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What to look out for on Day 8

What to lookout for on Day 8
10 August 2001 – Edmonton - Like Sebastian Coe at the 1980 Olympics, who lost the 800m but returned to memorably win the 1500m, Marion Jones gets a second chance at gold this afternoon in the Women’s 200m. Jones’ task will be made easier by the fact that the woman who surprised her in the 100m, Zhanna Pintusevich-Block, did not also enter the 200m, although she was a world champion at that distance in 1997. With defending champion Inger Miller failing to make it through to the final, Jones’ main challengers will be the World Indoor champion Juliet Campbell, and Debbie Ferguson of the Bahamas, who clocked a seasonal best of 22.39 to win the third heat. Leonie Mani Myriam of Cameroon also ran a season’s best of 22.59 to win the second semi and could be a medal contender.

Bulgaria’s elegant Tereza Marinova – who won the Triple Jump at the last two major events, the Olympics and the World Indoor Champs, continues to show her superiority in this gruelling event. The 24 year-old qualified with by far the best mark - 14.89 – and looks like having a firm grip on the gold. Should she slip up, there are a number of other contenders including Magdelin Martinez, the former Cuban who became eligible to compete for Italy just last week, Cristina Nicolau, the tall Romanian who recently won at the Francophone Games, and Britain’s former world indoor champion Ashia Hansen, who is slowly regaining her best form. Francoise Mbango Etone is the second athlete from Cameroon to make a final today, and the Commonwealth Games silver medallist could be a medal contender as she qualified impressively with 14.64.

With the surprising non-qualification of the Olympic champion Angelo Taylor, the men’s 400m hurdles final has been thrown wide open, with the defending champion from Italy, Fabrizio Mori, the in-form Felix Sanchez and the Olympic silver medallist Hadi Sou’an Al Somaily, all in with a chance. Sanchez, who lives in Los Angeles but competes for the Dominican Republic, was the quickest qualifier with 48.07, and has won his last four races. Britain’s Chris Rawlinson, who flopped at the Sydney Games, has regained his confidence and won his semi-final impressively in 48.27 – less than 2/10ths of a second off his personal best.

Kenya will be hoping that their 5000m men can repeat the success of Charles Kamathi in the 10,000m, but the Ethiopian challenge is perhaps fiercer in the shorter event, with Olympic champion Million Wolde and Hailu Mekonnen (the world’s fastest this season) both in good shape and determined to avenge the defeat of their mentor Haile Gebrselassie. And although Kenya’s Richard Limo, Sammy Kipketer and John Kibowen, will try and force a fast pace, the big question will be whether Ali Saidi-Sief, the Algerian who is so impressive in Grand Prix style races, can prove he has a tactical brain as well. Saidi-Sief, who lost a slow race in Sydney despite being the overwhelming favourite, will have to counter the team-tactics of his East African rivals if he is to emerge as champion. The only non-Africans to have made it to the final are France’s Ismael Sghyr and Driss El Himer, the Spaniards Alberto Garcia and Isaac Viciosa, Norway’s Marius Bakken and Adam Goucher of the USA.