News24 Aug 2000

Not even the elements can stop Jones


Not even the elements can stop Jones
Phil Minshull in Brussels for the IAAF

25 August 2000 - Marion Jones' winning 100 metres time of 10.83 is still exceptional even in the pantheon of her extraordinary feats over the last four summers, since her return to the sport in 1997.

The bare statistics alone made it the second fastest time this season - however it was a achieved INTO a 1.3 metres per second breeze.

No woman - not even the late Florence Griffith-Joyner – has even run as fast and into such a strong wind.

For once Jones had a good start - timed at 153 hundredths of a second out of her blocks, the third fastest in the field – and by 30 metres she was comfortably at the front.

From that point she had no worries and continued to increase the gap between her and the women chasing.

"I'm very pleased with this victory - the most important thing is that I feel good. No hindering forces, just smooth sprinting," Jones said quickly, before breaking away to contest the long jump.

Bahamas' Sevatheda Fynes, one of the faster starters than Jones, finished second in 11.08 with her compatriot Debbie Ferguson third in 11.11.

The wind swung around behind the backs of the men in the 100 metres, less than 30 minutes later, but Maurice Greene still posted an hugely impressive 9.88 seconds with a barely illegal 2.1 mps following wind.

Greene didn't have the best of starts but once he hit the accelerator there was nothing anyone could do to stop him breasting the line first.

The time equals the fastest time of the year under any conditions, previously posted by Coby Miller in April but with a vastly more helpful 4.5 mps.

Importantly it also kept Greene in the race for a share of the IAAF Golden League Jackpot of 50 killogrammes of gold, which he can secure if he wins in Berlin next Friday.

Paul Tergat has happy memories of the Belgian capital after setting his former world record of 26:27.85 at the same meeting three years ago and another rare outing below the 27 minute bench mark followed the following year.

This year he settled for victory in a more than respectable 27:03.87 which, if his suggestion that it might be his last 10,000 proves to be true, is a suitable goodbye to one of the most respected - and sporting - runners of recent times.

Tergat did not have the easiest of goodbyes though. The halfway point was reached in 13:18.98 but after being tracked for 6.5 kilometres by his friend and training partner Patrick Ivuti, Tergat took the lead.

"It was too hot for really fast times but this was a good run for

me in preparation for the Olympics," Tergat said.

"I still have high hopes of going to Sydney for this event – I love the 10,000. But if I can't go then for sure this was my last 10,000," he said.

Next year the marathon beckons for Tergat.

Behind Tergat, Felix Limo proved that Brussels always throws up a new Kenyan name to contend with - remember Charles Kamathi in the same event last year - and closed on the five-times world cross country champion in the home straight to slice more than a minute off his previous best with 27:04.54.

Prior to taking to the track in Brussels, Limo had a previous best of 28.23.90.

The emergence of Limo will cause confusion in the ranks of the sports' statisticians - in similar fashion to the plethora of Kenyan steeplechasers with the surname Kosgei - with Richard Limo and Benjamin Limo already well-established.

However none of the trio are directly related to each other. "I think Felix might be my something like a second cousin but he's not a close relation," Benjamin Limo, who took the pace through to 4 kilometres, said.

In the men's shot put the 2000 world leader Adam Nelson regained his composure after his defeat in Monaco, where he lost his chance of sharing the Golden League jackpot.

His first round effort on 21.58 metres - the 10th best mark of the year, five of which now belong to the Atlanta native - stamped his seal of authority on the competition.

Only the Ukraine's Yuriy Belonog, who defeated Nelson in Monte Carlo, also got over 21 metres but this time had to settle for a distant second place with 21.10.

Over in the discus circle, Lithuania's Vigilijus Alekna won by more than a metre, with a third round throw of 68.06.

South Africa's Frantz Kruger failed to find his the form which saw him launch the implement out to a Commonwealth record 68.13 in Cottbus just two days earlier, and finished second with 66.82.

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