Meaning of YEAR IN REVIEW 2000: SPORTS-AND-GAMES in English

Skiing Alpine Skiing. In 1999 Lasse Kjus (see Biographies) and Kjetil Andre Aamodt, a pair of powerful Norwegian skiers whose friendship had dated from childhood, produced one of the tightest races in history for the men's World Cup overall championship. It lasted into the final race of the season, when Kjus outskied his boyhood chum in the giant slalom race on March 14 at Sierra Nevada, Spain. Kjus, who also finished as the 1999 World Cup downhill champion, finished 23 points ahead of Aamodt. The race for the women's World Cup title was hardly so competitive. Alexandra Meissnitzer of Austria dominated the women's tour, winning the giant slalom and supergiant slalom (super G) championships on her way to a huge 477-point margin of victory for the overall crown. The highlight moment of Kjus's remarkable season came on February 14, the final day of the world Alpine skiing championships at Vail, Colo. After he finished second in the men's slalom to the surprising winner, Kelle Palander of Finland, Kjus became the first skier to win medals in all five Alpine events since the world championship format was expanded in 1987. Kjus had begun his two-gold, three-silver haul on February 2, when he tied Austria's Hermann Meier for the super G gold medal in the closest ski race ever witnessed. The electronic timing caught both skiers in 1 min 14.53 sec-the first time a world championship race had ended in a dead heat-and only 0.01 sec separated the time of the gold medal winners from that of Hans Knauss of Austria, who finished third. Meier, the Winter Olympic and World Cup champion in 1998, struck gold again when he held off Kjus to win the downhill in Vail on February 6. Meier also won the super G title for the World Cup season but wound up third in the overall standings after some of his performances were limited by a back problem. Palander became the first Finn to win a medal in a recognized Alpine event when he finished 0.11 sec ahead of Kjus in the slalom. The other world championship gold medals went to Bruno Kernen of Switzerland in the downhill combined and to Aamodt for the combined slalom. Meissnitzer heightened her 1999 success by leading Austria's domination of the world championships. She led an Austrian sweep of the super G on February 3, capturing the first gold medal of her career. She came back eight days later to become the first Austrian woman in 37 years to win the world championship giant slalom. Austria got two other gold-medal performances, from Renate Gtschl in the downhill and downhill combined, and finished atop the women's medal standings with 13, four more than Norway. The U.S. team was shut out, and no other nation won more than two medals. On February 13 at Vail, Zali Skeggal of Australia shot through the women's slalom in not quite 94 sec to become the first skier from the Southern Hemisphere to win an Alpine championships gold medal. Nordic Skiing. The 43rd Nordic world championships were contested at Ramsau, Austria, on February 19-28 by more than 400 athletes from 35 nations. Mika Myllyla of Finland captured individual gold medals for the 30-km freestyle, the 10 km, and the 50-km classic and missed another gold medal by only half a ski length in the 15-km pursuit race. Stefania Belmondo of Italy won her first gold medal in six years in the women's 15 km. She also took the 10-km race but fell to eighth behind winner Bente Martinsen of Norway in the 5-km classic. Austria pulled off a major upset on February 26 when Christian Hoffman, with a desperate closing burst, beat Norway's Thomas Alsgaard on the last leg of the men's 4 10-km relay. Hoffman's effort was only 0.02 sec better than that of Alsgaard, but it gave Austria its first cross-country gold medal in a major competition and ended Norway's four-meet winning streak. Bjrn Dhlie of Norway finished the season with his sixth overall Nordic World Cup title, while Martinsen captured her first. Archery In this pre-Olympic Games year, 68 nations sent more than 550 archers to Riom, France, for the 1999 Fdration Internationale de Tir l'Arc (FITA) world target championships. As in the Olympics, this event was contested at 90-, 70-, 50-, and 30-m distances, with final head-to-head elimination rounds at 70 m (1 m=3.28 ft) in both the individual and team events. After windy conditions for the qualifying rounds, the weather improved for the finals, as did the scores. Catherine Pellen of France defeated Shish Ya-ping of Taiwan 113-109 for the ladies' compound championship, while Fabiola Palazzini of Italy outpointed Huang Chong-yu of Taiwan 114-111 to win the bronze medal. Dave Cousins of the U.S. won the men's compound gold medal by a score of 116-114 over Steve Gooden of Great Britain. The bronze medal was won by Tibor Ondrik of Hungary over Gerhard Kranabeter of Austria 118-112. In the ladies' recurve championship round, Kim Jo Sun of South Korea won the bronze, defeating Sang Lin of China, and Lee Eun Kyung of South Korea won the gold medal over Britain's Alison Williamson by shooting a 115 out of 120 in the final pass at 70 m. The recurve men's