was won by Sang Chun Lee with a final points-per-inning (PPI) average of 1.492. The South Korean-born New Yorker shared high-run honours (12) and posted the event's best game (15 points in four innings, with a 3.75 PPI average). The 1998 USBA national championship also was won by Lee; it was his ninth consecutive U.S. championship. He averaged 1.478 PPI over the 13 games of the event. Carlos Hallon of Miami, Fla., finished second. The tournament PPI grand average was a record 1.002, the first time the 1.000 PPI level had ever been exceeded by the field as a whole. Lee, who was the world champion in 1993, also was a key player in a new three-cushion billiards promotional enterprise launched in 1998. The Carom Corner Tour (CCT), a five-stop series of tournaments around the U.S., guaranteed both larger prize funds and the presence of the popular Lee at all locations. Despite sanctioning squabbles with the USBA and some financial strains, the CCT drew the world's top players to all five well-attended events. Lee won the tour kickoff in Miami, as well as the fourth and fifth stops; Hallon took the second, and Blomdahl won the third in his only CCT appearance. A highlight of the fifth CCT stop (in Chicago) was young Turkish star Semih Sayginer's breaking of the 20-year-old U.S. tournament high-run record (19) with a finished run of 20. Pocket Billiards. "There's so much politics and animosity involved." Those words from veteran Buddy Hall of Kentucky spoke volumes about the status of men's professional pocket billiards in the U.S. in 1998. There seemed to be no end to the power struggles that had marked the past several years in the men's professional game. Indeed, by 1998 the two factions in the battle for control of the professional men's tournament circuit, the Professional Billiards Tour (PBT) and the Professional Cuesports Association (PCA), had apparently fought themselves into virtual extinction. The PBT had no sanctioned events in 1998; the PCA's calendar listed a few events, but none was dependent on PCA sanctioning. A veteran observer opined that "never have so many been led so far astray by so few in the quest of so little." That might prove to be a harsh assessment, but certainly neither group was a significant factor during the year. Without PBT or PCA tours, the players scrambled to find whatever competition was available. The first and biggest was the Camel Pro Billiard Series, which had evolved after repeated efforts by R.J. Reynolds's Camel brand cigarettes to promote an event in concert with the PBT failed. Already sponsoring several successful amateur events, Camel decided to offer a professional tournament series without the PBT's blessing. An eight-stop tour was the result, each event worth $60,000-$75,000 in direct prize money, with $300,000 in bonus prize money (based on performance points) to be awarded at year's end. Additional events and prize money were promised for the future. Camel was prevented by law from being a television sponsor, however, and since TV was considered by many to be the critical promotional vehicle in pool's effort to reach big-time-sport status, some grave concerns remained for players and fans alike. A few individual tournaments carried on bravely through it all, most notably the longest-running (and richest) such event in the country, the U.S. Nine-Ball Open. In the 23rd Open, in Norfolk, Va., Hall was the winner, pocketing $25,000. He also scored wins on the Camel tour (first stop), the Mali Florida tour, and the Mizerak Senior Tour (MST). The MST, in its second year, was a haven of peace amid the political tempest found at most other events. The Women's Professional Billiard Association (WPBA), meanwhile, continued to conduct its annual 12-stop WPBA Classic Tour with steadily increasing popularity, prize money, and television coverage. The primary beneficiary midway through the 1998 season was once again the transplanted English star Allison Fisher, who led the tour in both victories and earnings. In November she captured a record third consecutive World Pool-Billiard Association world nine-ball title Kunihiko Takahashi of Japan won the men's championship. Fisher also won Player of the Year honours for the second straight year; the men's Player of the Year was veteran Philippines star Jos Parica. CHESS In 1998 the chess world continued to be confused by the various rival claimants for the title of world champion. Viswanathan Anand of India, who won acclaim as the best player of the year after a series of convincing tournament victories, also won the British Chess Federation prize for Book of the Year when he produced an annotated collection of his best games. Paradoxically, Anand had lost in the Fdration Internationale des checs (FIDE) world championship in January to the defending FIDE champion, Anatoly Karpov of Russia, in the new knockout system, in which a loss eliminates the losing player from the competition. Anand emerged as the challenger to Karpov after an exhausting series of short, knockout matches played at Grningen, Neth., in December 1997. In the final of this series he defeated the best English