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  • Sunday, August 29, 1999

    Marathon man runs home happy

    By STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun
      SEVILLE, Spain -- There was electricity in the air over arid Andalucia yesterday, a dynamic force of energy created by 52,273 screaming fans who cheered home compatriot Abel Anton to the marathon gold medal.
     A roar went up inside the Olympic Stadium when Anton, 36, ran on to the track for his victory lap and the fans soon chanted "Abel!" in honour of their hero, who had won the same title two years ago in Athens. Anton became only the second man in history to win a world marathon title on home soil (Hiromo Taniguchi did it at the 1991 worlds in Tokyo).
     Anton crossed the line in two hours 13 minutes 36 seconds, blowing kisses to the crowd and waving his arms as he ran the final few metres.
     Next to Michael Johnson's 400-metre world-record romp on Thursday, Anton's victory has been the highlight of the nine-day meet, which ends today.
     Vincenzo Modica of Italy, who kissed the track after crossing the finish line, finished second in 2:14.03 while Nobuyuki Sato of Japan was third in 2:14.07. Bruce Deacon, Canada's lone entry in the race, was 27th in 2:20.25.
     GREENE BEST: Bruny Surin of Montreal, second to double world champion Maurice Greene in the 100-metre final, rates his American rival above any sprinter in history.
     "In the 100, I think he is even stronger than Carl Lewis," Surin said. "When Maurice runs poorly, he runs 9.90.
     "He has a consistency no other sprinter has ever had before him. That's why he beat me in the final."
     JONES CHECKED: Marion Jones flew home yesterday for further medical checks on the back injury that knocked her out of the world championships.
     The American sprinter and long jumper was seeking a record four gold medals at the championships, but left with only one gold and a bronze. U.S. track officials said Jones, who lives outside Raleigh, N.C., would be seen by her personal doctor before deciding whether to compete again this season.
     BRIEFLY: Cuba's Ivan Pedroso, a four-time world indoor champion in the men's long jump, won his third outdoor title at 8.56 metres ... Morocco's Salah Hissou set a championship record in winning the men's 5,000 in 12:58.13 ... Greece's Mirela Manjani-Tzelili took the women's javelin with a season's best 67 metres.
     -- With files from AP, CP


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