gold went to Chil Hong Sung of South Korea over silver medalist Jari Lipponen of Finland. The bronze was won by local favorite Lionel Torres, who defeated Yury Leontyev of Russia in a one-arrow shoot-off 9-8. Recurve team competition resulted in the Italian women's defeat of the team from China 240-234 for the gold medal, while the German team beat Ukraine for the bronze. The Italian men also won gold, defeating the South Korean team 252-247. The bronze medal was won by the American men, who defeated The Netherlands 250-242. In compound team competition, the American men defeated the Hungarians 258-249 to win the gold medal, and Britain outshot the Swedish team 255-251 to take the bronze. In the U.S. the National Field Archery Association outdoor championship returned to Watkins Glen, N.Y., for five days of competition. Joe Kapp posted the first-place score, 2,780, in the professional men's unlimited division. Michelle Ragsdale, with a score of 2,757, won the championship bowl in the pro women's unlimited division. Larry Wise Football Association Football (Soccer). Europe. Transfer fees continued to escalate in 1999, with the world record doubled in three years following the move of Christian Vieri, the Italian striker, from Lazio to Internazionale of Italy in June for 31 million (1 = about U.S. $1.66). Alan Shearer, whose 15 million transfer from Blackburn Rovers to Newcastle United in July 1996 had established a previous milestone, dropped to 11th place in the overall rankings. Lazio, which had paid just 17 million to the Spanish club Atltico Madrid for him in June 1997, had made a substantial profit on the Vieri transaction. In 10 years Vieri had played for 10 different teams. The second highest fee was paid by Real Madrid to Arsenal for the services of French striker Nicolas Anelka. He cost 23 million after prolonged discussions with Lazio had broken down during the summer months. Other leading transfers (all involving Italian clubs) included Marcio Amoroso, top goal scorer in Italy, from Udinese to Parma (18 million), Argentine midfield player Juan Sebastin Vern from Parma to Lazio (17.5 million), Ukraine striker Andriy Shevchenko from Kiev Dynamo to AC Milan (15.7 million), and forward Vincenzo Montella from Sampdoria to Roma (15.3 million). Not surprisingly, soccer was rated the 13th largest industry in Italy, with an estimated annual turnover of 3 billion. Qualification for the ninth European Football Championship engaged the attention of the Union des Associations Europennes de Football (UEFA) countries. One of the earliest to reach the finals-due to be held in 2000, with The Netherlands and Belgium as joint hosts-was the Czech Republic, with 10 successive victories in its group. The Czechs had been runners-up in the previous tournament in 1996 and had won the title 20 years earlier before Czechoslovakia was divided. Competition for the lucrative rights to be host of the 2006 World Cup finals interested politicians. In England the government brought pressure to bear on Manchester United, the FA Cup winner, to withdraw from defending its title in the 1999-2000 season in order to play in the Fdration International de Football Association's (FIFA's) newly inaugurated Club World Championship in Brazil, just to appease the world governing body in the hope of gaining the necessary approval to stage the World Cup. South Africa, Germany, Brazil, and Morocco were the other hopeful aspirants. There was consternation in Europe when FIFA's president, Joseph S. Blatter, announced the long-term intention to organize the World Cup every two years rather than four. At club level the 44th European Cup of Champion Clubs final produced the most dramatic climax in its history when Manchester United recovered to beat Bayern Munich 2-1 at the Nou Camp in Barcelona, Spain, on May 26. Though outplayed at times, United had the confidence borne of a run of 32 unbeaten matches in all domestic and European games. The Germans had led from the sixth minute through the play of Mario Basler and had twice struck the woodwork with the United defense torn apart. Basler's goal came from a curling free kick following a foul tackle by Ronny Johnsen on Carsten Jancker just outside the penalty area. Substitute Mehmet Scholl chipped the ball against an upright in the 79th minute, and five minutes later Jancker tried an overhead kick that hit the crossbar. A confident Bayern withdrew the experienced but tiring captain Lothar Matthus and even Basler in the final moments, only to see United to score twice in the three minutes of injury time, through substitutes Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjr. First, David Beckham's corner kick for United was only partially cleared. Ryan Giggs quickly returned the ball into the path of Sheringham, whose contact carried it on an unerring trajectory just inside the near post. Inside two minutes and from another Beckham corner, Sheringham headed on for Solskjr to stab the ball into the roof of the net. United, which had already won the FA Premier League and the FA Cup, thus achieved a unique treble with the European prize it had previously secured in 