Bailey reins it in during soggy sprint
By MIKE GANTER -- Toronto Sun
For the second time in four days, Donovan Bailey quit running hard midway through a race rather than risk injury.
The defending Olympic champion finished a distant eighth in the Norwich Union Classic 100-metre race yesterday at Gateshead, England in a time of 10.46.
But unlike Friday's race in Brussels in which he also coasted to an eighth-place finish, Bailey was not the only one being cautious yesterday on a rain-soaked track.
"A lot of it was the weather," Bailey said from his hotel room. "Everyone was worried about getting hurt this close to the Olympics."
The race was won by Britain's Dwain Chambers in a pedestrian 10.11. American Bernard Williams was second in 10.17, followed by American star Maurice Greene in 10.24.
On Friday, Greene ran a season-best 9.88 in Brussels.
Bailey, though, did find a positive in an otherwise dreary afternoon saying he had good acceleration through the first 50-metres before shutting things down.
The weather ruled out Bailey putting his sore left hamstring to the test. Bailey hurt the hamstring Aug. 1 in Stockholm and now has run in two races without seriously testing it.
"It felt okay," Bailey said, "but the hamstring doesn't really get extended until after 50 metres."
At that point Bailey was into coast mode.
About an hour before the 100-metre race, the U.S. 4x100-metre relay team put together its best run of the season, winning in 37.95 seconds.
Bailey reiterated his dismay at the lack of organization on the part of Canada's relay team, the defending Olympic gold medallist. Earlier this season, Bailey petitioned Athletics Canada to send young Canadian sprinters such as Brad McCuaig, Pierre Browne and Nick Macrozonaris to Europe to take part in some relays.
"There's another opportunity in Berlin," Bailey said looking ahead to a meet on Friday but again there will be no Canadian entry in the relay. "That's something that could have occurred."
Instead Bailey and his relay teammates will not get together until they arrive in Sydney. The Games start Sept. 15.
Bailey will take part in a meet tomorrow in Thessaloniki, Greece, then head to Berlin on Friday. He may have one more tuneup before the Olympics at a meet Sept. 3 in France, although that has not been confirmed.
Bailey had expected to be joined in Greece by teammate Bruny Surin, but Surin has opted out of that meet. Surin's agent, Ray Flynn, said his client will be in Berlin.
-- with files from Steve Buffery