Originally created 08/11/00

Olympics briefs

WOMEN'S SOCCER: Despite a youth movement from a new coach, the U.S. women's Olympic soccer team will look a lot like the team that won the World Cup a year ago.

Fifteen of the 20 players from the World Cup squad, including all of the regular starters, were chosen by coach April Heinrichs to make up the 18-player roster that will represent the U.S. next month at the Sydney Games.

Heinrichs made the veterans nervous when she experimented with younger lineups after she succeeded Tony DiCicco in January. It quickly became apparent that five players from the World Cup team -- Tisha Venturini, Danielle Fotopoulos, Tiffany Roberts, Tracy Ducar and Saskia Webber -- did not figure in Heinrichs' Olympic plans.

But the mainstays are still there, from Mia Hamm to Brandi Chastain to 34-year-old Michelle Akers, the oldest member of the team. Akers, who had shoulder surgery in April and suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome, has said this will be her last international tourney.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Twelve college players were chosen as the USA Men's Select team and will compete against the USA Senior National Team next month.

The exhibition game, scheduled for Sept. 2 at the University of Hawaii, will help the national team, comprised of NBA players, prepare for the Olympics in Sydney.

Chosen for the select team were: Shane Battier and Jason Williams, both of Duke; Cory Bradford, Illinois; Nick Collison, Kansas; Joe Forte, North Carolina; Casey Jacobsen, Stanford; Ken Johnson, Ohio State; Terence Morris, Maryland; Troy Murphy, Notre Dame; Jason Richardson, Michigan State; Jamal Tinsley, Iowa State; and Michael Wright, Arizona.

Mike Jarvis of St. John's will be the head coach, assisted by Bob Huggins of Cincinnati.

WOMEN'S GYMNASTICS: When Jaycie Phelps' knees hurt too much to even take her dog for a walk, she knew her Olympic dream was over. With the Sydney Games only a month away, the second-youngest member of the Magnificent Seven announced Thursday she was withdrawing from next week's U.S. Olympic gymnastics trials because of chronic knee problems.

Four other members of the first American women's team to win Olympic gold, at Atlanta in 1996, are expected to compete next week. Combined scores from trials (60 percent) and last month's U.S. Gymnastics Championships (40 percent) will be used to rank the gymnasts, and a selection committee headed by Bela Karolyi then will choose the six-person squad.

RACE WALKING: Yueling Chen, a 1992 Olympic champion race-walker for China, will be able to compete for the United States at the Sydney Games after all.

Chinese officials who had refused to grant her permission to race in Australia for her new country reversed their decision, following a request from the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Chen said she had maintained her regular training schedule since being informed earlier this month that Chinese authorities had blocked her path to Sydney.

Last month, Chen finished second in the 20-kilometer walk at the U.S. Olympic trials in Sacramento, Calif., conditionally qualifying her for the games in September.


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