1968, before going on to defeat Palmeiro of Brazil 1-0 in the Intercontinental Cup. For the 39th and last Cup-Winners' Cup final, held at Villa Park in Birmingham, Eng., on May 19, Real Mallorca of Spain met Lazio. Vieri opened the scoring for the Italians in the seventh minute with a well-judged header, only to have Dani level the score four minutes later. Lazio had to wait until the 81st minute before it contrived the winning goal at 2-1, with Pavel Nedved, the Czech Republic international, scoring with a half-volley. Italy thus added to its comprehensive list of European honours, having seven days earlier taken the 28th UEFA Cup when Parma beat Marseille of France 3-0 in Moscow for its third European honour of the decade. The game proved a nightmare occasion for the French team captain, Laurent Blanc, who was at fault with all three goals. Already weakened by the absence of players through suspension, Marseille went a goal down in the 26th minute. Blanc's attempt at a back header merely found Hernan Crespo, who scored with a lob. Ten minutes later Blanc tried an interception, only to see the ball break to Diego Fuser, whose deep cross was headed in by Paolo Venoli. In the 55th minute the match was over as a contest when Blanc hesitated and allowed Enrico Chiesa to drive the ball home. With the demise of the Cup-Winners' Cup, the two remaining competitions were expanded to embrace 189 teams: 71 in the Champions League for the European Cup and 118 in the UEFA Cup. The conflict in Kosovo forced a shortening of the Yugoslav championship with 10 matches outstanding. Partizan Belgrade ended unbeaten on 66 points, just two points ahead of Obilic, the undefeated reigning champion. In Lithuania there was a close conclusion as Zalgiris took the title without losing a match, yet finished only one point ahead of Kareda. There was the same margin of success in Italy, where AC Milan took the Serie A title ahead of Lazio. In Scotland the new breakaway Premier League was won by the Rangers, taking its overall championship wins to 48. In Andorra, one of Europe's smallest outposts, the championship was won by Principat, which did not lose a game and scored 110 goals in the 22-match program. The continuing interest in women's football was never better illustrated than in the third FIFA Women's World Cup, held in the U.S. in June-July. Attendances surpassed the most optimistic expectations, and the opening game at Giants Stadium in New York was watched by a record 79,000 spectators. That figure was eventually overtaken in the final at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., on July 10 when an enthusiastic crowd of 90,185 saw the U.S. team, guided by the sport's top scorer, Mia Hamm (see Biographies), beat China 5-4 on penalty kicks after the match had ended goalless in overtime. The winning goal came from Brandi Chastain, who beat Chinese goalkeeper Gao Hong with the decisive kick after the U.S. goalkeeper, Brianna Scurry, had stopped a kick by Liu Ying. Australian Football. The North Melbourne Kangaroos won their fourth Australian Football League (AFL) premiership in 1999, beating Carlton by 35 points in the Grand Final, which was watched by a crowd of 94,228 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 25. The final score was Kangaroos 19.10 (124) to Carlton 12.17 (89). Kangaroos player Shannon Grant was voted best man on the ground and won the Norm Smith Medal. The finals again consisted of the top eight clubs, and Port Adelaide, which had joined the AFL in 1997, participated in the finals for the first time. Essendon, which had the best record (18-4) after the 22-game home and away series, was the favourite to win the premiership but was eliminated in a preliminary final by Carlton. Sydney Swans star goalkicker Tony Lockett broke the long-standing AFL goals record of 1,299 in June and retired at the end of the season with an aggregate of 1,357 goals kicked in 278 games. (See Biographies.) Other notable players to retire included Garry Lyon (Melbourne), Todd Viney (Melbourne), John Longmire (Kangaroos), Chris Mainwaring (West Coast Eagles), and Brett Heady (West Coast Eagles). The top individual award of the season went to Hawthorn captain Shane Crawford, who won the Brownlow Medal for the best and fairest player in competition, as adjudged by the field umpires. Greg Hobbs Badminton Because of a conflict with the Asian Games in December 1998, the $300,000 World Grand Prix Finals were postponed until February 1999. A select field of the world's best badminton players gathered for the sport's richest tournament, held in Brunei. Defending men's singles champion Sun Jun of China overcame world number one-ranked Peter Gade Christensen of Denmark, and Zhang Ning of China defeated teammate Dai Yun for the women's singles title. The All-England Championships, held in Birmingham in March, were markedly different from the previous year's event. In 1998 Chinese players dominated three of the five events, with South Koreans winning the other two. In 1999, however, competitors from five different nations emerged victorious. Women's world number one Ye Zhaoying of China