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SCOOP 72 - Sports round-up

SCOOP 72 - SCOOP's 72 hour round-up of domestic and international sport.
Article: Mathew Loh.

SYDNEY 2000 has begun: AUSSIE 400 metre queen aboriginal athlete Cathy Freeman lit the Olympic Flame to start the 27th Olympiad in Sydney - see LOHLIFE.


TIGER signs mega deal: Only he could do it. On a day when the opening of the Olympics commands word-wide headlines on the front and back pages, sporting sensation Tiger Woods competed successfully for space by reportedly signing the biggest ever sporting endorsement deal - an estimated US $100 million with corporate giant Nike.

Appropriately Nike is the God of Victory and she must be really looking after Tiger as he kept himself in the headlines despite Olympic competition.


Back to the Olympics and Korea march together: Athletes from North and South Korea marched together at Friday night's Olympic opening in Sydney. The emotional walk - with many athletes tearfully arm in arm - was a huge fillip for an often beleaguered Olympic movement and IOC supremo Juan Antonio Samaranch was visiably moved by the marching Koreans.

The IOC-brokered arrangement brought the two countries and their respective athletes together for the opening ceremony where they marched as one in identical uniforms featuring a Korean peninsula depicted as a solid entity without political boundaries. The Koreans will later disperse to compete as North and South but their unified march will hopefully signal a speedy reunification of the divided Asian nation.


TIMORESE join Olympic march:A team of four East Timorese joined the Olympic Opening ceremony for the first time in history when they marched into Sydney's Olympic Stadium to resounding cheers.

The four who will compete as individual athletes, as East Timor has yet to have an Olympic Council, danced and ran into the stadium before the host nation in another significant Olympic 2000 moment.


Tyson speaks candidly of true personality: During a weird, profanity-laced tirade on Thursday former heavyweight boxing champ and convicted felon Mike Tyson claimed he's on anti-depressent medicine for good reason.


"I'm on the Zoloft to keep me from killing y'all" he told reporters during a news conference to promote his Oct 20 fight against fellow nutter Andrew Golota.
"It (the drug) has really messed me up and I don't want to be taking it, but they (doctors) are concerned about the fact that I am a violent person, almost an animal" said Tyson.
"And they only want me to be an animal in the ring. That's why I set pay-for-view records. There are nine million people who see me in the ring who hate my guts, most of them white, but that's OK. Just spell my named right," he ranted

TUA and Lewis meet to hype fight: Meanwhile in the real world of heavyweight boxing reigning champ Lennox Lewis met his next challenger the Samoan/NZer David Tua. While continuing to claim he wants to fight Tyson, Lewis finally started to acknowledge the validity to Tua's challenge.

However the bigger Lewis maintained he had the tools to finish Tua with ease. "David Tua has never seen a fighter like Lennox Lewis. I'm too big and too fast he won't know what hit him".
Despite his arrogance Lewis did recognise one of Tua's weapons: "The only fear I have is his left hook".
Meanwhile a very relaxed Tua obviously was of the belief actions speak louder than words saying only: "It (winning the world title) is my destiny".


NPC rugby: Auckland won a dour encounter over their northern rivals, Northland, 24-12, on Friday night. It was a rugged game with both packs desperate to make an impact but niether developed domination.
Auckland were obviously a superior outfit and deserved their win against a tough opponent who gave and asked for no quarter.
The Auks owe their win to a team effort but the young duo of Orene Ai'I and Keven Mealamu (who each scored one of Auckland's two tries) were outstanding and continued to stamp their class on the game. Carlos Spencer added 14 points with his boot and his skills complemented the brillance of Ai'i and Mealamu.


International Cricket - NZ v Zimbabwe: After three days of uninspiring cricket NZ appeared on course to fighting it out for a lucky draw but as often happens in cricket things have changed.
A good batting effort from Chris Cairns, Adam Parore and Daniel Parore saw the Black Caps through to a 1st innings total of 328. This left them only 12 runs behind the host team's 1st innings score of 350.
It was then up to the Kiwis to perform with the ball on a track that was giving some assistance to spin but was also allowing the batters to flourish.
Led by the evergreen and continually improving spinner Paul Wiseman, who was well supported by an attack of Cairns, Shayne O'Connor and crucially with an injury to Vettori, Nastle Astle, the New Zealanders took five wickets to dominate the fourth days final session.

This hard graft and eventual dominance in the field saw the Kiwis have Zimbabwe struggling at 100-5 at stumps to take four wickets and a lead of 112 into the final day at Bulawayo.

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