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Sports Shorts

January 2, 1993

DURHAM, England (AP) _ Olympic 10,000 meter champion Derartu Tulu broke away from a field that included silver medalist Elana Mayer of South Africa to win an international cross country race by some 40 yards Saturday.

It was the first time since the Olympics that the Ethiopian had raced against Meyer. And in icy, misty conditions, Tulu scored a comfortable victory in the 5.2-kilometer race.

Tuly finished ahead of Britain’s Paula Radcliffe, the world junior cross country champion, with Meyer a distant third. The Ethiopian clocked 16 minutes 23 seconds, Radcliffe timed 16:29 and Meyer had 16:40.

American Lynn Jennings, the world cross country champion who won the Olympic 10,000-meter bronze medal, had to pull out of the race on Thursday. Soon after arriving in Durham, she required an apendectomy.

Fita Bayesa, bronze medalist in the men’s Olympic 5,000 meters, made it an Ethiopian double when he broke away from the field to win an 8-kilometer race by some 60 yards. ---

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Tom Benson is now sole owner of the New Orleans Saints franchise in the National Football League.

Until a buyout completed Thursday, Benson owned 51.5 percent of the franchise. Benson declined to comment, a team spokesman said Friday.

But Saints general manager Jim Finks said the sale is ″a done deal.″ The sale included Finks’ 3.75 percent share.

Finks said Benson has no intention of either selling the franchise or moving it to another city.

″He is as enthusiastic about owning the Saints as he’s ever been,″ Finks said.

Benson has extensive car dealerships and banking interests in Louisiana and Texas. He headed a group which bought the franchise in 1985 from John Mecom Jr. of $70 million. ---

BERLIN (AP) - Former world champion boxer Graciano Rocchigiani and his brother were stabbed during a New Year’s Eve brawl, a police spokesman said Saturday.

Graciano Rocchigiani, a former International Boxing Federation super- middleweight champion, received treatment for several cuts to his face and was released, the spokesman said. Ralf Rocchigiani received stab wounds to his upper body, and was admitted to a hospital in serious condition.

The spokesman said the Rocchigianis were on a downtown Berlin street taking part in New Year’s Eve celebrations when a group of about 20 refugees began shooting fireworks at them.

The 29-year-old boxer and his brother - a former German cruiserweight champion - began fighting with the refugees, apparently in self-defense, the spokesman said. Police called to the scene to break up the fight also were attacked. One arrest resulted, although police did not say if it was related to the stabbings. ---

PERTH, Australia (AP) - Australia, getting victories from Nicole Provis and Wally Masur over higher-ranked opponents, beat sixth-seeded South Africa on Saturday in the first round of the $490,000 Hopman Cup team tennis tournament.

Provis saved a match point in the final set tie-breaker to defeat Amanda Coetzer 6-7 (4-7), 7-5, 7-6 (8-6) in a 2-hour 45-minute opening women’s singles.

Masur then cruised past Wayne Ferreira 7-5, 6-3 in the men’s singles, dropping serve only once in the match.

Provis is ranked 47th in the world - 30 places behind Coetzer. Masur, ranked 38th among the men, returned serve effectively and was more consistent than No. 11 Ferreira.

The United States is seeded fourth in the 12-nation competition. ---

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) - A 20-year-old Thai athlete, legless since birth, won a 10-kilometer wheelchair race Saturday to open this Communist capital’s first major international sports event.

On an unusually warm winter morning, thousands of people filled Hanoi’s streets to cheer two dozen disabled athletes from Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Australia.

Prasopchok Klunngern, an electrician at a center for disabled people in Thailand’s seaside resort town of Pattaya, won with an unofficial time of 24 minutes and 40 seconds.

The only female wheelchair racer, Hong Kong’s Chan Kam Tim, finished with a personal best of just over 38 minutes. ---

DALLAS (AP) - Texas A&M safety Patrick Bates will probably forego his senior season to enter the upcoming NFL draft, Aggies coach R.C. Slocum said Saturday.

″Patrick has indicated he is coming out, and I want him to do what he thinks is the best thing,″ Slocum said. ″I’ve talked to several sources in the NFL, and they believe he will be a number one (first-round) draft choice.″

Bates had 11 tackles and knocked down two passes in Friday’s 28-3 Cotton Bowl loss to Notre Dame.

Bates, 6-4, 225-pounds, was a second team Associated Press All-America.

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