Wed, Sep 01, 2004 - Page 19 News List

Sports Briefs


■ OlympicsMarathon spoiler fined

An Athens court on Monday slapped a 3,000-euro (US$3,700) fine on the Irish-born former priest who disrupted the Olympic men's marathon by pushing the race leader into the crowd. The flagrant crimes court convening in Athens also barred Cornelius Horan, 57, from attending any sport events in Greece for three months. A 12-month prison sentence against Horan was suspended for three years. He paid the fine and was released. Horan told the court he wanted to announce the Second Coming of Jesus and did not intend to obstruct the marathon's Brazilian race leader Vanderlei de Lima. The Irishman, who now lives in London and has staged a number of demonstrations at high profile events, apologized for the incident and said he would not repeat it again. Horan was wearing a red kilt and green waistcoat when he bundled into de Lima. He carried a placard saying "The Grand Prix Priest. Israel Fulfilment of Prophecy Says The Bible. The Second Coming is Near." De Lima managed to rejoin the race but was passed 5km later by Italian Stefano Baldini and finished in third place. He was later awarded a fair-play medal by the International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge in front of hundreds of millions of television spectators during the Games' closing ceremony. Describing himself as "a Catholic priest on sabbatical," Horan was jailed for two months last year for a dangerous protest at the British Grand Prix when he ran out on the track and forced Formula One drivers to swerve to avoid him.

■ Rugby

Woodward wants soccer job

England coach Clive Woodward has stunned the rugby and football establishment after it was reported he is looking to walk away from rugby to become a football coach. According to the Daily Mail, Woodward, who has been England's rugby coach for the past seven years and led them to World Cup victory over Australia last November in Sydney, is hoping to gain a foothold in the English football scene so that he can one day lead the national team. The newspaper claims that 48-year-old Woodward would speed up a remarkable and unprecedented switch of sports by gaining "elite work experience" with a Premiership soccer club early next year. And that, they suggest, would open the door for bigger things, possibly landing a major role with the England football squad. Woodward's existing Rugby Football Union contract expires after the 2007 World Cup, when England will defend the Webb Ellis Trophy they won in Australia last autumn. Woodward has been in charge of England for 83 Tests, winning 59 games and culminating in the World Cup triumph.

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