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October 16, 1997

MUNICH, Germany (AP) _ And now, the ultimate fan article _ a coffin in your favorite team’s colors.

A funeral company has begun offering coffins in colors of Germany’s soccer clubs _ if fans want to stay true to their favorite team even after the ``final whistle,″ as the company put it.

The Ahorn company, which has 80 outlets nationwide, said it came to the idea when a fan of Bayern Munich demanded that his coffin be painted in team colors.

``Demand for individual coffin designs is growing all the time,″ the company said.

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Yoneyama leads by two strokes in Golf Digest

SUSONO, Japan (AP) _ Tsuyoshi Yoneyama tied the course record of 9-under-par 62 Thursday to take a two-stroke lead in the opening round of the $829,000 Golf Digest tournament.

Yoneyama, who has never won a tournament in 10 years as a pro, one-putted eight holes and sank 10 birdies against a lone bogey en route to his best finish.

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Gazza could be headed back to England

LONDON (AP) _ Paul Gascoigne is ready to leave Glasgow Rangers and return to English soccer, with Aston Villa heading the list of clubs seeking to sign him.

Rangers chairman David Murray said several English clubs have shown an interest in the 30-year-old England midfielder.

Newspaper reports Thursday said Aston Villa has made an offer of $6.4 million for Gascoigne. Tottenham, his former club, and Everton were also reportedly interested.

Gascoigne was one of England’s stars in the 0-0 tie in Italy last Saturday that clinched an automatic berth in next year’s World Cup finals. He joined Rangers from Italian club Lazio in May 1995 and has played a major part in their last two Scottish league championships.

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Pakistan, Spain in 1-1 draw with two disallowed goals

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) _ Danish Kaleen scored to give Pakistan a 1-1 draw with Spain in a controversial match Thursday at the Champions Trophy field hockey tournament.

Pakistan had two goals disallowed in the last eight minutes of the match. On the first, Naveed Alam’s goal on a penalty corner was disallowed when umpires ruled that the shot hit the outer crossbar of the net. A subsequent television replay showed it hit the inner bar and should have been ruled a goal.

Four minutes later, umpires ruled that a shot into the goal had gone in off a Pakistan player’s foot and not his stick. The goal was disallowed.

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Italian striker apologizes after red card offense

LONDON (AP) _ Gianluca Vialli, Chelsea’s Italian striker, promised Thursday never to lose control again after being sent off for the first time in his English soccer career.

Vialli received a red card for elbowing Swiss defender Stephane Henchoz in the face during extra time of Chelsea’s third-round League Cup game against Blackburn on Wednesday night.

``I deserved to go,″ he said. ``I used my elbows and that is not acceptable. At my age (33), I should know better, and it will not happen again. Now I have to wait to see what my punishment is.″

Possible sanctions include a fine and three-match ban.

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Bortolami takes Piedmont race in sprint finish

TURIN, Italy (AP) _ Luca Bortolami outsprinted fellow Italian Paolo Lanfranchi to win the Tour of Piedmont cycling race Thursday.

Bortolami, who rides for the Festina team, completed the 124-mile route in and around the northern industrial city of Turin in 4 hours, 34 minutes, 40 seconds.

Lanfranchi crossed the line two seconds behind, and another Italian, Biagio Conte of the Scrigno team, was 23 seconds back for third place.

Mapei’s Lanfranchi had his second near-miss in two days after finishing third behind Laurent Jalabert and Alex Zulle in the Milan-to-Turin road race Tuesday.

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Chinese women weightlifters continue breaking records

SHANGHAI, China (AP) _ Wei Xiangyin broke three world records, two of them her own, to win the 83-kilogram weightlifting division at China’s 8th National Games Thursday.

Wei lifted 302 pounds (137.5 kilograms) in the snatch and 341 pounds (155 kilograms) in the jerk for a combined 643 pounds (292.5 kilograms), the official Xinhua News Agency said.

The snatch and two-lift total broke the records she set in May 1996 of 242 pounds (110 kilograms) and 533 pounds (242.5 kilograms). The previous jerk record in the division was 298 pounds (135.5 kilograms), Xinhua said.

Wei’s feat continued a string of record-breaking exploits by women lifters at the games. Earlier Thursday, Yue Pingtian took the 76-kilogram division by snatching 275 pounds (125 kilograms) and jerking 341 pounds (155 kilograms) for a total 616 pounds (280 kilograms) _ all records.

As if to allay concerns about lax or sporadic drug testing at the current National Games, Xinhua reported separately Thursday that two women weightlifters were disqualified for ``unfair behavior″ over the anti-doping checks.

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Investor extends deadline for Dayton baseball

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) _ Investor Sherrie Myers has extended her deadline for Major League Baseball’s decision on whether to allow her to bring a minor league team to Dayton.

Myers said Thursday she will wait until Oct. 24 to hear from the league. She said talks with league officials that went late into the night Wednesday left some things unresolved. Wednesday had been Myers’ deadline.

``I feel like it would be irrational to just draw the line without giving them a chance to continue to work on this,″ Myers said. ``I’m really very hopeful that the project will move forward.″

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