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Sports

Briefs: Phelps finishes with 7 world golds

| Monday, April 2, 2007

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Michael Phelps smashed his own standard in the 400-meter individual medley by 2.04 seconds Sunday night, breaking his fifth world record and becoming the most successful swimmer ever at the world championships.

"This is probably one of the best meets I've ever had," he said. "I'm definitely happy with how it turned out."

The 21-year-old American joined countryman Mark Spitz as the only swimmers to win seven golds at a major international meet. Of course, Spitz' achievement came on the sport's grandest stage -- the Olympics.

Phelps hopes to equal the feat or go one better at next year's Beijing Games.

"This is definitely the best-case scenario for what we had in mind leading into the (U.S.) trials and Olympics next year," he said.

Buoyed by Phelps' historic performance, the United States won a leading 36 medals, including 20 golds -- equaling its record haul at the 1978 worlds in Berlin.

College basketball

Duquesne coach Ron Everhart was scheduled to accept the Most Courageous Award today from the United States Basketball Writers Association.

Pro basketball

The Washington Wizards might be without All-Star forward Caron Butler for the playoffs. Butler scored 19 points before he broke his right hand yesterday midway through the third quarter during the Wizards' game against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Cycling

In Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Olympic champion Chris Hoy of Britain won his fourth 1-kilometer sprint title at the world track championships yesterday.

Pro football

• The NFL plans to cancel a scheduled exhibition game in China between Seattle and New England, Sports Illustrated reported on its Web site. SI.com, citing unidentified sources, said yesterday the league will announce the decision to cancel the China Bowl early this week. The Seahawks and Patriots are scheduled to play Aug. 7 at Workers Stadium.

• Corey Dillon's agent said yesterday the "right situation" could change his mind on retirement, and on Wednesday Dillon is scheduled to meet with the Tennessee Titans to see if there might be a match.

Motor sports

In St. Petersburg, Fla., Helio Castroneves cruised to an easy victory yesterday, running a nearly perfect race to win the Honda St. Petersburg Grand Prix for the second straight year.

Skiing

Jimmy Cochran edged Ted Ligety in the second run of the slalom yesterday, winning another national title on the same mountain where he won twice in 2004 at the U.S. Alpine Championships.

Tennis

Novak Djokovic, a 19-year-old Serb, beat qualifier Guillermo Canas, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, in yesterday's Sony Ericsson Open final. Seeded 10th, Djokovic will improve to a career-high No. 7 in the rankings today.

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