SEARCH 2000 Games

Friday, August 25, 2000
PROFILE: Donovan Bailey
Bailey eighth at Van Damme meet

BRUSSELS (AP) -- If Friday was any indication, Donovan Bailey's chances of repeating as Olympic champion don't look good.

Bailey finished a disappointing eighth at the Memorial Van Damme track meet while Maurice Greene finished the 100 metres in a season's best 9.88 seconds. World champion Greene dominated from the starting gun and held a huge gap over fellow-American Bernard Williams at the tape. Williams crossed in 10.01, just .01 seconds ahead of Ato Boldon. Bailey finished in 10.20.

Bailey was running his first race since he suffered a small tear in his hamstring earlier this month.

Bailey has made a remarkable comeback from a career-threatening torn Achilles tendon suffered in September 1998.

He also overcame an adductor muscle injury 10 days before the '96 Games in Atlanta, coming back to win the gold medal in a then world-record time of 9.84 seconds.

But Greene appears the Olympic favourite, holding the four top times of the season. He is also in contention for the $1-million Golden League Jackpot.

Every athlete winning five of seven Golden League events gets a share of the top prize.

Gail Devers was impressive in the 100 hurdles, winning her fifth Golden League meet, assuring her at least of a share of the $1-million jackpot.

Devers achieved this in impressive style. Flying low over the hurdles, she clocked 12.53, only her fifth fastest time this season but still faster than anyone else.

In the 100, American Marion Jones set the season's second-best time, finishing in 10.83 seconds, just 0.05 off her top time this year.

She dominated from start to finish, and held off Savatheda Fynes of the Bahamas by a massive 0.25 margin.

Her chief rival so far, fellow-American Inger Miller, finished only fifth in 11.17, just edging Jamaican veteran Merlene Ottey, making a comeback from a drug suspension.

Jones, who is going for five golds in Sydney, took part in the long jump later in the evening.

Paul Tergat also set a season's best, in the 10,000, hoping to sway Kenyan selectors to pick him for the distance at the Sydney Olympics.

"I love the 10,000 so much," he said, adding though, "the most important thing is to be on the Olympic team." Tergat is already running the 5,000 in Sydney.

Tergat finished in 27 minutes 03.87, slicing 15.08 seconds off the previous best, set by compatriot Simon Maina-Munyi.

Michael Johnson made a successful return to racing at the Van Damme after his hamstring injury in the 200 final of the U.S. trials last month ended his hopes of a repeat Olympic double.

Before a crowd of 48,000 at the King Baudouin Stadium, Tergat and fellow Kenyan Patrick Ivuti took the lead after 13 minutes, just under five kilometres, and Tergat increased the pace at six kilometres. He never looked back.

With a strong late charge, Felix Limo finished second in 27:04.54.

Tergat has been the chief rival of Olympic and world champion Haile Gebrselassie over the 10,000. He set a world record at the distance at the same meet three years ago but has since lost it to Gebrselassie.

Australia's Cathy Freeman needed a strong finishing kick to keep opposition back, finishing in 49.78 seconds. Mexico's Ana Guevara was second in 50.21.
Donovan Bailey in the news
Bailey able to pub crawl
Bailey still weak after five days of rest
Canadians are relay hurting
Bailey in pictures
Out in Sydney
Hugging Maurice Greene
First heat okay
Sydney workout
All smiles
Hugging dad
Making a funny face
Tying his shoes
Working out
As a SUNshine Boy