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Sports briefs


BUSH TO THROW 1ST PITCH: President Bush will throw out the first pitch Saturday at the championship game of Little League Baseball's Southwestern Regional tournament.

The winner of the game, to be played in Waco, Texas, will take one of 16 berths at the Little League World Series, which starts Aug. 18.

Bush, an avid baseball fan and a former owner of the Texas Rangers, played Little League in Midland, Texas, in the 1950s on a team called the Cubs.

Eight teams from the United States and eight international teams take part each year in the Little League World Series. So far, the teams that have qualified are: Guam, Japan, Curacao, Russia, Venezuela and Seguro Social, a team from Mexico.


MONTREAL MASTERS: Three-time champion Andre Agassi defeated Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden Wednesday to advance to the third round of the Montreal Masters tennis tournament on Wednesday.

The 35-year-old Agassi, seeded fourth and seeking his first victory in Canada since 1995, advanced to face Nicolas Kiefer of Germany in the round of 16 today with his 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 victory. Kiefer, a semifinalist last year, beat Taylor Dent of the United States 6-4, 6-4.

Meanwhile, former French Open champ Gaston Gaudio broke Danish veteran Kenneth Carlsen in the last game to win 3-6, 6-2, 7-5. And Montreal-born Greg Rusedski of Britain downed Max Mirnyi of Belarus 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (2) in a battle of big servers.

Track & Field

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: At Helsinki, Finland, Bryan Clay looks too small to be the "world's greatest athlete." Tianna Madison seems too young to be a world champion.

Both Americans were triumphant, though, on a cold, wet and windy Wednesday night at the world track and field championships.

Clay, at 5-foot-11 dwarfed by his mammoth opponents, defeated Olympic champion and world record holder Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic, 8,732 points to 8,521, to win the gold medal in the decathlon, 10 events completed in awful weather over two days.

Madison, a 19-year-old junior-to-be at Tennessee, soared to a personal-best 22-7 1/4 on her next-to-last attempt to win the women's long jump. Olympic bronze medalist Tatyana Kotova was second at 22-3 1/2. Eunice Barber of France, heptathlon silver medalist in Helsinki, was third with a wind-aided 22-2 1/4.