Insisting the competitive fire is still there, four-time world champion Allen Johnson (Lake Braddock) won the 110-meter hurdles yesterday at the World Athletics Final in Monte Carlo, Monaco, to end a difficult season on a positive note.
The 34-year-old American, who finished in 13.09 seconds in a stiff breeze, had not won a major international race this season until the Brussels Golden League meet two weeks ago.
"I am as hungry now as I was when I began in the sport," Johnson said. "If anything, I am probably a bit hungrier. It is because I know there are fewer tomorrows than yesterdays, so I am appreciating competing now and having a ball."
He took the bronze medal at the world championships in Finland last month, finishing behind world champion Ladji Doucoure and Liu Xiang. Johnson didn't make the final at the Athens Olympics.
Dominique Arnold finished second yesterday in 13.10, and Olympic silver medalist Terrence Trammell was timed in 13.17 to take third in a 1-2-3 American sweep. Doucoure finished sixth in 13.27 and Liu did not race.
Marc Burns of Trinidad and Tobago won the 100, which was raced without the world's two fastest men -- Justin Gatlin and Asafa Powell. Burns won in 10.00, followed by Aziz Zakari and Dwight Thomas, both in 10.01.
In the women's 200, Allyson Felix captured her ninth win in as many races. The 19-year-old American finished in 22.27 to beat Jamaican rival Veronica Campbell, who was timed in 22.37. Felix has not lost in the 200 since Campbell beat her in last year's Olympic final.
* HURRICANE KATRINA: For the last week, Shaquille O'Neal and his wife have coordinated efforts to help those in Louisiana and Mississippi whose lives were ripped apart by Hurricane Katrina. Yesterday, O'Neal was on the front line, personally accepting medical items, toiletries, clothes and other items from those inclined to help.
The tractor-trailers hired by the O'Neal family are expected to begin rolling Tuesday toward Baton Rouge, La. -- where O'Neal, the Miami Heat center, attended LSU.
"I commend everybody who's helping out in some way," O'Neal said. "There's a lot of people chipping in." . . .
Hornets owner George Shinn wants his team to stay in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans, but understands that cannot be done.
"Our objective is not to abandon ship here or to get out of Dodge," Shinn told the Times-Picayune from his summer home in Telford, Tenn. "Our plan is to hope and pray New Orleans rebuilds." . . .
The Class AAA New Orleans Zephyrs, affiliated with the Washington Nationals, plan to play again next season in suburban New Orleans even though Zephyr Field is now being used as a staging area for emergency relief efforts.
* GOLF: Momentum swung fast and furious in the Solheim Cup in Carmel, Ind., stopping only when Paula Creamer holed a five-foot par putt to win for the second time and leave the matches where they started -- all square, with 12 singles matches left to decide who wins.
The 19-year-old Creamer and five women old enough to be her mother led an American rally at Crooked Stick, none more spectacular than 45-year-old Rosie Jones. Playing in her final Solheim Cup, Jones made a 30-foot birdie putt for an unlikely halve.
Annika Sorenstam recovered from a meltdown in the morning by teaming with Laura Davies for the first time and picking up an easy point. Trish Johnson and Sophie Gustafson came up with clutch putts for Europe. . . .
Stephen Ames shot a course-record-tying 64 and Craig Barlow made a hole-in-one to surge into contention as Mark Calcavecchia's lead shrunk to one stroke after three rounds of the Canadian Open in Vancouver, B.C. Twelve players moved within five shots of the lead entering the final round at Shaughnessy Golf Club.
* PRO FOOTBALL: The Miami Dolphins placed punter Matt Turk on injured reserve because of a groin injury and signed Donnie Jones from the practice squad to replace the 11-year veteran.
-- From News Services