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Sheila Taormina, Olympic Gold Medalist in Swimming in '96, Wins World Triathlon Crown -- May 12, 2004

FUNCHAL, Madeira Islands, Portugal, May 11. SHEILA Taormina, a 1996 Olympic gold medalist in swimming and former University of Georgia All-American, won the women's race at the Triathlon World Championships in Funchal on Sunday. Bevan Docherty of New Zealand won the men's race.

Taormina now joins Barb Lindquist, a former Stanford swimmer, on the 2004 US Olympic team.

The Olympic distance race included a 1500 meter swim, 40-K bike ride and 10-K run.

Taormina, of Livonia, Mich., took the women's title in 1 hour 52 minutes 17.3 seconds. Loretta Harrop of Australia was second, 12.4 seconds behind, while American Laura Reback was third.

Docherty won the men's race in 1:41:04.4, less than a second ahead of Ivan Rana of Spain. Dimitri Gaag of Kazakhstan was third.