Becker's injury puts Edberg in No. 1...

Becker's injury puts Edberg in No. 1 spot

Stefan Edberg regained the No. 1 world ranking yesterday despite losing his semifinal match in the Donnay Indoor Championship, after defending champion Boris Becker was forced to withdraw from the other semifinal because of injury.


Guy Forget overcame Edberg, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3, joining wild card entrant Andrei Cherkasov of the Soviet Union in today's final at Brussels, Belgium. Cherkasov and Becker were tied at one set each and 2-2 when Becker retired with a thigh strain.

Becker's injury assured that Edberg would regain the top spot in the world rankings, after he lost it to the German last month following the Australian Open.


Richard Evans, ATP director of communications, said Edberg became the No. 1 player again following Becker's withdrawal. Despite being defeated, Edberg moved back into the No. 1 position by 17 points, according to Evans.

* Top-seed Martina Navratilova defeated Helena Sukova, 6-3, 6-2, in the semifinals of the Virginia Slims of Chicago tennis tournament. In today's final, Navratilova will meet the fifth-seeded Zina Garrison, who defeated unseeded Helen Kelesi, 6-1, 6-2, in last night's other semifinal.

Navratilova also made it to the doubles finals. She teamed up with Lutherville's Pam Shriver to beat Soviet Leila Meskhi and Czechoslovakia's Andrea Strnadova, 6-4, 6-2.

* Top-seeded Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere and Czechoslovakia' Petra Langrova both came back from opening-set losses to win semifinal matches yesterday in the Grundig women's tournament at Linz, Austria. Maleeva-Fragniere defeated Regina Rajchrtova of Czechoslovakia, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, and Langrova beat fifth-seeded Claudia Kohde-Kilsch of Germany, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4. British Commonwealth foreign ministers decided to continue sanctions against South Africa despite calls from two of the organization's biggest nations to begin lifting the sports boycott.

Britain and Australia have called in recent days for a gradual end to the sports isolation imposed against South Africa because of its system of racial separation.

The meeting of the Commonwealth committee came one day after the International Olympic Committee sent its first envoy to South Africa since the early 1970s.


Dwight Gooden's agent said Friday that the Mets had informed him that the organization was not prepared to use Roger Clemens' recent blockbuster contract as a guideline for its contract-extension negotiations with Gooden. The agent said the team's stance had left him less than optimistic that a deal could be worked out before the opening of spring training next week. "And then, Dwight has maintained throughout, all bets are off," said Jim Neader, the representative for Gooden.


Gooden, one of the game's premier pitchers and the right-handed ace of the staff for the Mets, has a year left on his current contract with the club at $2.25 million a year.


Track and field

Ben Johnson escaped with a narrow victory, leaning across the finish line to edge a close field in the 60 meters at the Canadian indoor championships at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Johnson accelerated steadily to clock a time of 6.65 seconds, short of the Canadian record of 6.61 and nowhere near the world record of 6.48 set by Leroy Burrell on Wednesday in Spain.


Pat LaFontaine has told the New York Islanders that he wants to be traded rather than re-sign, according to a story published yesterday. LaFontaine, 25, who had 32 goals and 66 points in 54 games going into last night's game against Pittsburgh, makes $425,000 a year. He has been seeking a $1.5 million contract although his current agreement doesn't run out until after next season and contains an option year.


However, the NHL's new collective bargaining agreement may contain new clauses that would liberalize free-agent rules and give LaFontaine some leverage for a trade. The NHL trading deadline is March 5.


College gymnastics

Freshman Kim O'Keefe of Towson State took first place in the all-around with a score of 38.15 to lead the 15th-ranked Tigers to their sixth straight Towson State Invitation women's gymnastics championship with a meet-record total of 188.40 at the Towson Center. It was the second-highest total in school history.

Anne Sugden was second in the all-around with 37.35 for Towson State, which was without its sophomore star Gabby Linarducci, who has a back injury.

College wrestling


Pins by Rob Holmberg at 190 and Brett Bourne at heavyweight broke a tie and helped 16th-ranked Navy to a 27-15 win over 20th-ranked North Carolina. After losing at 118, the Midshipmen picked up major decisions from Mark Smith at 126 and Kelly Davis at 134 to open a 9-3 lead. Navy is 17-2; North Carolina is 13-7.

College swimming

The Navy swimming team started strong but host Columbi finished strong to defeat the Midshipmen, 136-106. Navy (3-8) won the first four events, but won just one of the final eight events. Individual winners for Navy included Eric Winter in the 1,000 free (9:36.17), Nick Olivier in the 200 free (1:41.30), Tyson Lewis in the 50 free (:21.41), and Brad Juhl in the 200 back (1:56.00).


Peter Senior birdied the 18th hole to share the third-roun lead with Greg Norman in the Australian Masters at Melbourne, Australia. Senior shot a 4-under-par 69 on the 6,955-yard, par-73, Huntingdale course to equal fellow Australian Norman's 11-under-par 208 total.

Senior has carded rounds of 68-71-69 and six-time winner and defending champion Norman has shot 70-67-71.




Joe Levins gave the Midwest region its first men's national champion in 12 years, pacing both runs of the men's slalom in the U.S. Alpine Ski Championships at Crested Butte, Colo.