Organizers say the adidas D.C. Invitational track and field meet at George Mason University on Jan. 29 will serve as more than the kickoff event of the two-year-old Golden Spike Tour in the United States.
With U.S. stars such as hurdler Allen Johnson, sprinter Inger Miller and pole vaulter Stacy Dragila scheduled to compete, athletes and organizers say the indoor meet will offer the first preview of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney in September.
"The buildup to the Olympic Games starts now as far as setting the tone and getting some momentum," said Matt Holthaus of Columbia, last year's U.S. men's indoor mile champion who will compete in the mile at this meet.
"With Sydney coming up in the fall, the focus will be on track and field," said James Thornton, special events coordinator for the tour.
The marquee event will be the men's 60-meter hurdles. Johnson, a Lake Braddock High graduate and '96 Olympic gold medal winner who has been troubled by injuries over the last two years, will compete against world-class hurdlers Mark Crear, Larry Wade, Duane Ross and Reggie Torian.
"There are a lot of people out there . . . who feel I'm washed up or old or my better days are behind me," said Johnson, 28. "I plan to show this year that they are not behind me."
Other star performers include Jon Drummond in the men's 60 meters; Derrick Adkins in the men's 400; Rich Kenah of Reston and Georgetown's Bryan Woodward in the men's 800; Chandra Sturrup in the women's 60; Jearl Miles and Suziann Reid in the women's 400; Regina Jacobs in the women's 800; and Connie Price-Smith in the women's shot put.
Besides the Golden Spike Tour competition, a five-meet indoor series that will conclude with the USA Indoor Championships in Atlanta March 3-4, the meet also will feature high school, collegiate and open events. It will be nationally televised on NBC.
Sampras Beats Krajicek
Pete Sampras needed five match points before finally defeating Richard Krajicek in the Colonial Classic exhibition tournament in Melbourne, Australia.
Playing in 95-degree heat, Sampras prevailed, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), against Krajicek, who had won four of their last five matches.
Andre Agassi had an easier first round, needing less than an hour to beat Australia's Wayne Ferreira, 6-2, 6-4. Defending Australian Open champion Yevgeny Kafelnikov, ranked No. 2 at 1999's end, fell, 7-6 (7-3), 6-7 (10-8), 6-1, to 19th-ranked Mark Philippoussis, who had 25 aces. . . . Nicolas Kiefer, Germany's top player, has decided not to play in the Davis Cup this year. Kiefer told his country's tennis federation that he was dropping off the team because of a tight tournament schedule before the Olympics in September. . . . Anna Kournikova slowed down Jennifer Capriati's tennis revival, beating the American, 6-4, 7-5, in the Sydney International tournament. The victory sends Kournikova into a quarterfinal meeting against American Alexandra Stevenson.
MetroStars Get GM
Nick Sakiewicz was hired as general manager of the New York/New Jersey MetroStars. Sakiewicz, who had run the Tampa Bay Mutiny since October 1996, replaced Charlie Stillitano, who had been GM since the MetroStars' inception. New York/New Jersey's 50-78 record the past four years was the worst in the league, and last year's 7-25 mark was a single-season low.
World Record Set
Jeremy Wotherspoon of Canada set a world record in the 1,000-meter sprint, racing to victory in the Canadian sprint speedskating championships in 1 minute 8.49 seconds in Calgary.
His time beat the record of 1:08.55 set by Dutch skater Jan Bos last year on the same Olympic Oval in Calgary.
Wotherspoon, silver medalist in the 500-meter event in the 1998 Nagano Olympics, also won the 500-meter event.
The former chief doctor of East Germany's swim team was convicted of giving steroids to female swimmers without telling them.
Lothar Kipke, 72, was convicted on 58 counts of causing bodily harm. He was fined $3,900 and received a 15-month suspended jail sentence. He will serve jail time only if he violates probation.
One woman said her son's birth defect was caused by steady doses of performance-boosting drugs. Others contend they now have unnatural muscle growth, excessive body hair or a deepened voice.
Judge Peter Faust said Kipke knew the drugs' harmful side effects when he dispensed them from 1975 to 1984.
Kipke testified he became aware of the side effects only gradually. He also said he was under orders to keep the girls and their parents from knowing about the steroids.