Goodwill Games lose star to injury

Greene won't sprint

Posted: Thursday, August 30, 2001

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) -- For more than two years, sprinter Maurice Greene has been the advertising face of the Goodwill Games in Australia, shown on billboards and in television commercials ready to burst from the starting blocks.

As it turns out, that's about as close as he'll get to running the 100-meter race. The marquee attraction and world record-holder pulled out of the event Thursday and canceled all on-track engagements for the rest of the season due to a leg injury.

It is the second track and field withdrawal from the Games as Gabriela Szabo, the Olympic champion at 5,000 meters and world champion at 1,500, injured a leg while competing in Brussels last weekend.

But Goodwill Games organizers -- and the ticket-buying public in Brisbane -- will miss Greene much more. The 27-year-old American was injured while winning his third straight world title at Edmonton this month. Despite hobbling over the finish line with cramps in both his hamstrings and quadriceps, Greene was timed in 9.82 seconds, the third-fastest time in history and the fastest in the world this year.

Greene said Thursday he reinjured his left quadriceps during a workout Monday.

''I felt a sharp pain in the quad,'' he said in a telephone call from Los Angeles. ''So I think it's best for me not to compete. I'm not 100 percent. I don't want to put on a mediocre show. I wanted to put on a phenomenal performance."

I don't want to go there and not put on the best show I can.''

Nevertheless, Greene said he would be in Brisbane on Saturday and participate in Goodwill Games festivities.

''I want to support the meet,'' he said. ''Just because I'm not competing doesn't mean I can't support it.''

Haley Cope did her best to support her teammates in the opening swimming event Wednesday, holding off a late charge by Olympic champion Inge de Bruijn to help the United States defeat Europe in the dual meet format.

The Americans had a much more daunting date Thursday, taking on the powerful Australian women in the second match of the round-robin, a likely preview of Monday's gold medal final.

The Australian men, led by world record-holders Ian Thorpe and Grant Hackett, had an easy win over the Americans on Wednesday. They, along with the other men's teams -- Europe and the World -- aren't back in the pool until Friday.

Russia, which won three gold medals in gymnastics on opening night, sought more Thursday in the men's individual apparatus finals in the rings and vault and the women's in uneven bars. Also on the program was the rhythmic gymnastics all-around final.

Weightlifting competition was to begin Thursday night with the women's 75-kilogram super heavyweight. The only day action Thursday was continuing first-round play in men's and women's beach volleyball.

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