Lashinda Demus stumbled near the finish line while in the lead and wound up third yesterday in the 400-meter hurdles at the Bislett Games in Oslo, losing her chance for a $1 million jackpot.

The American hurdler had won her first two races in the Golden League series. The jackpot is awarded to any athlete who wins a discipline at each of the six Golden League meets and then also competes at the World Athletics Final.

France's Christine Arron won her third straight 100-meter race and Tatyana Lebedeva of Russia got her third straight triple jump win to stay in contention for the jackpot.

Sandra Glover, another American, capitalized on Demus's stumble to win the race in 53.93 seconds. Poland's Anna Jesien was second in 54.43 and Demus third in 54.59.

"I almost fell," Demus said. "I don't know why."

* TENNIS: Venus Williams overpowered Jelena Jankovic, 6-3, 6-3, to reach the semifinals of the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, Calif. The second-seeded and 10th-ranked Williams, who reached her fifth semifinal in 10 years at the event, will meet third-seeded Patty Schnyder, who beat Iveta Benesova, 6-2, 6-1.

Kim Clijsters beat Daniela Hantuchova, 6-3, 6-1, to also advance to the semifinals. Clijsters, seeded fourth, will meet Anna-Lena Groenefeld, who rallied to defeat Nathalie Dechy, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3. . . .

Second-seeded Guillermo Coria ousted Juan Carlos Ferrero, 6-3, 6-0, to advance to the semifinals of the Croatia Open in Umag. . . .

Top-seeded Anna Smashnova defeated Aniko Kapros, 6-2, 6-0, to advance to the semifinals of the Budapest Grand Prix.

* COURTS: Remi Korchemny, the track coach ensnared in the BALCO steroid scandal, pleaded guilty to reduced charges, a move that likely will keep him out of prison.

The plea agreement, the fourth and final one in the case, ends a drug prosecution that prompted tighter testing rules in professional sports.

Two weeks ago, BALCO founder Victor Conte, vice president James Valente and Greg Anderson, who is slugger Barry Bonds's trainer, all pleaded guilty.

* PRO HOCKEY: The Rangers bought out the remaining two years on Bobby Holik's contract, sending him away without a playoff appearance.

* SOCCER: The New Jersey Wildcats, a W-League team featuring U.S. national players Cat Reddick, Heather O'Reilly, Christie Welsh and Lindsay Tarpley, will face the Washington Freedom reserves at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown tonight at 7. Tickets are $10.

* BASEBALL: The American Legion District 17 championship game is tonight at 7 at Lee High School in Springfield. The game was moved from Quincy Park in Arlington because of a problem with the lights.

-- From News Services

and Staff Reports

Lashinda Demus loses her balance, the race and her chance to win $1 million.