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Sports Shorts

January 8, 1990

TINTON FALLS, N.J. (AP) _ Terry Labonte will begin defense of his series title when the International Race of Champions begins May 5 at the Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala.

IROC President Jay Signore announced the three-race 1990 schedule Monday. The all-star competition will again match 12 of the world’s best drivers, representing different types of motorsports, in identically prepared cars. ABC Sports will provide television coverage.

Dodge Daytonas will be used for the first time in IROC’s 14-year history.

Round 2 will be July 7 at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, Ohio and the finale will be Aug. 4 at Michigan International Speedway.

Labonte, the 1984 NASCAR Winston Cup champion, earned an automatic invitation to compete this year by capturing the 1989 crown. Signore said other drivers will be announced later this month.

The 101.08-mile, 38-lap opener at Talladega will be IROC’s third appearance on the 2.66-mile superspeedway. Cale Yarborough won the most recent IROC event there in 1986.

The Cleveland event will be 74.4 miles, 30 laps, around the 2.48-mile, 11 -turn temporary road course. The only previous IROC race there was in 1984, also won by Yarborough.

Michigan International Speedway has played host to 14 previous IROC events, including one last year, won by Labonte. That race will be 100 miles, 50 laps, around the two-mile superspeedway.

ABC’s coverage includes three one-hour telecasts. The Talladega race will be presented May 27, at 3:30 p.m. EDT. Cleveland will be shown Aug. 5, at 5 p.m. Michigan will be televised Aug. 26, at 5 p.m.


LONDON (AP) - Two members of the U.S. squad that qualified for this year’s World Cup soccer finals are taking their first steps towards an overseas professional career by joining the training program of an English team.

Goalie Tony Meola and midfielder John Harkes arrive in Britain on Tuesday for a trial with Sheffield Wednesday in what Meola hopes will become a permanent arrangement.

″I’m going to give it my best shot,″ Meola said in a telephone interview from his New Jersey home before leaving. ″I don’t know how long I’m going to stay there - whatever it takes.″

Meola, at 20 the youngest member of the U.S World Cup squad, has made seven appearances for the national team. He was widely considered the most talented U.S. starter in the qualifying competition and shut out the opposition in his country’s last four games including the 1-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago on Nov. 19 that sent the U.S. to the finals for the first time since 1950.

Harkes, 22, has played 21 times for the United States. While at Virginia, he scored 26 goals in 53 outings.

The United States has no national pro outdoor soccer league and Meola’s aim is to gain a full-time pro contract overseas. Harkes is already a pro with the Albany club of the regional American Soccer League.


WEST BERLIN (AP) - The joint staging of Olympic Games in West Berlin and East Berlin would need investments of at least $2.23 billion, West Berlin authorities said Monday.

The figure was calculated by a special committee set up by West Berlin’s City Hall to study the project. The money is needed to renovate existing objects and to build new facilities, such as an athletes’ village.

Despite the staggering costs, West Berlin Mayor Walter Momper welcomed East Germany’s decision to support a joint bid by East Berlin and West Berlin to stage the Games, either in 2000 or 2004.

″A dream has come true - both parts of Berlin will bid for the Games in our city,″ Momper said.

Norbert Skowronek, director of West Berlin’s Sports Federation, said most of the money would have to come from the Western side. He said East Berlin was ready to offer land for Olympic facilities.

Berlin staged the 1936 Olympics, but the Olympic stadium needs to be renovated, Skowronek said. The stadium is in what is now West Berlin.


TOKYO (AP) - A group of citizens has asked the government to stop construction of a golf course near Tokyo unless steps are taken to ensure no water pollution by weed killers and other chemicals used on the course.

Takashi Tachi of the Prime Minister’s Office said it was the first time such a request had been made to the Environmental Disputes Coordination Commission, set up in 1972 to settle pollution issues by arbitration.

Tachi said the group of 51 citizens was led by housewife Suzuko Ishizaki and lawyer Katsuhiko Iguchi.

Ishizaki said in a telephone interview that weed killers and other agricultural chemicals to be used on the planned Seibu Hanno Country Club 345- acre course would contaminate water in the neighborhood.

There also would be a possible danger of landslides, she said.

The golf course, about 30 miles northwest of Tokyo, is to be completed by 1992 at an estimated cost of more $105 million.

Ishizaki said the course would be Hanno city’s eighth.

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