defended her title, while Gade Christensen won the biggest title of his career by defeating Indonesian teenager Taufik Hidayat in the final. The English mixed doubles team of Simon Archer and Joanne Goode thrilled the home crowd with a final-round victory over Ha Tae Kwon and Chung Jae Hee of South Korea. The Indonesian team of Chandra Wijaya and Tony Gunawan took the men's doubles title, and South Korea's Ra Kyung Min and Chung Jae Hee captured the women's doubles crown. The world championships, held every other year, were held in Copenhagen in May. Fung Permadi of Taiwan shocked the home crowd with a stunning upset of Gade Christensen in the semifinals. Sun Jun then prevailed against Permadi in the final for his first world championship. In women's singles Camilla Martin of Denmark became a national heroine by defeating Dai Yun of China for her first world title. South Korea won two events; Kim Dong Moon won the men's doubles title with Ha Tae Kwon and the mixed doubles trophy with Ra Kyung Min. China's Ge Fei and Gu Jun continued their four-year supremacy when they easily defended their women's doubles crown. The Sudirman Cup, a world mixed-team event played every other year, was also held in Copenhagen. The Chinese team-winners in 1995 and 1997-continued to dominate the event with a final-round victory over Denmark. Donn Gobbie Baseball Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals and Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs, the two sluggers who shattered major league baseball's existing home-run records in 1998, staged a reprise in 1999, with 65 and 63 home runs, respectively. Offense overall throughout both the National League (NL) and the American League (AL) increased substantially; the total home-run output of 5,528 broke the previous year's mark of 5,064, and total runs were up by 6%. As a by-product, the average length of games rose six minutes to 2 hours 53 minutes. Major league attendance dropped slightly by 93,109 to 70,279,112, the first decrease since 1995. Bobsledding and Luge In October 1999 International Olympic Committee officials meeting in Athens, Greece, announced the addition of women's bobsled and men's and women's skeleton to the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. Skeleton, a head-first innovation of luge, had been in the Winter Olympics twice in the past (1928 and 1948), but women had heretofore never competed in bobsledding at the Olympics. American Jim Shea, Jr., the 1999 skeleton world champion, looked forward to representing not only the U.S. in Salt Lake City but also his family; his father, Jim Shea, Sr., was a 1964 Olympian in nordic combined and his grandfather, Jack Shea, was a double medalist in speed skating at the 1932 Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y. In 1998-99 World Cup competition, Shea finished the season ranked third. In women's bobsledding, brakeman Jen Davidson teamed with driver Jean Racine to win eight consecutive medals in World Cup competition during the season. The American duo earned five silver medals and three golds to finish the year ranked second in the women's competition behind the Switzerland I team of Franoise Burdet and Katarina Sutter. A gold medal in the final World Cup event in Knigssee, Ger., on February 7 cemented Sutter's number one-driver ranking for the year. Germany's Christoph Langen closed the 1998-99 bobsledding season with a silver medal in four-man bobsled at the World Cup finals in St. Moritz, Switz., securing the number one-driver title. He also won the two-man bobsled driver title and combined driver title. At the world championships in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, in February, however, Langen, with brakeman Markus Zimmermann, lost to rival Gnther Huber, with Ubaldo Ranzi, of Italy I by only 0.18 sec in the two-man event, and his team of Germany I slipped to sixth in the four-man, which was won by Bruno Mingeon's team, France I. Germany dominated the women's luge competition, with Silke Kraushaar, gold medalist at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan, capturing the World Cup overall title and teammates Sylke Otto and Barbara Niedernhuber mopping up second and third, respectively. Top honours at the luge world championships went to Germany's Sonja Weidemann. In men's luge, Austrian Markus Prock won his eighth World Cup overall championship, and Armin Zoeggeler of Italy captured his second world championship. Germany's hopes for a luge sweep crashed with rider Georg Hackl, who led the tour with three World Cup wins but lost that lead to Prock with a crash at the world championships. Prock also led Austria to the team world title. In doubles, American sleds finished first, fourth, and fifth in the World Cup standings. It was the third consecutive year the U.S. team captured the overall World Cup ranking, with defending champions Mark Grimmette and Brian Martin remaining the world's top doubles team, despite a disappointing third-place finish behind Patric Leitner and Alexander Resch of Germany at the world championships. Gavin Forbes Ehringer Boxing The most positive note in an otherwise