East bloc Friendship Games open; Olympic results topped


MOSCOW -- The Soviet Union opened its Friendship '84 Games Friday to show off athletes who boycotted the Summer Olympics -- and winners of seven events scored better results than gold medal winners in Los Angeles, Tass reported.

The Friendship Games opened in Moscow, the Soviet city of Tallin and in Prague, Czechoslovakia, where Tass said the winners of all six women's track and field events also topped the times and records set in the Los Angeles Games.


'The Friendship 84 games are not an alternative to the Olympic games in Los Angeles,' a spokesman for the Soviet sports committee told a news conference.'It is part of the tradition of our sporting events.'

Sovetsky Sport, the national sports newspaper said, 'The purpose of these competitions is to give sportsmen who did not go to the Olympics because of the atmosphere of anti-Sovietism and hostility to socialist countries, the chance to demonstrate their abilities.'

Nine major sports competitions will be held in Moscow and Tallin with some 2,000 athletes from 40 countries, including several nations that competed in Los Angeles, the spokesman for the Soviet sports committee said.

Among the Olympic contenders participating in the Eas bloc games were Canada, Austria, Italy, India, Denmark and Romania, the only East-bloc nation to compete at Los Angeles.


The events include track and field, cycling, swimming, rowing, yachting, basketball, field hockey, and two shooting events, the sports spokesman said.

On the opening day, the winners of the hammer, javelin, shot put, pole vault, discus, the 20-kilometer walk and that 50 kilometer walk all bettered the results scored by the gold medalists in those events at the Los Angeles Games, according to Tass.

World record-holder Yuri Sedykh hurled the hammer 85.60 meters, besting the Los Angeles distance of 78.08 by Juha Tiainen of Finland.

Sergei Protshishin completed the 20-kilometer walk in 1 hour 21 minutes 57 seconds, compared with the Olympic time of 1:23.13, posted by Ernesto Canto of Mexico. Andrei Perlov won the 50-kilometer walk in 3:43.06, compared to gold medal winner Raul Gonzales of Mexico's Olympic time of 3:47:26.

East German Uwe Hohn threw the javelin 94.44 meters, topping the Olympic winning distance of 86.76 meters by Arto Haerkoenen of Finland. Yuri Dumchev of the Soviet Union hurled the discus 66.70 meters against the Olympic distance of 66.60 -- which won the gold medal for Rolf Danneberg of West Germany.

In the shot put, Sergei Kasnauskas won with a throw of 21.64 meters, compared to Italian Alessandro Andrei's gold-winning 21.26 in Los Angeles.


In the pole vault, Konstantin Volkov of the Soviet Union cleared 5.80 meters against the 5.75 vaulted in the Olympics by Pierre Quinon of France.

Tass said the winners of all six women's track and field events in Prague also bettered the Olympic times and records, but gave no details.

The games go into full swing Saturday, with a lavish opening ceremony and a marathon run which will include at least four American runners and about 300 from other nations.

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