ASIAN GAMES—For the first time in 20 years, the PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA participated in international competition, winning 57 medals in the opening week's events in Tehran, Iran. JAPAN led with 97 medals (page 32).
BOWLING—PBA Rookie of the Year STEVE NEFF of Sarasota, Fla. scored his first pro victory, defeating Jim Frazier 256 pins to 196 in the final match of the $55,000 Canada Dry Open in Detroit.
BOXING—BOBBY CHACON of Sylmar, Calif. won the vacant World Boxing Council featherweight championship by stopping Venezuela's Alfredo Marcano in the ninth round of their scheduled 15-round title bout in Los Angeles (page 30).
PRO FOOTBALL—NFL: As exhibition play ended, it was not difficult for Steeler Coach Chuck Noll to choose Joe Gilliam as the starting quarterback for Pittsburgh's first regular-season game. The Steelers were undefeated in the preseason, largely because of the kind of performance turned in by Gilliam in a 41-15 rout of the Cowboys: he completed 10 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns. He passed for 11 touchdowns in six preseason games to lead all NFL quarterbacks. Minnesota's Chuck Foreman rushed for 109 yards in the Vikings' 42-0 romp over San Diego. Miami beat Chicago 30-7; Kansas City defeated St. Louis 31-16; and Green Bay nipped Cincinnati 26-24. Billy Kilmer connected with Charley Taylor for a third-quarter touchdown that gave the Redskins a 7-6 victory over Baltimore. Buffalo turned back the Giants 23-17 in overtime, Detroit topped Cleveland 21-7 and Oakland beat the Jets 31-6. In other action, New Orleans defeated Houston 24-16, Los Angeles beat San Francisco 17-7, Atlanta stopped the Broncos 20-14 and New England turned back the Eagles 27-17.
WFL: For a while in Birmingham it looked as if even Hurricane Carmen could not douse the Chicago Fire. After three periods, the Americans held a 38-19 lead. Then Chicago Quarterback Virgil Carter struck through the rain, throwing three touchdown passes that threatened to end Birmingham's nine-game unbeaten streak. Kicker Earl Sark preserved the string by booting a 34-yard field goal with 47 seconds left for a 41-40 Birmingham victory. Earlier, the Americans had defeated Florida 8-7. Portland won its first two games of the season; the Storm blew out the Wheels 18-7 and topped the Hawaiians 15-8. Memphis also won twice beating Jacksonville 16-13 and Houston 45-0. Southman John Huarte threw for three touchdowns against the Texans, and backup Danny White added two more. The Hawaiians also prospered against Houston, winning 33-15. New York topped Philadelphia 24-16 before losing to Eastern Division-leading Florida 17-15. Chicago scored a 32-22 win over Southern California, the leader in the Western Division. The Sun came back to stop the Wheels 10-7, leaving Detroit as the only winless team, and Jacksonville overcame Philadelphia 34-30.
GOLF—LEE TREVINO defeated Gary Player on the 7th hole of an unprecedented two-day sudden-death playoff to win the $50,000 first prize in the World Series of Golf at the Firestone Country Club in Akron (page 113).
Firing a five-under-par final-round 65, FORREST FEZLER scored a one-stroke victory over J.C. Snead and Bruce Crampton in the $100,000 Southern Open at Green Island Country Club in Columbus, Ga. Fezler, whose total was 271, collected $20,000 for the win, his first in three years on the pro tour.
Joanne Carner won the $40,000 Dallas Civitan Open at Brookhaven Country Club with a 217 total, one over par and one stroke up on Kathy Whitworth.
HARNESS RACING—Securing his second straight U.S. Pacing Championship, SIR DALRAE ($10.20), driven by Jim Dennis, took the $52,500 third and final leg of the series, pacing the mile in 1:59 at Hollywood Park. Invincible Shadow was second, three-quarters of a length back.
HORSE RACING—Larry Snyder rode BUFFALO LARK ($16.20) to a 1-length victory over Royal Glint in the $131,800 Arlington Handicap at Arlington Park. The winning time for the 1[3/16]-mile turf race was 1:54[2/5].
Just the time ($31.60), Marco Castaneda up, covered 6½ furlongs in 1:16[2/5] to finish a head in front of High Steel in the $118,335 Futurity Stakes for 2-year-olds at Belmont Park.