disappointing year for boxing was the crowning of a new undisputed heavyweight champion on Nov. 13, 1999, when the World Boxing Council (WBC) titleholder, British/Canadian Lennox Lewis (see Biographies), defeated Evander Holyfield (U.S.), the World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) champion, in a lacklustre rematch in Las Vegas, Nev. The title had been split since December 1992 when then-unified champion Riddick Bowe (U.S.) relinquished the WBC title rather than fight Lewis, the organization's number one contender. An attempt to unify the three titles earlier in the year resulted in a 12-round draw between Lewis and Holyfield at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The controversy sparked by the decision, which most observers believed should have gone to Lewis, led to an inquiry by the New York State Senate Committee of Investigations. While the probe uncovered no wrongdoing, it did prompt the state of New York to adopt a stricter licensing procedure for boxing judges. The IBF at first denied Lewis that title in a dispute over the payment of a sanctioning fee but soon relented. Two-time former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson (U.S.) continued to have problems both inside and outside of the ring. In his first fight since his boxing license was reinstated by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Tyson knocked out Francois Botha (S.Af.) in the fifth round on January 16, in Las Vegas. Three weeks later, Tyson was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no-contest to charges he had assaulted two men following a minor automobile accident in Maryland. Tyson was released from the Montgomery County Detention Center after serving 31/2 months and returned to the ring in October against former WBA cruiserweight champion Orlin Norris (U.S.). The bout was ruled a no-contest at the end of the first round because Tyson hit Norris after the bell and knocked him down. Norris dislocated his right knee during the fall and was unable to continue. As referee Richard Steele ruled that the foul was accidental, Tyson was not disqualified or fined, but his stock as a major attraction fell another notch. Oscar de la Hoya (U.S.), boxing's biggest draw outside of the heavyweight division, lost the WBC welterweight title and his unbeaten record when he was outpointed over 12 tactical rounds by IBF champion Felix Trinidad (P.R.). The bout was the first non-heavyweight fight to register more than one million pay-per-view sales, with 1,250,000 households purchasing the telecast. The gross of $64 million made the Trinidad-de la Hoya bout the third highest pay-per-view event in history. The highly anticipated match turned out to be another disappointment when both Trinidad and de la Hoya boxed too cautiously to provide much excitement. Earlier in the year, de la Hoya had won 12-round decisions over Ike Quartey (Ghana) and Oba Carr (U.S.) in defense of the WBC title. The WBA welterweight belt was held by James Page (U.S.), who won the title by knocking out Andrey Pestryayev (Russia) and made three successful defenses, winning 12-round decisions over Jos Luis Lpez (Mexico) and Sam Garr (U.S.) and knocking out Freddie Pendleton (U.S.) in the 11th round. The light heavyweight championship was also unified when Roy Jones, Jr. (U.S.), already the holder of the WBC and WBA titles, won a 12-round decision over IBF champion Reggie Johnson (U.S.) in Biloxi, Miss., in June. David Reid, the only American to win a gold medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga., won the WBA junior middleweight title with a 12-round decision over Laurent Boudouani (France). Reid later outpointed Kevin Kelly (Australia) and Keith Mullings (U.S.) in two title defenses and appeared to be headed for a unification bout with IBF junior middleweight champion Fernando Vargas (U.S.). Vargas made two successful defenses in 1999, scoring a fourth-round technical knockout of Howard Clarke (U.K.) and an 11th-round technical knockout of Ral Mrquez (U.S.). Flamboyant Naseem Hamed (U.K.), the highest paid featherweight in boxing history, turned in a pair of prosaic performances in 1999. He struggled before stopping unheralded Paul Ingle (U.K.) in the 11th round and then won the WBC featherweight title with a 12-round decision over Csar Soto (Mexico) in an uneventful bout that was marred by illegal tactics. In the best action fight of the year, Paulie Ayala (U.S.) won the WBA bantamweight title with a 12-round decision over Johnny Tapia (U.S.) in Las Vegas. Tapia, who had previously held the IBF junior bantamweight title, was heavily favoured and unbeaten in 48 professional bouts going into the Ayala match. Ayala made his first successful defense by outpointing Sahoiu Sithchai Condo (Thailand) in another action-packed bout that boosted Ayala's reputation as a dynamic performer. Tony Ayala (U.S.), no relation to Paulie Ayala, made news when he returned to the ring at age 36 after serving more than 16 years in prison for sexual assault. In his first fight in nearly 17 years, Ayala, who had been the number one junior middleweight contender when he was