Jones breezes to win in 200 heat

Gebrselassie beaten in 10,000

Posted: Thursday, August 09, 2001

EDMONTON, Alberta -- Two days after failing to win a third straight 100 title, Marion Jones began her quest for her first at 200 meters by winning her heat at the World Championships on Wednesday night.

Jones, who had her streak of 42 consecutive victories in 100 finals snapped by Ukraine's Zhanna Pintusevich-Block, charged out of the blocks in the 200, took command quickly, then coasted down the straightaway and finished in 22.70 seconds.

Haile Gebrselassie, Ethiopia's marvelous distance runner, lost his bid for a fifth straight men's 10,000 title, finishing third in his first race in 10 months, and Lars Riedel, Germany's remarkable discus thrower, won his fifth gold medal.

Two years ago at the championships, the 200 proved disastrous for Jones.

After winning the 100 and finishing third in the long jump, she pulled up lame in the 200 semifinals with a back injury.

''It's great to be back out here and build back a bit of confidence,'' Jones said. ''I wasn't broken down after the 100, but it's been awhile that I've lost a race and I did forget how to deal with it.''

The semifinals are Thursday night and the final Friday.

Defending champion Inger Miller, who has been nursing injuries all year, also reached the semifinals, finishing fourth in her heat in 22.98. Kelli White (22.65) and Latasha Jenkins (22.82) won their heats.

Gebrselassie, sidelined because of foot surgery since winning his second consecutive Olympic title last October, didn't have his patented finishing kick.

Instead, Charles Kamathi of Kenya fought his way past three Ethiopians and won in 27:53.25.

Ethiopia's Assefa Mezgebu finished second at 27:53.97 and Gebrselassie was third in 27:54.41. The loss was Gebrselassie's first since 1998, when he was beaten at 800 meters. Since then, he had won 36 consecutive finals at various distances.

''I am not disappointed,'' Gebrselassie said. ''Why should I be disappointed? I tried, but I couldn't do it. The last 100 meters ... I couldn't do anything.

''I didn't expect the Kenyan to come past me so fast. I thought it was only me. The last 100, I was surprised.''

The 34-year-old Riedel regained the discus title he lost in 1999 to Anthony Washington with a throw of 228 feet, 9 inches, his best this season.

Riedel, the world champion in 1991, '93, '95 and '97 and the bronze medalist in '99, cried with joy after his victory.

Olympic champion Virgilijus Alekna of Lithuania finished second at 227-8.

In other finals at the track championships, Germany's Martin Buss won the men's high jump with a world-leading 7-8 3/4; Kenyan Olympic champion Reuben Kosgei took the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase in 8:15.16; and Morocco's Nezha Bidouane, the 1997 world champion in the women's 400 hurdles, regained the title, with a world-leading 53.34.

Buss, the 1999 world bronze medalist, cleared a career-best in winning his first major title. Russia's Vyacheslav Voronin, the defending champion, and compatriot Yaroslav Rybakov tied for second at 7-7 3/4.

World record-holder Javier Sotomayor of Cuba, competing for the first time in Canada since being suspended at the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg for failing a drug test, also cleared 7-7 3/4, but finished fourth because of more misses.

Americans Shawn Crawford and Kevin Little advanced to the final of the men's 200, where they will have to contend with the Olympic champion.

Crawford, this year's world indoor champion, finished third in his semifinal heat in 20.19, while Little, the 1995 world indoor champion and four-time indoor medalist, was second in his heat with a season's best 20.13.

In Crawford's heat, Greece's Konstadinos Kederis, the Sydney Games gold medalist, won in 20.03, the fastest time in the world this year, and a national record.

Olympic champion Angelo Taylor, running with a sinus condition and a weak stomach, failed to get through the semifinals of the men's 400 hurdles.

Taylor was slowest out of the blocks in the first of three heats, then clipped the final hurdle, went off stride and stumbled across the finish line in fourth place.

The disappointed Taylor buried his head as he knelt on the track, then lay on his stomach and stayed there for about a minute before rising and kneeling again with his head slumped over.

He was timed in 49.23, nearly 1 1/2 seconds slower than his world-leading time of 47.95 this year.

''I never really lost concentration,'' Taylor said. ''I just could not execute well. What I wanted to do was attack the hurdle, so that I would not lose any momentum, but I was just too far away. I thought I could clear it, but clearly I was wrong.''

The other two Americans, Calvin Davis and James Carter, also missed qualifying for the final. The fastest qualifier was Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic in 48.07.

This was the first time in World Championship or Olympic history that the United States did not have an entry in a 400 hurdles final.

Allen Johnson, the 1996 Olympic gold medalist and two-time world champion, and Dawane Wallace qualified for the final of the 110 hurdles, but 2000 Olympic silver medalist Terrence Trammell did not.

Trammell hit the sixth hurdle during his heat and missed qualifying by .01 seconds.

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