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Names In The Game

February 17, 1993

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) _ Algerian Nourredine Morceli not only runs, he roots. His favorites include Sebastian Coe, Steve Cram, Said Aouita and Eamonn Coghlan.

Pulling for them doesn’t conflict with his determination to erase their names from the lists of world records.

″I would love to have another world record. 1,000 meters, 1,500, mile next,″ said Morceli, who is aiming to beat Coghlan’s 10-year-old mark for the indoor mile here on Saturday.

″I also want to go for the outdoor mile record. I think I can do it as long as I stay free of injury. I see 3:44 this year, maybe.″

Cram’s outdoor mile record of 3:46.32, set in Oslo July 1985, has been around for more than seven years. It is as if Morceli believes this mark, like the others, has been there too long.

Last year, he broke Aouita’s 7-year-old outdoor 1,500 meter mark by clocking 3:28.82 in Rieti, Italy.

Morceli, despite his desire to break those records, may pass up next month’s world indoor championships in Toronto because it falls during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

″We have to fast so I don’t know whether I will go,″ he said.


HONOLULU (AP) - Al Noga was released from jail on $25 bond after being charged with misdemeanor assault.

Noga, a former University of Hawaii star who plays defensive end for the Minnesota Vikings, was arrested Monday night at Pearlridge Center, police said.

The 6-foot-1, 290-pound Noga started a fight with a security guard who had asked him to leave the mall, and was charged with third-degree assault, police said.

Mall officials didn’t say why Noga was asked to leave, and police said they don’t know what caused the fight.

Both Noga and the guard suffered minor injuries, but neither was hospitalized, police said.

Noga was arrested for assault in 1985 and resisting arrest in 1987, was unavailable for comment. He was fined $400 for missing two court appearances in 1990 resulting from citations issued from the two arrests.

He is scheduled to appear in court March 10.


AGADIR, Morocco (AP) - Seve Ballesteros may be getting a little touchy about people asking him what happened to his game.

In the past year, the Spanish golfer has dropped from fourth to 14th in the world rankings. That’s the lowest he has ever been.

Last weekend, he finished 14 strokes behind the winner in the Hong Kong Open and said he was totally confused.

″I’m fed up with talking about my form,″ Ballesteros said Wednesday. ″Sometimes a player is in a slump, sometimes he plays well. Right now I’m in a slump.″

Ballesteros plays in the Moroccan Open starting Thursday at the Royal Golf of Agadir course.


NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Saints kicker Morten Andersen is expected to fully recover from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.

The knee was sore during training camp last summer, and Andersen, a left- footed kicker, was unable to play until the opening game of the regular season.

He hit 29 of 34 field goal attempts and 33 out of 34 extra point kicks.

″The surgery involved the smoothing of rough spots in the knee,″ the Saints said.

Rehabilitation began immediately and Andersen was expected to recover well before this year’s pre-season games, team spokesman Rusty Kasmiersky said.


PARIS (AP) - Martina Navratilova, an 10-time winner at the Eastbourne grass tournament, said Wednesday she is passing up the tournament, a warmup for Wimbledon. She intends to play in other grass-court events.

″It’s a 64-draw and that means six matches in six days if it doesn’t rain,″ Navratilova said. ″I need the break.″

The Eastbourne tournament is June 14-20, ending just before the start of Wimbledon.

Navratilova, 36, said she will be play tournaments at Beckingham and Birmingham, England.

″I need more matches. Then I can take a week off,″ Navratilova said.

Navratilova, who has won Wimbledon nine times, will bypass the French Open for the fifth consecutive year to concentrate on her grass court game.


NEW YORK (AP) - Retired tennis star Mats Wilander and his wife, model Sonya Mulholland, have a new daughter.

Mount Sinai Hospital confirmed Wednesday that the baby had been born, but was not authorized to give out any details, said a hospital spokeswoman, Leeza Peltz.

Aftonbladet, a newspaper in Wilander’s native Sweden, reported that the baby, named Emma, was born Tuesday and mother and daughter were doing fine.

The couple’s other daughter, Moira, also was at the hospital for the event, Aftonbladet reported.

″Emma is very cute 3/8″ Wilander, 28, told relatives in Sweden.

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