incarcerated, scored a third-round knockout of Manuel Esparza (U.S.) on August 20. Two events in women's boxing captured the public's imagination. Laila Ali (U.S.), the 21-year-old daughter of former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, turned professional, winning three matches during the year. Margaret MacGregor (U.S.) won a four-round decision over Loi Chow (U.S.) in Seattle, Wash. The bout, approved by the Washington State Department of Licensing, was the first-ever sanctioned match between a man and a woman. A new scandal hit boxing when a federal grand jury in Newark, N.J., charged IBF Pres. Robert W. Lee with taking bribes from promoters and managers to manipulate the IBF rankings. Three others associated with the IBF, Robert Lee, Jr., Donald William Brennan, and Francisco Fernndez, were also indicted. In a landmark case, a High Court judge in London ruled that Michael Watson, who had lost half of his brain functions and was paralyzed on his left side as a result of injuries suffered in a bout with Chris Eubank eight years earlier, was entitled to damages from the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBC) because he did not receive "proper attention." The $1.5 million Watson was seeking could possibly bankrupt the BBBC. Nigel Collins Canadian Football. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats won the Canadian Football League (CFL) championship by defeating the Calgary Stampeders 32-21 in the Grey Cup on Nov. 28, 1999, at Vancouver, B.C. Hamilton quarterback Danny McManus, the season's Most Outstanding Player, won the same award for the championship game by completing 22 of 34 passes for 347 yd and two touchdowns to Darren Flutie, brother of former CFL star and current National Football League quarterback Doug Flutie. (See Biographies.) McManus led CFL passers with 5,318 yd and 28 touchdowns. Hamilton (11-7) was Eastern Division runner-up to Montreal (12-6) but led the league with 33.5 points scored and 20.4 points allowed per game, as well as 410 yd in total offense and 304 yd passing. The Tiger-Cats set a CFL record by allowing only 7 sacks, and their league leaders included Ronald Williams with 15 touchdowns, kicker Paul Osbaldiston with 203 points, Joe Montford with 26 sacks, Gerald Vaughn with 9 interceptions, and a defense that featured linebacker Calvin Tiggle, the league's Most Outstanding Defensive Player. The British Columbia Lions (13-5) won the Western Division with Jimmy Cunningham's 2,367 all-purpose yards leading the league and linebacker Paul Lacoste named Most Outstanding Rookie. Calgary (12-6) had receiving leader Allen Pitts with 97 catches and 1,449 yd and field-goal percentage leader Mark McLoughlin with a 48-for-59 (81.4%) record. Montreal's league leaders included Mike Pringle with 1,656 yd rushing and quarterback Anthony Calvillo with 10.4 yd per pass attempt, a completion percentage of 66.7, and a 108.3 efficiency rating, while tackle Uzooma Okeke was named Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman. Toronto linebacker Mike O'Shea was the Most Outstanding Canadian on a defense that allowed 271 yd total and 204 yd passing per game, the fewest in the league. Kevin M. Lamb Billiard Games Carom Billiards. After a one-year absence, Sweden's Torbjrn Blomdahl again assumed his familiar role as the world's best three-cushion player. The popular Blomdahl won his seventh Billiards Worldcup Association (BWA) title since 1988, finishing the last four stops of the BWA Tour with a rush and overcoming a substantial lead in standings points held by defending world champion Dick Jaspers of The Netherlands. Daniel Sanchez of Spain won the unified BWA/Union Mondiale de Billard world crown. In July Las Vegas, Nev., was the host city for the first Grand Prix three-cushion tournament on American soil in a decade, despite political turmoil and in-fighting between the collaborating Carom Corner Tour (CCT) and the U.S. Billiard Association (USBA) that still threatened the event mere months before it was to take place. The USBA president's resignation defused the situation, and to the relief of both players and fans, the Carl S. Conlon Memorial World Cup drew 140 players, thought to be the largest and almost certainly the best field ever assembled in the U.S. Scoring was exceptional, with the 32 finalists averaging 1.415 points-per-inning (PPI) in the unusual and nerve-wrenching single elimination format. Sang Chun Lee won five straight matches and averaged 1.625 PPI to capture the $6,500 first prize. The CCT's 1999 schedule attracted another world-class field to the U.S. in August in Chicago. A $45,000 purse was at stake, and the star-studded international field responded to the challenge with blistering scoring averages and scintillating high runs. Blomdahl, the runner-up, finished with the highest PPI grand average ever recorded in the U.S., a breathtaking 1.919 (despite three losses), and posted the tournament's high run of 18. It was Sang Chun Lee's flawless streak of 11 victories in a row, however, that gave him the title and the $6,500 first prize. The South Korean-born New Yorker had only slightly