Somalian Bile Runs 1,500 In 3:31.20, Best This Year

Posted: July 20, 1989

Abdi Bile of Somalia posted the fastest time in the world this year in winning the men's 1,500 meters in 3 minutes, 31.20 seconds yesterday at an IAAF-Mobil Grand Prix track and field meet in Pescara, Italy.

Bile used a devastating kick to run the eighth-fastest time ever for the 1,500 and come within 2 seconds of the world record of 3:29.46, held by Said Aouita of Morocco.

"I felt I had a chance in Pescara. It was an excellent race and my personal best, but we missed something after the first 1,000 meters," Bile said.

Wilfred Kirochi of Kenya was second in 3:32.57, and Gennaro Di Napoli of Italy third in 3:32.97, both national records.

There were a number of disappointing performances, including an 18-foot-6 1/2-inch win in the pole vault for Soviet superstar Sergei Bubka, who failed three tries at 19-6 1/2. Stefka Kostadinova of Bulgaria, world record-holder in the women's high jump, could not clear 6-2.

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Renaldo Nehemiah, world record-holder in the men's 110-meter high hurdles, has been added to the field for Saturday's New York Track and Field Games. Three others, including PattiSue Plummer, the American record-holder in the women's 5,000 meters, and pole vaulter Billy Olson, have withdrawn.

COLLEGES

Matt Roe, a starter at shooting guard for Syracuse University's basketball team the last two seasons, announced that he will transfer to the University of Maryland.

The 6-foot-6 Roe will have to sit out a season before playing at Maryland. He'll have one year of college eligibility remaining.

HOCKEY

The Calgary Flames will begin an eight-game tour of the Soviet Union on Sept. 14 with a game in Leningrad, and the Washington Capitals will start a four-game series in Moscow on Sept. 15.

The series marks the first visit to the Soviet Union by NHL teams since the eight-game series between the Soviets and Team Canada in 1972. Four Soviet teams are scheduled to tour the NHL in the forthcoming season.

Bryan Lewis was appointed as the NHL's director of officiating, replacing the late John McCauley.

Lewis, 46, a former president of the NHL Officials Association, refereed 1,031 NHL games in 16 years before retiring after the 1985-86 season. He has since worked as coordinator of development, recruiting and developing minor- league officials.

PRO BASKETBALL

The Portland Trail Blazers signed Ramon Ramos of NCAA runner-up Seton Hall to a free-agent contract.

The 6-foot-8, 250-pound center averaged 11.9 points and 7.6 rebounds per game as a senior for the Pirates and was a first-team All-Big East selection.

BOXING

Ivan Robinson of Philadelphia is trying for a spot on the U.S. Junior World team that will compete in the 1989 Junior World Championships Aug. 7 to 19 in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

A 125-pounder, Robinson is among 12 "most noteworthy opponents" at a training camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., challenging the 12 champions from the 1989 U.S. Junior Boxing Championships.

GOODWILL GAMES

Moscow and Leningrad have been selected as co-hosts of the 1994 Goodwill Games; the 1990 Goodwill Games will be in Seattle.

Steve Cram, Great Britain's world record-holder in the mile, has accepted an early invitation from the Athletics Congress to compete in the 1990 Games.

ROWING

The American Rowing Championships for men and women begin today on the Cooper River in Camden and continue through Sunday.

Forty-seven heats and four semifinals will be held today and tomorrow, with 1,200 individuals from 61 rowing clubs from the U.S. and Mexico participating. Camden has spent more than $30,000 to improve the course, situated near Route 70 and Cuthbert Boulevard.

TENNIS

Top-seeded Zina Garrison and No. 2 Pam Shriver scored straight-set victories and advanced to the quarterfinals of the $200,000 Virginia Slims at Newport, R.I.

Playing in the only grass-court tournament on the women's U.S. pro tour, Garrison earned a 6-4, 6-0 victory over Meredith McGrath of Midland, Mich., and two-time champion Shriver defeated Anne Aallonen of Finland, 6-2, 6-2.

Also, No. 8 seed Gigi Fernandez of Miami downed Anna Ivan of Palo Alto, Calif., 6-1, 6-2, and unseeded Michelle Jaggard of Australia defeated unseeded Peanut Louie-Harper of San Francisco, 6-3, 6-4.

Second-seeded Donna Gottshall of Schwenksville won the Eastern States Women's Open Clay Court Tennis Championship by defeating top-seeded Jennifer Aubin of West Reading, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, at the Idle Hour Tennis Club.

The Cherry Hill pair of Diana and Eileen Albaugh defeated Peg Sandee and Audrey Ibbotson of Drexel Hill, 6-1, 6-2, and beat the Marlton team of Judy Paul and Merle Bell, 6-1, 6-4, to reach the finals of the Middle States Mater et Filia Grass Court Tennis Championship at the Merion Cricket Club.

The Feasterville pair of Kitty and Michelle Perrin reached the semifinals by 6-0, 6-1 over Rebecca and Mary Malloy of Williamsport, Pa., and Haverford's Mary Sweet and Wendy Stoner entered the round by 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (8-6) over Nancy and Julie Greenwood of Berwyn. Earlier, Sweet-Stoner defeated Nancy and Karine Bouis of Bethlehem, 6-0, 6-1, and Paul-Bell beat Rose and Rosie DiMascio of Drexel Hill, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4.

The top four seeds gained the semifinals of the Middle States Women's Clay Court Tennis Championship at the DuPont Country Club in Wilmington.

In the quarterfinal matches, top-seeded Cindy Prendergast beat Mia Venlinski, 6-3, 6-2; second-seeded Mary Hudson beat Lisa Hoffstein, 6-4, 6-3; third-seeded Debbie Piper beat Ann Lenkiewicz, 6-2, 6-0, and fourth-seeded Chelsie Rose beat Belle Maropis, 7-5, 7-6 (7-2).

Howe Atwater of Lancaster and Herb Bascome of Devon reached the final round of the Middle States 55-and-over Clay Court Tennis Championship at the Germantown Cricket Club, Atwater, by 6-2, 6-2 over Newton Meade of Cynwyd, and Bascome by 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 over John McGrath of Langhorne.

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