Fears of NHL shut-down
Wayne Gretzky fears the NHL could be shut down for as long as two years if a labor deal is not reached soon. Gretzky, the NHL's all-time leading scorer and part owner of the Phoenix Coyotes, said an "even more alarming" scenario could await the league if the lockout is not settled in the next few days. "I'm scared we could be looking at a year, year-and-a-half, two years, not just three months like a lot of people thought back in September," Gretzky said at a news con-ference. The NHL board of governors is to meet on Jan. 14 in New York.
Tsunami victims honored
French and Italian footballers will show their solidarity with the victims of the Asian tsunamis this week, observing a minute's silence and collec-ting donations. All 64 clubs playing in the French Cup will pay tribute to the victims of the devastating tsunamis, the French football federation announced on Monday. "A minute's silence will be ob-served before kick-off at all games ... to show solidarity with the victims," the fed-eration said. Both Paris St. Germain and Marseille football clubs said they would collect donations for charities helping those affected by the disaster that has killed an estimated 150,000 people around the Indian Ocean.
De Lima enters marathon
Brazil's Olympic bronze medalist Vanderlei De Lima will take part in Japan's Lake Biwa Marathon in March, organizers said on Monday. De Lima chose the March 6 race as his first marathon since battling to third at the Olympics in August after being attacked by a crazed spectator while leading in Athens. The 35-year-old lost about 20 seconds after being shoved off the road by defrocked Irish priest with about 6km to run. Italian Stefano Baldini went on to win gold. De Lima, honored as Brazil's sportsman of the year by the Brazilian Olym-pic Committee (COB) last month, won the 1996 Tokyo Marathon.
■ Rally Racing
Gordon wins Dakar stage
American Robby Gordon won his second stage of the Dakar Rally and regained the overall lead on Monday's trek from Rabat to Agadir in Morocco. Gordon, who also won the first stage of this year's two-continent race, covered the day's 123km timed section of stage four in one hour, 14 minutes and one second in his Volks-wagen Touareg. Defending champion Steph-ane Peterhansel of France was second in his Mitsubishi in a time of 1:14.54, with France's Bruno Saby third in 1:15:09, also in a VW Touareg. Overall, Gor-don has a 59-second lead over Peterhansel and a lead of one minute, 14 seconds over Saby.