less-dizzying statistics than Blomdahl, with a 1.739 PPI average and a high run of 17. Lee also won an astounding and unprecedented 10th consecutive U.S. national three-cushion title. Pocket Billiards. In pocket billiards the year provided no relief for the embattled U.S. men's professional player organizations and their members as the seven-year-long struggle for control of the sport's top players and tournament-sanctioning rights continued. Oddly, neither of the major initial combatants in the squabbling, the Professional Billiards Tour (PBT) and the Professional Cuesports Association (PCA), seemed to be viable organizations any longer. For the second year neither body had a sanctioned tour, and no events were held that required (or were dependent on) sanctioning by either group. No acknowledgement of dissolution had come from either group, but veteran industry observers speculated that neither organization was likely to survive. That prospect was a bewildering one, since pocket billiards, both in the U.S. and worldwide, had been riding a strong wave of popularity for 10-15 years, and the Women's Professional Billiard Association had experienced steady increases in its tournament participation, purses, sponsorship, television exposure, and spectator attendance. The PBT, which had an arrangement with Camel cigarettes to sponsor several million dollars' worth of professional events over several years, lost that sponsorship and was reportedly suing Camel over the issue. Camel, meanwhile, continued the program on its own, dropping the PBT and seeking to avoid the PBT-PCA conflict by running the eight major events itself and letting the tournaments be open to everyone. In 1999, after two seasons of conducting that open tour program, Camel announced the discontinuance of the program. What remained for the players was a handful of independently produced tournaments about which they had nothing to say, over which they had no control, and-without the $860,000 Camel tour-offering about as much money as pool players had competed for in 1959. Even the Mizerak Senior Tour, hailed just a year earlier as a "haven of peace amidst the political tempest found at most other events," was in 1999 publicly accused of monetary irregularities and mismanagement by a faction of players. Though evidently the accusations were not proved, their effect on the tour's future was potentially damaging. The World Confederation of Billiards Sports, a group of billiard and snooker supporters seeking inclusion of the cue sports in the Olympics, made significant progress in 1999. The body gained official recognition by the International Olympic Committee as an official sponsoring federation. The International World Games Association (IWGA) also accepted four cue sport disciplines to be contested in the IWGA VI World Games, to be held in Japan in 2001. Men's pocket billiards, snooker, and caroms, as well as women's pockets, were scheduled to be played. In December 1998 international team pocket billiards competition at the Mosconi Cup in London-the "greatest spectacle in Nineball"-Team U.S.A. turned back Team Europe in a thrilling 13-9 match. The 1998 Player of the Year awards went to both Francisco Bustamante and Buddy Hall among the men, while English star Allison Fisher won the women's title for the third straight year. Chess Garry Kasparov of Russia, the undefeated former world champion under the Fdration Internationale des checs (FIDE), the world ruling body, proved that he was by far the strongest player in the world with three excellent tournament victories in the first half of 1999, but he refused to take part in the official knockout title contest arranged by FIDE in the U.S. in the summer. This reinforced the ongoing difficulty of answering the question: "Who is the world chess champion?" Another former world titleholder under FIDE, Anatoly Karpov of Russia, had delayed the arrangements for the knockout contest in Las Vegas, Nev., by claiming that he had a contract with FIDE that guaranteed him a clear two-year reign on the chess throne dating from his victory over Viswanathan Anand of India in January 1998. This provision ruled out any contest in late 1998. Karpov objected to the July-August 1999 arrangement in Las Vegas on the grounds that FIDE had not consulted with him as per his contract; he claimed damages for this and the possible effects of lost income due to the cancellation of his tournament appearances during those months. The release by FIDE on the Internet of a draft letter of reconciliation, purportedly signed by him but which Karpov claimed he had not even seen, led to frosty relations. Karpov's claims were being studied by a Swiss court in late 1999. Kasparov had undermined his own position in the ongoing world title dispute by replicating his 1998 failure to play a scheduled World Chess Council (WCC) match against a logical challenger. Just as his match with Spanish challenger Aleksey Shirov fell through in 1998 due to lack of financial support in Spain, so, too, did an arrangement to play Anand in Prague, New York City, or London in October-November 1999. This arrangement induced