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Friday, September 1, 2000

Sprint stars to stay in secret locale

  Canadian sprint stars Donovan Bailey and Bruny Surin will stay in a "secret" location during the Sydney Olympics.

 Athletics Canada president John Thresher confirmed yesterday that the two 100-metre sprinters will be put up in a house rented by the national track and field residence to maximize their privacy during the Games.

 "It all very secret, to keep them away from (the media)," Thresher said, with a laugh, adding that he won't give out the address.

 Most other Canadian team athletes will stay at the athletes' village in Sydney, but Thresher said that just isn't feasible for the higher-profile performers.

 "Donovan and Bruny stayed in (the athletes') hotel at the Seville world championships last year and people were knocking on Donovan's door at 1:30 a.m. in the morning asking for an autograph," Thresher said. "That just doesn't work."

 "We have to protect the people who get undo attention from other athletes and members of the public."

 AC officials secured the use of a private residence during the Atlanta Olympics and a number of athletes credited the move with the sprint team's excellent showing there.

 Thresher said the residence in Sydney is very convenient to the track.

 Bailey, the defending Olympic 100-metre champion, will compete at the ISTAF 2000 Golden League meet tonight in Berlin.

 Surin, who captured a silver in the 100-metres at the 1999 world championship, will go right from Montreal to the team's pre-Olympic training camp in Couran Cove, Australia this weekend.