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Lochte leads U.S. Charge

ISTANBUL — Olympic star Ryan Lochte won two gold medals Wednesday as the United States dominated the first day of the short-course world championships.

The former Gators star won the 200-meter freestyle in 1 minute, 41.92 seconds, beating world record-holder Paul Biedermann. Lochte also took gold in the 400 freestyle relay with teammates Anthony Ervin, James Feigen and Matt Grevers, finishing in 3:06.40. Lochte won six golds and a silver at the 2010 short-course worlds.


St. Petersburg's Romano hits gold

In women's competition at the short-course worlds, the American team of St. Petersburg's Megan Romano, Chelsea Chenault, Shannon Vreeland and Allison Schmitt won the 800 freestyle relay in 7:39.25. Russia was second in 7:42.77. Short-course championships records on the first day went to Hungary's Katinka Hosszu in the 200 butterfly (2:02.20) and Britain's Hannah Miley in the 400 individual medley (4:23.14).


Clijsters tops Venus in farewell match

Former No. 1 Kim Clijsters ended her career with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Venus Williams in a ceremonial farewell match in Antwerp, Belgium.

Clijsters, 29, retired after the U.S. Open but organized a match to thank her fans, 13,000 of whom turned up.

Clijsters was destined to win the lighthearted encounter against Williams, whom she beat on her way to her last two U.S. Open titles, in 2009 and 2010.


Boxing: Ricky Burns will not defend his WBO lightweight title in London on Saturday after Jose Ocampo pulled out of the fight citing "contractual issues with TV." Ocampo had been a late stand-in for Liam Walsh, out with a back injury.

CYCLING: Former Giro d'Italia winner Michele Scarponi was banned for three months by the Italian Olympic Committee for seeing banned physician Michele Ferrari for two tests. Scarponi said he didn't know the doctor, linked to Lance Armstrong's drug case, was banned for life by the Italian federation in 2002.

Greyhounds: Art Allen and Kiowa Jordan Doc won final qualifying races in the $75,000 Holiday Distance Challenge at Derby Lane in St. Petersburg. The championship race is Saturday night.

Soccer: Abby Wambach scored twice to join Mia Hamm (158) as the only American women to reach 150 international goals, and the United States beat China 4-0 in an exhibition in Houston. … Midfielder Clint Dempsey, 29, was voted the U.S. national team player of the year for the third time. He received 352 points and 81 first-place votes to Michael Bradley's 248 and 49.

Don Jensen, Times correspondent; Times wires

Sports in brief 12/12/12 [Last modified: Thursday, December 13, 2012 12:15am]
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