Anand not to compete at Las Vegas, but unlike Shirov, who had received no money, Anand was reported to have received compensation for his signature on a contract to meet Kasparov in a 16-game contest for a $3 million purse. Continuing claims in the summer that the contest was a "done deal" dealt a blow to WCC prestige, though prospects were still held out that the match might take place in 2000. Kasparov's win of the Wijk aan Zee, Neth., tournament in January was very impressive. He scored 10 points out of 13, half a point ahead of Anand. At one stage Kasparov's margin of victory looked likely to be greater, but a ninth-round loss to Ivan Sokolov of Bosnia and Herzegovina held him back. Then at Linares, Spain, in February-March, he scored 10.5 points out of 14 in a double-round contest to finish two and a half points ahead of Russia's Vladimir Kramnik and Anand. He was less impressive at the Sarajevo, Bosnia, tournament, in May, which ended with Kasparov taking 7 points out of 10, ahead of Yevgeny Bareyev of Russia and Shirov (both 6) and Alex Morozevich of Russia (5.5). After all the controversy, the 100 qualifiers at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, where the first round began on July 31, lacked Kasparov, Karpov, Anand, and Morozevich among the world's elite players. All the seeded players were eliminated earlier than expected, leaving the last four to be called "chess tourists" by Kasparov on his World Wide Web site in view of their low standings on the international rating list. The ultimate winner was 33-year-old Aleksandr Khalifman from St. Petersburg, Russia, who defeated the Armenian Vladimir Akopyan 3.5-2.5 in the final. Khalifman described himself as a semi-amateur, who was more interested in the chess school he ran in his native city than in being active on the international circuit. In any event, the planned FIDE annual contest along knockout lines could throw up other unconvincing winners, but it might help to break the closed shop that had developed in recent years, as no one outside the top 20 in world rankings stood a chance of being invited to elite tournaments. The pattern of the future was probably shown by the Microsoft Corp.-sponsored game "Kasparov versus the Rest of the World," played on the Internet at a rate of one move per day. The competition began in June and lasted longer than expected, until October 23. The response exceeded expectations, but the game was not free from controversy at the end, as a move suggested by Irina Krush, the most impressive of the four moderators advising the Rest, was not posted in time. Two of the moderators withdrew before the majority vote of the World to resign after 62 moves. Meanwhile, Xie Jun of China regained the FIDE women's title, defeating Alisa Galyamova of Russia 8.5-6.5. Defending champion Zsuzsa Polgar of Hungary refused to acknowledge the match and threatened to schedule a competing championship. Polgar, who had taken the championship from Xie Jun in 1996 and had made herself available for a defense in 1998, was stripped of the title by FIDE after she requested a six-month delay in her defense following the birth of her son in February 1999. Chess publishing continued to flourish during the year, and reprints of classic pre-1914 magazines delighted collectors. The British Chess Federation "book of the year" award went to American author John Watson for his Secrets of Modern Chess Strategy-Advances since Nimzowitsch. Nunn's Chess Openings, a 544-page work with analysis checked by computer programs, was also a tour de force. Bernard Cafferty U.S. Football. College. Florida State University won the national championship of college football for Division I-A of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) by defeating Virginia Tech 46-29 behind Peter Warrick's 20 points in the Sugar Bowl at New Orleans on Jan. 4, 2000. The victory was the second in four championship games since 1993 for Atlantic Coast Conference winner Florida State (12-0). Big East winner Virginia Tech (11-1) and 10th-ranked Marshall were the only other undefeated teams in the regular season, but Marshall's Mid-American Conference affiliation kept it from serious consideration in the Bowl Championship Series formula that determines the championship game opponents. Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer was voted Coach of the Year in most polls. The writers' poll ranked Virginia Tech second, followed by Big 12 champion Nebraska (12-1), Big Ten champion Wisconsin (10-2), Michigan (10-2), Kansas State (11-1), Michigan State (10-3), Southeastern Conference champion Alabama (10-3), and Tennessee (9-3). The coaches' poll ranked Nebraska ahead of Virginia Tech. Other Division I-A conference winners were Stanford (8-4) in the Pacific 10, Southern Mississippi (9-3) in Conference USA, and Boise State (10-3) in the Big West. The new Mountain West Conference (MWC) broke away from the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), and each had a three-way tie for first place, with 9-3 Utah of the MWC defeating 8-5 Fresno State of the WAC 17-1

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