Klitschko goes on offensive
Ukrainian boxer Vitali Klitschko, who says he would have beaten Lennox Lewis in last month's world heavyweight title fight if it had not been stopped, has pledged to resume training in two months for a rematch. Briton Lewis said on Wednesday he was ready to give Klitschko a rematch, tentatively set for Dec. 6, and the Ukrainian said he could start training again by September. "I will just stay and relax in Ukraine until September, then I will go wherever I have to, depending on where the rematch will take place. I always train in the same city as I fight," Klitschko said in the Russian daily Izvestia on Thursday.
Death linked to heart attack
Heart problems could have caused the sudden death of a soccer player during training, local press reported on Thursday. Maximiliano Patrick Ferreira collapsed during practice with his Botafogo de Ribeirao Preto club on Wednesday, and couldn't be revived by medics in a chilling repeat of the death of Cameroon midfielder Marc-Vivien Foe last week during the semifinals of the Confederations Cup in France. "What must have happened ... was an arrhythmia or a severe heart attack, due to a lack of oxygen in the brain," said Dr. Dayr Kiomizu Kazava of the Legal Medicine Center.
■ Rugby Union
All Black denies split
All Blacks coach John Mitchell denied yesterday he has a "personal conflict" with Christian Cullen, who is quitting New Zealand to play rugby in Ireland. Mitchell told the New Zealand Herald that Cullen's non-selection for the All Blacks this season was based on technical, not personal issues. "He is a fantastic bloke, a great guy and there is no personal conflict," Mitchell said. Cullen, New Zealand's most-capped fullback and leading tryscorer in tests, Thursday confirmed he had signed a three-year contract with the Irish club Munster.
■ Motor racing
Tracy takes initiative
Paul Tracy, CART's season series points leader, won the provisional pole during the first day of qualifying at the CART Cleveland Grand Prix, which will be run at night for the first time in 22 years. Tracy, who won the season's first three events, turned a lap in 58.40 seconds, nearly one-half second ahead of his Players' teammate and defending champion Patrick Carpentier (58.86). Rookie Sebastien Bourdais was third (59.16). By winning the provisional pole, Tracy picked up one point in the standings -- his 100th -- and is guaranteed a front-row start today when drivers will be running under temporary lights set up along the course.
Rockies close escalators
The Colorado Rockies shut down all their stadium escalators for Thursday's night's game, one day after a three-story-high escalator apparently malfunctioned and tossed dozens of screaming baseball fans into a heap. At least 32 people were injured, and nine remained hospitalized, authorities said on Thursday. Assistant Fire Chief Larry Trujillo said most injuries were fractures, cuts and bruises, and none appeared to be critical. "It's like it had no brakes and everybody was just piling up at the end of it,'' said Cherri Brownfield, who was on the escalator Wednesday night Inspectors who looked at the escalator after the accident found nothing to explain what happened.
Turbo trio out in front
South African Retief Goosen was one of three players to break the course record on the revamped K Club `North' course on Thursday in the first round of the European Open. Goosen, aiming for a third successive European order of merit, joined Scotland's Alastair Forsyth and Welsh Ryder Cup hero Phillip Price on 66. On a congested leaderboard, one of the tournament favorites, Darren Clarke, is tied for fourth place, while another, Colin Montgomerie, is two shots off the pace. Defending champion Michael Campbell is four shots behind. Clarke had to compose himself after hitting his playing-partner Stephen Leaney's pregnant wife Tracey on the head with his tee shot at the 11th. She recovered with no ill effects and a relieved Clarke went on to collect three birdies in the next four holes.