World Fastest Human delivers

Greene runs sizzling 100 in preliminaries, Godina wins shot put

Posted: Sunday, August 05, 2001

EDMONTON, Alberta -- Maurice Greene is halfway to his third consecutive 100-meter world title and John Godina is halfway to an unprecedented field event double.

Greene ran a sparkling 9.88 seconds in winning his second-round heat in the 100 meters at the World Championships Saturday. At first, it was announced that he had run into a headwind of 5.1 meters per second.

Track statisticians estimate that such a strong wind adds three-tenths of a second to a runner's time, which would have given Greene 9.58. Afterward, the world governing body of track and field said the wind gauge malfunctioned during all the second-round heats of the 100 and said no records -- including a world junior record and national records -- would count.

Godina, trying for an unprecedented sweep of the shot put and discus titles, won his third world shot put gold medal, with a heave of 71 feet, 9 inches, leading a 1-2 U.S. finish as Adam Nelson took second at 68-9 1/4. The discus final is Wednesday.

Greene set the world record of 9.79 in 1999. The fastest recorded time run under any conditions is a wind-aided 9.69 by Obadele Thompson of Barbados at El Paso, Texas, in 1996.

Greene's performance topped a series of sizzling times in the second-round heats.

In leading the way into Sunday's semifinals, the Olympic champion set himself up as the favorite to win his third straight world title.

''Everyone wants the gold medal,'' Greene said. ''You have to come through me to get it.

''I've got something special for tomorrow. As you see, I just ran 9.88 with ease.''

Tim Montgomery, the world leader this year at 9.84, ran his heat just before Greene and won at 9.92.

Asked if he thought Montgomery had sent a message, Greene replied, ''He just got a message from me.''

The other second-round heat winners were Olympic relay gold medalist Bernard Williams at 9.95, and Britons Mark Lewis-Francis and Dwain Chambers at 9.97 each.

Canada's Donovan Bailey, the 1996 Olympic gold medalist, 1995 world champion and former world record-holder, ran a season's best of 10.11 in finishing third in his heat and qualifying for the semifinals.

In the first round of the 100, Greene eased through his heat, while some of his rivals claimed he had an advantage.

After Greene won his heat in a slow 10.33, Ato Boldon of Trinidad & Tobago and Bailey finished 1-2 in their heat at 10.13 and 10.20, respectively, then complained they were forced to run in shoes other than those they normally wear.

Boldon and Bailey were among the Adidas athletes competing in the 100, and all were told by meet officials that their spikes were too wide and illegal

That forced them to make adjustments, and made them angry. Particularly Boldon.

Immediately after finishing, he lay on the track and removed his borrowed shoes.

''My feet are throbbing,'' he said. ''The shoes were too tight.

''Maurice (who runs in Nike shoes) can run in his shoes and we can't.

''That was a mad 10.13. I wasn't supposed to run that fast.''

Neither was Bailey.

Bailey said before the meet he had torn cartilage in his left knee.

The knee held up well Saturday.

''I shouldn't be running, but I have to give it a shot,'' he said. ''I didn't look too bad.

''There's swelling. There's a lot of water in there.''

Unlike Boldon, he did not have to borrow a pair of shoes. He had another pair with legal spikes -- ones he wore in 1996. Still, he wasn't happy with the situation.

The shoe controversy was resolved after the first round.

''There was a misunderstanding,'' IAAF spokesman Giorgio Reineri said. ''The athletes were authorized to run with those shoes this afternoon (in round two).''

While none ran their best in the heats, trying to conserve energy for the later rounds, Greene was looking ahead to run his best in Sunday's final.

''If I run my best, the whole world will be impressed,'' he said.

''The chances are very good for a world record. The track is very fast.''

Greene didn't show any signs of the left knee tendinitis that has bothered him recently. ''What knee?'' he said.

Godina won both the shot put and discus at the 1998 USA Championships. But he has struggled with the discus in major international competitions.

''If I pull that off (the double), I don't think anyone will do that for the next 100 years,'' he said.

Godina's winning throw came on his first attempt.

''You like to hit it early and then nobody else has a chance,'' Godina said, after celebrating by falling on his back and peering at the sky. ''It worked out that way. This is better than any event I've ever won.''

South Africa's Janus Robberts, this year's world leader, failed to qualify for the eight-man final after leading the qualifying at 69-9. Olympic champion Arsi Harju of Finland was third at 68-8.

In Saturday's other final, the men's 20-kilometer walk, Russians finished 1-2-3. Roman Rasskazov, the Russian champion the past three years, beat defending champion Ilya Markov by one second at 1:20:32, with Viktor Burayev third.

Meanwhile, Russia's Olga Yegorova was allowed to compete at the championships after the results of an apparently failed drug test were thrown out on a technicality.

Yegorova, the world indoor 3,000 champion, had been suspended by track and field's world governing body, pending the result of a second test for the endurance-boosting hormone EPO.

The IAAF originally said that Yegorova tested positive for EPO at a July 6 meet in Paris.

Earlier in the week, defending 5,000-meter champion Gabriela Szabo threatened to boycott that event if Yegorova was allowed to compete. Szabo did run Saturday, winning her 1,500-meter heat.

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