player, Michael Adams, in an event in which the Russians did not show their usual superiority. The knockout system was a break with over a century of tradition, and its perceived unfairness was underlined for Anand when he had to travel to Lausanne, Switz., to meet Karpov with little time for recuperation. The challenger held the basic six-game contest to a 3-3 draw but lost the two-game tiebreaker 0.5-1.5. Meanwhile, Garry Kasparov, the undefeated former FIDE champion and the world's strongest player according to the international rating system, played very little. Kasparov had forfeited his title in 1993 over a dispute with FIDE concerning the location of the championship series with then-challenger Nigel Short of England. Kasparov and Short went on to found the rival Professional Chess Association, which Kasparov later left to form the "World Chess Council." In 1998 Kasparov suffered another reverse when his planned title match with Aleksey Shirov of Spain failed to take place in October after the financing plans collapsed. In the summer the controversial president of FIDE, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov of the Russian republic of Kalmykia, announced his candidacy for the Russian presidency. At the same time he was embroiled in turmoil over his plan to introduce an annual knockout FIDE world title system. The plan was resisted by Karpov on the grounds that his contract with FIDE stipulated that the winner of the 1998 Karpov-Anand match would hold the title for two years. Karpov's successful advocacy of his rights led to the cancellation of a planned world title knockout series in Las Vegas, Nev., late in the year. Since Karpov had an unsuccessful year apart from the Anand match, he was unable to resist the plan that he would have to enter this knockout, whenever it came to be organized, at a far earlier stage. Ilyumzhinov was involved in further controversy when human rights groups made attempts to persuade the 140 member countries of FIDE to boycott the main team event of the year, the World Chess Olympiad, scheduled to start in late September in Elista, the capital of Kalmykia. The event started late due to the failure to complete the new venue in time, but it attracted 110 teams to the main event, a Swiss-system contest shortened to 13 rounds to allow for the delay. The U.S. men led throughout but eventually lost to the Russian I team. The leading men's scores were Russia I (with 35.5 game points from a possible 52); the U.S. (34.5); Ukraine (32.5); Israel (32.5); China, Germany, and Georgia (tied with 31.5); Russia II and Hungary (tied with 31). A notable failure was that of England, often in the top six in recent years, but this time 11th (30.5). China scored a notable success in taking the gold medal in the women's section, followed by Russia and Georgia. The two main individual tournaments of the year were the traditional events at Linares, Spain, in February and at Tilburg, Neth., beginning in late October, shortly after the end of the Olympiad. The former, a double-round contest for seven players, was won by Anand (7.5 points out of 12), followed by Shirov (7), Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik of Russia (both 6.5), Peter Svidler of Russia (5.5), Vasily Ivanchuk of Ukraine (5), and Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria (4). The latter event, for 12 players, was also captured by Anand (7.5 points), with such favoured players as Kramnik and Adams finishing fifth and seventh, respectively. Nick de Firmian took the U.S. title at Denver, Colo., in November, while Short made a triumphant return to the U.K. championship in August to win the title after a tiebreaker with Matthew Sadler. Notable deaths during the year included Laszlo Szabo, the leading Hungarian player of the two decades after World War II, and Yefim Geller of Ukraine, who was one of the most dynamic Soviet players of the same period. Young talents who drew attention were Peter Leko of Hungary, aged 19, who finished second to Anand at Tilburg, and 15-year-old Ruslan Ponomaryov, who won the Ukrainian zonal in November. BERNARD CAFFERTY U.S. Football. College. The University of Tennessee won its first U.S. college football national championship since 1951 by defeating Florida State University 23-16 in the Fiesta Bowl at Tempe, Ariz., on Jan. 4, 1999. The game was the first ever to be designated before the season as the national championship game for the teams in Division I-A of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), but it was not the culmination of a championship tournament, as used in the NCAA's three other divisions. Instead, the two finalists were determined by the last regular-season rankings in the Bowl Championship Series Poll, which applied a mathematical formula to each top team's won-lost record, its opponents' aggregate won-lost record, and its ranking in established news media polls. Florida State (11-2) finished third in the final writers' and coaches' polls, ranking behind Southeastern Conference champion Tennessee (13-0) and Big Ten cochampion Ohio State (11-1). The regular season ended with Tennessee