She won early and often, and often by overwhelming margins. She won a major tournament, and a remarkable 10 times...

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Sorenstam repeats as AP’s choice for top woman athlete: She won early and often, and often by overwhelming margins. She won a major tournament, and a remarkable 10 times in 20 starts worldwide.

What was an average year for golfer Annika Sorenstam of Sweden was more than good enough to earn her recognition as The Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row.

Sorenstam, 34, received 40 first-place votes and 263 total points in media voting. Diana Taurasi, who led Connecticut to the NCAA basketball title and then was selected the WNBA’s rookie of the year, finished second with 154 points.


Navratilova to play doubles in Australia: Martina Navratilova, 48, arrived in Australia to begin her 30th season as a professional player.

Navratilova, who delayed plans to retire after competing at her first Olympics this summer, will play doubles in 2005 — usually with 21-year-old Daniela Hantuchova.


Chelsea wins by shutout: Chelsea beat Portsmouth 2-0 on late goals by Arjen Robben and Joe Cole to extend its lead in the English Premier League to eight points.

Robben scored in the 79th minute on the road and Cole added the second goal during injury time for Chelsea, which has 49 points. Arsenal has 41.

Berlusconi resigns: Silvio Berlusconi resigned as president of AC Milan to conform with Italian laws that prohibit the country’s premier from running private enterprises while in office.

Romario to retire: Brazilian striker Romario, 38, said he is retiring after a career in which he helped lead his country to the 1994 World Cup title.


Stadium construction resumes in China: China has resumed building its 100,000-seat stadium for the 2008 Games in Beijing after stopping this summer for a redesign to cut costs.

Provisional budget for 2006 Games approved: Organizers for the 2006 Turin Olympics approved a provisional budget that includes aid from Sviluppo Italia, a public agency, to cover a shortfall estimated at more than $245 million.

A final vote on the complete budget of $1.76 billion, which would cover operations through the Feb. 10-26 Games, was scheduled for Feb. 4.


Schild prevails: Marlies Schild won a World Cup giant slalom before her home fans in Semmering, Austria, six days after she crashed into a pole during a race in Switzerland and bit off part of her tongue.

Schild completed two runs in 2 minutes, 15.97 seconds.


Skipper Ingvall triumphs: Nicorette won the annual Rolex Sydney Hobart race to give Finland-born skipper Ludde Ingvall his second victory in four years.

Nicorette, a 90-footer, crossed the line at Hobart’s Constitution Dock in Tasmania after completing the 628-nautical-mile course in 2 days, 16 hours, 44 seconds.


Ray sues NHLPA: Rob Ray, who ended last season with Ottawa, sued the NHL Players’ Association, claiming he has been shut out of the union’s lockout-compensation fund as punishment because he said in October he would return to the ice if the NHL used replacement players.

Canada, Russia win: Canada improved to 3-0 in preliminary games at the World Junior Hockey Championship when it routed Germany 9-0 in Grand Forks, N.D. Meanwhile, Russia beat Belarus 7-2 in Thief River Falls, Minn., and is 2-1.

Seattle Times news services