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RISKING A LIMB TO ATTEND FINAL

NELSPRUIT, South Africa -Maurice Meyer, a businessman from Nelspruit, swam 60 yards in the Crocodile River on Wednesday in hopes of winning a ticket to Sunday's final.

The contest, conducted by a radio station in Pretoria, asked people to do something impressive. Some got parts of their bodies waxed. Some got tattoos.

"I thought to myself, 'These (people's) stories are all lame,'" Meyer said. "So it just popped into my head."

The Crocodile River runs through the northeastern part of South Africa near Nelspruit and is known for being infested with the reptiles. Meyer, 32, swam with his wife, Nicole, while his brother, Gert, stood by with a gun in case either were attacked.

"It took us about three minutes to swim across," Meyer said. "On the way back, it took a little bit longer, as it was against a current. We had to get a rope to help us across. On the way back, I probably spent about 15 minutes in the water. Luckily, we did not see any crocodiles."

The winner will be announced today.

PLANE TROUBLES: Two planes filled with German and Spanish fans were forced to turn back from Durban's King Shaka airport because it was swamped by arrivals. About 600 fans missed the start of the semifinal.

INJURY REPORT: Uruguay F Diego Forlan, whose four goals are one off the tournament lead, hopes to play in Saturday's third-place game. He left Tuesday's semifinal late with a thigh injury.

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