and Conference USA champion Tulane (12-0) both undefeated, but Tulane did not qualify for the Fiesta Bowl because its opponents were considered relatively weak. Two other teams entered the last weekend undefeated, but Pacific-10 champion UCLA and Kansas State lost their December 5 games, enabling Florida State to qualify for the championship game. Florida State, which tied Georgia Tech for the Atlantic Coast Conference title, was the highest ranked of six teams that finished the regular season with one defeat. Behind Florida State, the writers' poll ranked Arizona (12-1), Florida (10-2), Wisconsin (11-1), Tulane, UCLA, Georgia Tech, and Kansas State, which lost the Big 12 championship game to Texas A&M (11-3). The coaches' poll reversed the order of Wisconsin and Florida and ranked Kansas State ninth, followed by Western Athletic Conference (WAC) champion Air Force (12-1). Other Division I-A conference winners were Syracuse (8-4) in the Big East, Idaho (9-3) in the Big West, and Marshall (12-1) in the Mid-American, from which Miami (Ohio) was not invited to one of the 23 bowl games despite a 10-1 record. Ricky Williams of Texas won the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Award, both given to the most outstanding player, and the Doak Walker Award for the top running back, as he led Division I-A with 2,124 yd rushing and 27 touchdown runs. Dat Nguyen of Texas A&M was also a multiple winner with the top defensive player's Chuck Bednarik Award and the Vince Lombardi Trophy for the best lineman. The most prominent Coach of the Year awards went to Bill Snyder of Kansas State and Phillip Fulmer of Tennessee. Florida State's defense allowed only 214.8 yd per game and a passing efficiency rating of 79.9, both best in Division I-A, and ranked second in rushing yards and points allowed. Ohio State's per-game yield of 67.4 yd rushing was the best, and it finished behind Florida State in the three other main defensive categories. Wisconsin allowed the fewest points, 10.2 per game. The offensive per-game leaders were Kansas State with 48.0 points, Louisville with 559.6 total yards, Army with 293.8 yd rushing, and Louisiana Tech with 432.1 yd passing behind a quarterback and receiver who swept most of the individual categories: Tim Rattay led all passers with 4,943 yd passing, 46 touchdown passes, and 4,840 yd total offense, while Troy Edwards was the leader with 140 catches, 1,996 yd on receptions, 31 touchdowns, 188 points, and 2,784 all-purpose yards. Other award winners were Sebastian Janikowski of Florida State, the Lou Groza winner as best kicker and field-goal leader with 27; Michael Bishop of Kansas State, the Davey O'Brien winner as best quarterback; Kris Farris of UCLA, the Outland Trophy winner as best interior lineman; Chris Claiborne of Southern California, the Dick Butkus winner as best linebacker; and Antoine Winfield of Ohio State, the Jim Thorpe winner as best defensive back. Professional. The Denver Broncos capped a spectacular season with their second consecutive National Football League (NFL) championship, defeating the surprising Atlanta Falcons by a score of 34-19 in Super Bowl XXXIII on Jan. 31, 1999, in Miami, Fla. The Broncos' 38-year-old quarterback, John Elway (see BIOGRAPHIES), who was named the game's Most Valuable Player (MVP), passed for 336 yd, including an 80-yd touchdown pass to wide receiver Rod Smith, and ran for another touchdown. Although Denver's star running back, Terrell Davis, failed to score, he rushed for 102 yd in 25 carries. To reach the Super Bowl Denver defeated Miami 38-3 and staged a second-half comeback to beat the New York Jets 23-10. Atlanta defeated San Francisco 20-18 and then upset Minnesota 30-27 in overtime. All six divisions crowned new champions in 1998. Two of them, Atlanta and the Jets, joined the wild-card Arizona Cardinals in play-off seasons that ended years of frustration. Atlanta, the most improved team with a seven-game jump from 1997, won its first division title since 1980; the Jets won their first since 1969, and the Cardinals followed their first winning season in 14 years with their first play-off appearance since they played in St. Louis in 1982 and their first postseason victory since they played in Chicago in 1947. Pittsburgh missed the play-offs after qualifying for six consecutive years, leaving San Francisco alone with the longest streak at seven. It was a big year for older quarterbacks, and especially big for three veterans whose best seasons had seemed to be behind them. The NFL's top five passer ratings belonged, respectively, to Minnesota's 35-year-old Randall Cunningham, the Jets' Vinny Testaverde, 35; San Francisco's Steve Young, 37; Atlanta's Chris Chandler, 33; and Elway; followed by four more passers over 30 in the top 10. Cunningham had been out of football in 1996, Testaverde had been released by Baltimore after losing his starting job in 1997, and Buffalo's 10th-ranked Doug Flutie, 36, had spent the previous eight seasons in the Canadian Football League, where he won its Most Outstanding Player Award six times but did not erase the memory of four previous unimpressive