Not to anyone's surprise, World Games I is beginning...

JOE SARGIS, UPI Sports Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Not to anyone's surprise, World Games I is beginning to look like a red, white and blue show.

American athletes added four gold medals Wednesday and while Japan, Canada, France and Italy have made good showings, it's a foregone conclusion that when the Games end on Sunday the United States will have scored a smashing victory.


The Republic of China made a cameo appearance with a fine group of badminton stars, won four golds medals in the sport and went home.

Japan already has won seven golds, while Canada and France have five each and Italy has four. Korea opened taekwondo competition Wednesday night by winning two of the three titles decided and figures to win at least six and maybe seven golds in that sport.

Today, the Koreans meet the United States in baseball and since both are 2-0, the winner of that game will take home the gold. The U.S. beat Australia, 11-7, Wednesday night as John Russell of Oklahoma drove in four runs with a homer and single, while Korea frittered away a 4-0 lead, then rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth for a 7-6 victory over Panama.


As it is, the United States has won 14 golds, 18 silvers and nine bronze for a total haul of 41 medals.

American victories Wednesday came in roller speed skating, two in artistic dancing and one in trampoline. Canada also won four golds on the day for itsbest single day showing ever in an international competition.

Tom Peterson of Tacoma, Wash., held off Italian ace Guiseppe Cruciani in the final lap of the roller speed skating 5,000 meter; Bill Richardson and Holly Valente of Boston took the compulsory dance in artistic pairs; Mike Glatz of San Diego won the men's skating singles dance, and Carl Heger of St. Louis and Steve Elliot of Lincoln, Neb., won the men's synchronized trampoline for the U.S. golds.

Darrell Hanegan of Montreal provided the biggest upset of the Games when he beat Korea's Park Chong Man to win the taekwondo heavyweight title. No Canadian ever before has competed in a taekwondo international tournament let alone won a title.

Brett Brown and Christine Tough of Vancouver took the men's and women's mini trampoline titles and the sister team of Norma and Barbara Lehto, also of Vancouver, won the women's synchronized trampoline for the other Canadian golds.


Korea won golds in finweight and flyweight taekwondo with Ki-mun Kwan and Ki-mo Yang the winners of those division titles. Three more titles will be decided tonight, and as might be expected, Korean athletes are big favorites.

Other finals today are in the women's 5,000 and the men's 20,000 in speed skating, men's bodybuilding and three events in artistic skating. The United States has solid entries in all events.

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