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Canyon stuntman is grounded

Tommy Pearson never got off the ground. It appears he never will, at least over Jackass Canyon.

Pearson said he would jump a 1989 Thunderbird over the 263-foot-wide chasm with a 400-foot drop near the Grand Canyon on June 3.

Pearson aborted the jump, saying it was too windy. A permit issued by the Navajo Nation for use of its land expired June 4. He rescheduled the jump for July 15 but never applied for a permit.

Now a 1966 Mustang sits at the site and Pearson is home in Las Vegas. "The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) had some concerns," he said. "We have to go back and answer some questions and we'll go from there."

Ray Russell, director for the Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation Department, disagreed: "The Navajo EPA had some issues, but that's not the point. We had some problems with the financial portion of it. With all due respect, there's no honesty and trust. Mr. Pearson doesn't have that with us now. As I see it now, the chances of him getting another permit are very slim."

WATER POLO: The United States, a silver medalist at the Sydney Olympics, beat Kazakstan 13-2 in a second-round women's match at the World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan. The U.S. team was never threatened, leading 6-1 at halftime and 10-1 after three periods. Ericka Lorenz led the Americans with three goals, and Brenda Villa, Amber Stachowski, Margaret Dingeldein and Heather Moody added two each.

SWIMMING: Also at the World Championships in Fukuoka, Russia's Olga Brusnikina won the gold medal in solo synchronized. Portraying a languorous princess, Brusnikina received perfect 10s from three of the five judges evaluating technical merit and from three of those judging artistic impression. Her other marks were 9.9s, giving her a total of 99.434 points.

OLYMPICS: Eric Heiden is joining the U.S. speed skating team for the Salt Lake Games. It isn't a comeback attempt by one of the sport's stars. Dr. Eric Heiden, 43, recently was appointed team physician for next season. He swept all five speed-skating events at Lake Placid in 1980. Besides working at the Olympics, Heiden will spend the 2001-02 World Cup season with the long-track team. He won't compete or do any coaching, but will share his experiences with the skaters. Saban Trstena, who won a freestyle wrestling gold medal in the 114-pound class at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles, was convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced last week to eight years in prison, a Cologne (Germany) district court official confirmed. Juan Antonio Samaranch, the newly retired president of the International Olympic Committee, is likely to remain in a Lausanne, Switzerland, hospital for at least a week. Samaranch, 81, was hospitalized early Wednesday, with breathing problems.

GOLF: Joe Cioe of Crystal River finished second in the New England Pro Tour's fourth event at Bretwood (North) Golf Course in Keene, N.H. Cioe was one behind winner Matt Eaton, who shot 9-under-par 207.

SAILING: AlphaGraphics crew member Asia Pajkowska had bruises after she was swept overboard in the North Atlantic Ocean during the EDS Atlantic Challenge Wednesday morning. According to the Atlantic Challenge Web site, a breaking wave apparently swept Pajkowska, who was not clipped onto the yacht. It took the crew nearly 20 minutes to retrieve her.

BASKETBALL: Duke's Alana Beard scored a tournament-record 28 as the United States beat Russia 99-80 in Brno, Czech Republic, to complete preliminary-round play in the FIBA Junior World Championship with a 5-0 record.

RUNNING: Olympic 1,500-meter champion Noah Ngeny and women's 10,000-meter runner Tegla Loroupe have been dropped from Kenya's World Championship team for failing to meet a deadline to return to the country. Registration for the 2002 Walt Disney World Marathon and Half Marathon ended with a record 18,500 runners. The competition will take place Jan. 6.

_ BRUCE LOWITT, TIMES WIRES

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