MOTOR SPORTS—Covering 187 miles around Monza's 3½-mile track in 1:22:56.10, RONNIE PETERSON averaged 135 mph in a Lotus to win his second straight Grand Prix of Italy and his third Formula I race of the season. Emerson Fittipaldi was second in a McLaren-Ford and Jody Scheckter was third driving a Tyrrel-Ford.
MODERN PENTATHLON—VLADIMIR SHMELEV led the SOVIET UNION to a successful defense of its world team title against teams from 17 countries in Moscow. Hungary and Rumania were second and third; the U.S. finished 11th.
ROWING—America's elite heavyweight eight, a pickup crew together less than a month, scored a stunning victory at the world championship in Lucerne, Switzerland. The U.S. lightweight eight-oared boat also was victorious on the 2,000-meter Rotsee course. With favorite Sean Drea of Ireland out of the race because of emergency kidney surgery, WOLFGANG HONIG of East Germany overpowered Jim Dietz of the U.S. in the elite single-sculls final. America's BILL BELDEN won the lightweight single sculls and EAST GERMANY took the elite fours with and without cox, the elite double and quadruple sculls, and the elite pair without cox.
TENNIS—In a rain-delayed finals at Forest Hills, JIMMY CONNORS repeated his Wimbledon performance by once again beating Ken Rosewall, this time 6-1, 6-0, 6-1. BILLIE JEAN KING rallied to win the women's singles 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 over Australia's Evonne Goolagong (page 22).
TRACK & FIELD—Olympic champion VALERY BORZOV of Russia won the 100-meter dash at the European Championships in Rome, tying his own shared meet record of 10.3 and leading a strong performance by Eastern European athletes. East Germany's RUTH FUCHS bettered her world record in the javelin with a 220'6" throw, teammate ROSEMARIE WITSCHAS set a new world mark of 6'4¾" in the high jump and the East German women's 1,600-meter relay team posted a 3:25.2 for a meet record. Poland's IRENA SZEWINSKA defeated Renate Stecher of East Germany in the women's 100-and 200-meter races, clocking an 11.1 and a 22.5. Briton IAN THOMPSON ran away with the marathon in 2:13:18.8 and countryman BRENDAN FOSTER won the 5,000 by 70 meters in 13:17.2. BRONISLAW MALINOWSKI of Poland defeated Sweden's Anders Garderud in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 8:15.0. And the East German women's 400-meter relay team added a final world record when the quartet of Doris Maletzki, Stecher, Christina Heinich and Barbel Eckert turned in a 0:42.5 clocking.
MILEPOSTS—HIRED: As head basketball coach at CCNY, FLOYD LAYNE, 45, a guard on the 1950 CCNY team that won both the NIT and the NCAA championships. In 1951 Layne and four teammates were suspended from school and barred from the NBA for participating in a national point-shaving scheme. Layne later returned to college, earning a bachelor's and a master's degree in education, and has spent the last 20 years as a recreation adviser and junior college coach in New York City.
NAMED: To coach the ABA Utah Stars, MORRIS (Bucky) BUCKWALTER, who directed the NBA SuperSonics for part of the 1973 season. He coached at Seattle University from 1967-72.
RETIRED: OSCAR ROBERTSON, 35, a guard for the Cincinnati Royals (1960-70) and the MILWAUKEE Bucks (1970-74). A member of 12 NBA All-Star teams, Robertson holds league records for free throws made and assists, had a career scoring average of 25.7 points per game and was voted Most Valuable Player in 1964. Robertson and JOHNNY UNITAS, who retired from pro football in August, will join the CBS-TV sports broadcasting staff.
RETIRED: To stud, 1974 Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner LITTLE CURRENT, as a result of a fracture of his right front ankle that occurred in the Lawrence Realization. Recently syndicated for $4 million, Little Current will stand at Owner John Galbreath's Darby Dan Farm in Lexington, Ky.
TRADED: By the NBA Golden State Warriors, 6'11" Center NATE THURMOND, to the Chicago Bulls for Center Clifford Ray, a substantial sum of money and a 1975 first-round draft pick.
DIED: MAUREEN GARDNER DYSON, 45, former British Olympian and world-record holder in the 80-meter hurdles; after a long illness; in Southampton, England.