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In Brief | Nation & World | 12-9-2013


Owens’ Olympic gold medal sells for record $1.4M

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. — An Olympic gold medal won by Jesse Owens at the 1936 Berlin Games has sold for a record $1.4 million in an online auction.

SCP Auctions said Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle paid $1,466,574, the highest price for a piece of Olympic memorabilia. The online auction ended Sunday.

“We just hope that it’s purchased by an institution where the public could have access to it, a museum or something like that,” Owens’ daughter, Marlene Owens Rankin of Chicago, told The Associated Press before the sale.

The auction house said Burkle, who also owns William Faulkner’s Nobel Prize for literature, has plans for an educational tour of the historic pieces. He wasn’t available for comment Sunday.

The Los Angeles billionaire investor’s holdings include retail, food and entertainment companies.

Owens won gold in the 100 and 200 meters, 400 relay and long jump at the games attended by Adolf Hitler, who used the Olympics to showcase his ideas of Aryan supremacy.

According to the auction house based in Laguna Niguel, Calif., the medal is unidentifiable to a specific event. It said Owens gave the medal to his friend, dancer and movie star Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, as thanks for helping Owens find work in entertainment after he returned from Berlin.

The medal was sold by the estate of Robinson’s late widow, Elaine Plaines-Robinson. SCP Auctions Vice President Dan Imler said the Owens family confirmed the medal is original; the whereabouts of the other three is unknown.

The record price for the Owens medal surpassed that of a silver cup awarded to the winner of the first modern-day Olympic marathon in 1896 that sold for $865,000 in April 2012. It also topped the highest price paid for a U.S. Olympic item — the “Miracle on Ice” jersey worn by team captain Mike Eruzione in 1980 that sold for $657,250 last February.

The auction, including more than 1,000 sports memorabilia items, brought in a total of nearly $4.5 million.

Other top lots included Jackie Robinson’s game-used bats from his historic 1949 National League Most Valuable Player season and the 1955 World Series, which sold for $183,500 and $128,617, respectively; and a Jackie Robinson single-signed baseball attracted a record bid of $104,765.

UCLA wins women’s soccer title in overtime

CARY, N.C. — Kodi Lavrusky gave UCLA its first NCAA women’s soccer title Sunday, scoring in the 97th minute to lift the Bruins past Florida State 1-0 in overtime in cold and rainy conditions.

“The whole game we knew we had it in us,” Lavrusky said. “Once we got to that first overtime, we knew our chances were coming. We just had to finish one.”

Making a run from the back, Megan Oyster brought the ball down the left side of the field before crossing over to the middle. She slipped a pass in front of the goal to Lavrusky, who left-footed the ball into the bottom right corner of the net past diving goalkeeper Kelsey Wys.

It was the first title game decided in overtime since 2002.

The Bruins (22-1-3) finished the season with a 21-game unbeaten streak. They had 15 shutouts during that span, including five of six matches in the NCAA tournament.

Johnson rallies to win Tiger’s tourney

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Zach Johnson put together the storybook finish at Sherwood on Sunday that for the longest time belonged to Tiger Woods.

Johnson rallied from four shots behind with eight holes to play, holed out from a drop area for par on the last hole to force a playoff, and beat the No. 1 player in golf at the World Challenge when Woods missed a 5-foot par putt on the first extra hole.

It was an extraordinary sendoff at Sherwood, which hosted the World Challenge for the 14th and final time before it moves to Florida next year.

For Woods, it was only the fourth time in his career that he lost a lead of at least two shots going into the final round, the second time at Sherwood. Graeme McDowell overcame a four-shot deficit in 2010 and beat Woods in a playoff.

Jimenez defends Hong Kong title

HONG KONG — Miguel Angel Jimenez successfully defended his Hong Kong Open title Sunday to extend his record as the oldest winner in European Tour history.

The Spaniard won at 49 years, 337 days to break the record he set last year at Hong Kong Golf Club, holing an 18-foot birdie on the first hole of a playoff with Thailand’s Prom Meesawat and Wales’ Stuart Manley.

Jimenez won the event for the fourth time to match the tournament victory record set by Taiwan’s Hsieh Yong Yo, the winner in 1963, ‘64, ‘75 and ‘78. Jimenez also won in 2004 and 2007. He has 20 European Tour victories, a tour-record 13 since turning 40.

Bjorn closes strong at Nedbank

SUN CITY, South Africa — Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn had two back-nine eagles in a comeback victory in the Nedbank Golf Challenge.

The 42-year-old Bjorn closed with a 7-under 65 for a two-stroke victory over Wales’ Jamie Donaldson amd Spain’s Sergio Garcia.

Bjorn finished at 20-under 268 at Gary Player Country Club. He earned $1.25 million for his 15th European Tour title.

The victory was hailed by fans waving streams of South African flags in late afternoon sunshine on a day dedicated in the country to prayer and reflection following the death of former President Nelson Mandela.

By wire sources