NFL seasons. In other passing categories the league leaders were Young, who passed for 36 touchdowns, Cunningham with touchdowns on 8.0% of his attempts, Chandler with 9.65 yd per attempt, and Green Bay's Brett Favre with 4,212 yd and a 63.0 completion percentage that beat Carolina's Steve Beuerlein on the fifth decimal point. Favre also set a record with at least 30 touchdown passes for the fifth consecutive season. The veteran passers contributed to an offensive resurgence that was widely attributed to improved deciphering of complicated defenses. Minnesota and Denver became two of only six teams in history to score more than 500 points in a season. Minnesota, the third team ever to win 15 games, broke a 15-year-old league record with 556 points and led the league with 270.5 yd passing per game. San Francisco gained the second highest yardage total in history with 425.0 yd per game and also led the league with 159.0 yd rushing per game. Denver led the American Football Conference (AFC) in total and rushing yardage and in points, with 501. Limiting opponents' yardage was less predictive of success, as league defensive leaders San Diego (263.0 total yards per game and 71.3 yd rushing) and Philadelphia (170.0 yd passing) had losing records. Minnesota kicker Gary Anderson set NFL records with 164 kicking points and a 35-for-35 success on field goal attempts, which included a league-high 14 field goals from at least 40 yd and more than doubled the only previous perfect season of 17-for-17. Jason Elam's 63-yd field goal for Denver tied a 28-year-old record, Randy Moss of Minnesota led the league with a rookie record of 17 touchdowns on pass receptions, and Denver's Davis became the fourth 2,000-yd rusher with 2,008. Davis also led the league with 23 total touchdowns, 21 on runs, and 5.1 yd per carry with at least 100 attempts. Other offensive league leaders were O.J. McDuffie with 90 catches for Miami, Antonio Freeman with 1,424 yd receiving for Green Bay, and Marshall Faulk with 2,227 total yards from scrimmage for Indianapolis. Eric Moulds of Buffalo led the AFC with 1,368 yd receiving with an average of 20.4 yd per catch, Frank Sanders of Arizona was the leader in the National Football Conference (NFC) with 89 catches, and Jamal Anderson of Atlanta led the NFC with 1,846 yd rushing on 410 carries, a league record. The kick return leaders were Deion Sanders of Dallas, averaging 15.6 yd on punts, and Terry Fair of Detroit, 28.0 yd on kickoffs. Tennessee's Craig Hentrich led all punters with averages of 39.3 net yards and 47.2 gross yards. A new $17.6 billion television contract for eight years helped the league sell the expansion Cleveland Browns franchise for a record $530 million. The Browns would begin playing in 1999, three years after the original Browns moved to Baltimore as the Ravens. The Tennessee Oilers, two years removed from Houston, changed their nickname to the Titans for the 1999 season. In the Arena Football League's first network telecast on August 23, the Orlando Predators won the league's 12th championship game 62-31 over the Tampa Bay Storm. CONTRACT BRIDGE The 1998 world championships of contract bridge--with six open and women's (one invitational), two senior (over age 55), and four junior (under 26) world titles to be won--were held in Lille, France, from August 21 to September 4. The U.S. finished on top with the most medals (10), including the gold in women's pairs, won by Jill Meyers and Shawn Quinn. Italy finished second (7 medals) with the most golds (5), notably the men's team and the mixed pairs. Michal Kwiecien and Jacek Pszczola of Poland, who had been partners for five years, captured their first world championship, the open pairs title, and led Poland to third place overall (5 medals). The women's team event (the McConnell Cup) was won by Austria. The tournament was not without problems. Probably the worst mistake occurred in the movement of players from one table to the next in the open pairs final. Each of the 72 qualifying pairs was supposed to play two boards against every other pair. The error affected 40 pairs, including the second-place finishers, David Berkowitz and Larry Cohen of the U.S., who did not play against five pairs. They had to be given an average of their results on the other 132 deals. Arguably the most notable victory was by Boris Schapiro of the U.K., who captured the senior pairs with his partner, Irving Gordon. At 89 years old, Schapiro comfortably broke the record for the oldest contract bridge world champion. (The previous record was held by Waldemar von Zedtwitz, who was 74 when he won the world mixed pairs title in 1970.) Schapiro had previously won two other world titles: the Bermuda Bowl in 1955 and the mixed teams in 1962. Another event of interest happened during the invitational Par Contest, in which 12 difficult deals composed by Pietro Bernasconi of Switzerland were played by 30 men, 4 women, and GIB, a computer program written by Matt Ginsberg, a research professor of computer science at the University of Oregon. The contest was won by Am

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