Thu, 25 Aug 1994

Favorite horses enter top race

JAKARTA (JP): The second series of the 28th Soeharto Cup will see top favorite racing horses from Jakarta, North Sulawesi, West Java and Central Java in a fierce battle to help decide the winner of the trophy.

Thunderbird and Krisna from West Java, Jakarta's Robinhood champion of this year's Indonesian derby and Benfica from North Sulawesi, have been tipped favorites for the 2,000 meter race, one of eight races scheduled for Sunday at the Pulo Mas track, East Jakarta.

Jakarta took the commanding lead by racking up 27 points after the first series held on July 24, followed by West Java with 18pts for second place. Third was North Sulawesi with 16 points.

Sunday's races offer 138 points up for grabs split into eight races. The Jakarta team has won the annual race for the last two years. (rsl)

Romario back in Barcelona

BARCELONA (AFP): Brazilian World Cup striker Romario arrived here Tuesday asking Barcelona supporters to forgive him for failing to report for training three-weeks ago.

Romario ignored the deadline in order to extend his holiday after helping Brazil to victory in the USA World Cup in July.

He flew out Monday from Rio de Janeiro saying "What I really want is to come back to Brazil, to Rio, as quickly as possible." But on arrival he asked fans to "forgive" him and said he would meet coach Johan Cruyff to discuss the problem today.

Voeller signs for Bayer Leverkusen

BONN (AFP): Veteran German international Rudi Voeller is to sign a two-year contract with Bayer Leverkusen.

Voeller, 34, is quitting troubled French club Olympic Marseille in a US$323,000 transfer deal.

Voeller, with 90 caps, asked for a move when the French club was relegated following a match-fixing scandal last season.

Rio intends to bid for 2004 games

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuter): Rio de Janeiro intends to bid to host the 2004 Olympics and could build an Olympic enclave, cut off from the rest of the city, to avoid exposing competitiors and visitors to the city's notorious crime-rate, mayor Cesar Maia said.

Rio's proposed bid won the backing of the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB) at a meeting on Tuesday.

The COB had been due to choose between Rio and Brasilia for a bid to present to the International Olympic Committee, but Brasilia withdrew without a vote.

Lebow enters Hall of Fame

NEW YORK (Reuter): Running guru Fred Lebow, who has been battling brain cancer for the past four years, on Tuesday was inducted into the U.S. National Track and Field Hall of Fame ahead of schedule.

U.S. athletics officials decided to forgo the usual procedure and induct Lebow immediately, rather that wait for the September 12 balloting and formal induction ceremony in December in St Louis.

"We thought the timing was good in light of Fred's health and we thought it was in his best interest to have it at this time," Larry Ellis, president of USA Track and Field, said at the ceremony honouring for the 62-year-old New York City Marathon director.

Almsick ready for Rome

BERLIN (Reuter): Franziska van Almsick, Germany's six-time European swimming gold medallist, said on Tuesday she is ready for next month's world championships in Rome but would not predict any world records for herself.

The 16-year-old van Almsick told the Berlin Foreign Journalists Club the competition has increased considerably since she won two silver medals and two bronze medals at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

"I had a very successful training camp in Mexico and the training continues to progress very well," she said of her recent 80-km (50-mile) per week training regimen.