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Phelps Shifts Gears To Dominate Freestyle

Saturday, April 2, 2005; Page D02

Swimmers, beware: Michael Phelps's repertoire is still expanding.

The 19-year-old Olympic gold medalist withdrew from one of his signature events -- the 400 individual medley -- and then showed he could dominate events he rarely swims yesterday.

Argentina's legendary Diego Maradona helps kick off the under-17 soccer South American championship in Western Maracaibo, Venezuela. (Fernando Llano -- AP)

Phelps led the entire way in the 400 freestyle, winning in 3 minutes 47.79 seconds in the U.S. world championship swimming trials in Indianapolis.

It was the first time he has competed in that race since the 2003 summer nationals and he made it look easy, winning by nearly 1.6 seconds.

"I wanted to push it out in the first 200 and I pushed it pretty big. I was on American record pace," said Phelps, the first male qualifier on the American team. "I think, right now, it's the start of something." . . .

Track and field's world governing body has appealed the Greek federation's decision to clear sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou of doping violations.

The International Association of Athletics Federations said in a statement that it will take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and suspend Kenteris and Thanou from competition until it is heard.

The sprinters missed a drug test in Athens on Aug. 12, the day before the Opening Ceremonies for the Olympics. They spent four days in a hospital, claiming they were injured in a motorcycle crash, before withdrawing from the Games. . . .

Hammer thrower Adrian Annus and discus thrower Robert Fazekas lost appeals to keep their Olympic gold medals when world sport's highest court upheld an earlier decision by the IOC. CAS agreed with the IOC that the two Hungarians should be stripped of their Athens medals.

The IAAF also filed two appeals with the Lausanne, Switzerland-based CAS, seeking two-year bans for both athletes.

Fazekas's gold was taken away after he refused to provide a complete urine sample in his post-competition drug test. Annus lost his medal after the IOC said his samples showed possible tampering.

• COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Tulane's new head basketball coach is Dave Dickerson, who has spent the last nine seasons as an assistant at Maryland.

He replaces Shawn Finney, who was fired last month. . . .

Eastern Connecticut guard Antwoine Key, who died after collapsing on court during a game in January, had a fatal heart condition, the state Office of Public Safety said. Key, 22, collapsed during the opening minutes against Worcester State on Jan. 20.

An autopsy was completed shortly after he died, but the finding was delayed because the state medical examiner couldn't determine the cause of death before consulting a heart specialist.

SOCCER: Costa Rica fired national team coach Jorge Luis Pinto and rehired Alexandre Guimaraes, a shakeup intended to reinvigorate the Ticos ahead of their June 4 World Cup qualifier against the United States in Salt Lake City.

"How could this not be painful?" Pinto said. "I had World Cup dreams and dedicated myself with everything to make them come true. But I couldn't."

CYCLING: Germany's Danilo Hondo was suspended by his team for a positive drug test. Hondo tested positive twice for a "stimulating substance" at the Tour of Murcia in March, Team Gerolsteiner said.

The team was informed of the positive test Thursday by UCI, cycling's governing body.

-- From News Services

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