Lenny Krayzelburg and Gary Hall Jr. are two of the Olympic swimming champions who are skipping the World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.
Krayzelburg, the Ukrainian-born U.S. backstroker who won the 100-200 double and led off the winning 400-meter medley relay at the 2000 Olympics, chose to compete at the Maccabiah Games over defending his titles at the World Championships.
The U.S. team that collected 33 medals and dominated at the Sydney Olympic pool is missing most of its stars.
Hall, a dual Olympic gold-medal sprinter, didn't return to training in time to qualify at the USA Championships in March, nor did two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time defending individual medley world champion Tom Dolan.
Krayzelburg is on a break from major competition. He is scheduled for shoulder surgery when he returns from Israel.
Among the women, Jenny Thompson ended her sparkling career with three golds at Sydney.
Dara Torres _ who returned to swimming in 1999 after a seven-year break _ re-retired after the Games.
Valrico's Brooke Bennett, who won the 400-800 freestyle Olympic double, was sick and missed the USA trials, and Misty Hyman, the Olympic 200 butterfly champion, only recently returned to training.
Leading the American team in the competition that starts Sunday are Anthony Ervin, who dead-heated with Hall for Olympic gold in the 50 freestyle; Ed Moses, the world-record holder in the 50 and 100 breaststroke; and Olympic 200 butterfly champion Tom Malchow.
On Tuesday, Russia's Evgeni Bezroutchenko surged into the lead in the final kilometer and won the men's 10-kilometer open water race.
TRACK AND FIELD: Michael Johnson and Stacy Dragila set records at the DN Galan meet, under different emotional circumstances. Johnson, competing for the final time in Sweden, anchored a Nike team to victory in the "Swedish relay" in which each team's sprinters ran, in order, the 100, 200, 300 and 400 meters. He helped his team improve a 51-year-old record set by another American team by more than a second. The winners finished at 1 minute, 49.09 seconds. Dragila set an Olympic Stadium record of 15 feet, 5} inches in the women's pole vault. Mihaela Melinte, the women's world-record holder in the hammer throw, was suspended for two years by the International Amateur Athletic Federation for taking a banned substance.
BASKETBALL: Iran fired the American coach of its national team after the squad failed to qualify for the Asian Cup final. Gary LeMoine, 49, the first American coach to work in Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution, had been head of the team for a year.
BOXING: The New York State Athletic Commission is reviewing the tape of the Hector Camacho Jr.-Jesse James Leija junior welterweight bout from July 7 and could overturn the decision. Camacho won a technical decision after complaining of blurry vision from an accidental head butt.
GOLF: Tom Garner of Orlando shot a closing round of 3-under-par 69 to win the North Florida PGA Club Professional Championship at the Country Club of Ocala.
SOCCER: Despite Luis Fernandez's two goals, visiting Los Angeles watched a tie become a 3-2 New England Major League Soccer win. Revolution midfielder Andrew Williams had the winning goal. Ecuador beat Venezuela 4-0 in Barranquilla, Colombia, to revive its chances of reaching the quarterfinals of the Copa America tournament.
TENNIS: Top-seeded Sebastien Grosjean lost in the first round of the Energis Open, 6-4, 6-4 to qualifier Juan Ignacio Chela in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Gustavo Kuerten beat Andrew Ilie 6-1, 6-2 at the Mercedes Cup in Germany. Top-seeded Kim Clijsters won her opening round match at the WTA Sanex Trophy tournament in Belgium, beating Ludmila Cervanova 6-3, 6-3.
_ Compiled from Times wires.
CLEANING UP: Michael Schumacher slammed his Ferrari into a rubberized wall at about 185 mph during practice at Monza, Italy. The Formula One leader was back at his garage after a brief hospital stay.