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A light plane crashed into a mangrove swamp on a Malaysian island Sun

March 2, 1997

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) _ A light plane crashed into a mangrove swamp on a Malaysian island Sunday, killing the pilot and two photographers who were covering a cycling race.

Police identified the victims as pilot Nik Alfian Nik Abdul Ghani, 26, and photographers Abdul Reazak Md. Nor, 43, and Ishak Latif, 32, both employed by the government-owned National Film Unit. All three were Malaysians.

The Cessna 172 belonging to Mofaz Air, crashed on the island of Langkawi, 250 miles northwest of Kuala Lumpur.

Just 15 minutes earlier, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had flagged off the cyclists on the last leg of the Tour de Langkawi championship, which the photographers were covering.


Grampus Eight Beats Washington D.C. United 3-1

TOKYO (AP) _ Nagoya Grampus Eight, Japanese professional soccer’s 1996 champion, beat D.C. United of the United States 3-1 in an exhibition game Sunday.

Playing before more than 26,000 spectators at Tokyo National stadium in downtown Tokyo, D.C. United grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 35th minute of the first half when a shot by David Vaudreuil caromed off Japanese defender Takayuki Nishigaya for a goal.

Dragan Stojkovic scored one goal and assisted on another as Grampus Eight came from behind for the victory.


Mikhail Botvinov wins Vasaloppet ski marathon

MORA, Sweden (AP) _ Mikhail Botvinov won the Vasaloppet cross-country ski race Sunday, staying far ahead of the pack for most of the 56 miles.

The Russian-born Botvinov, who competes for Austria, covered the course in 4 hours, 11 minutes, 41 seconds. He has won four of the long-distance circuit events this season and is the overall leader.

Christer Majback of Sweden placed second, outdistanced by almost three minutes. Sweden’s Thobias Fredriksson was third and Norwegian veteran Vegard Ulvang was fourth.

Sweden’s Sofia Lind won the woman’s event in 5:06.35.


Meshiai advances to Andersen Consulting World Championship

KAGOSHIMA, Japan (AP) _ Hajime Meshiai beat Kazuhiko Hosokawa 1-up Sunday in a final preliminary match, winning the right to represent Japan in the $3.65 million Andersen Consulting World Championship of Golf.

The 42-year-old Meshiai will meet other regional winners from the United States, Europe and the rest of the world in the championship next Jan. 3-4 at the Gray Hawks Golf Club in Arizona.

Meshiai won with a birdie on the par-5 18th hole, where the 26-year-old Hosokawa had a par.

Australian Greg Norman won the last championship, beating Hisayuki Sasaki of Japan 5 and 4 in the semifinals and American Scott Hoch 1-up in the final.

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