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  • Monday, August 30, 1999

    Greene and gold!

    By TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun
      SEVILLE, Spain - Maurice Greene had the chance to say it.
     '`Who is the king of the world?'' he was asked after he won his third gold medal at the worlds here.
     '`Who is the king of these championships?'' he re-phrased it.
     '`I don't know.''
     Jon Drummond knew the right answer.
     '`Him! Him!'' he said, pointing at the winner of the 100- and 200-metre sprints, who joined Drummond, Tim Montgomery and Brian Lewis to win gold in the 4x100 relay, which Canada had won at the last two world championships and the Atlanta Olympics.
     
     FUN
     '`We had a great relay team and the bottom line is that we knew if we got the stick around, we would win. We had a lot of fun,'' Greene said.
     Great Britain finished second and Nigeria took the bronze.
     The Americans also won the 4x200-metre relay with Michael Johnson winning his second gold of these championships and a record ninth of his World Championship career, one more than Carl Lewis.
     Johnson won by a huge margin. Not so Wilson Kipketer of Denmark, who won by a nose in the 800-metre final.
     Kipketer made it three consecutive world championship golds but beat South African Hezekiel Sepeng by 2/100 of a second in a final face-to-face at the finish line.
     '`OK, it probably didn't look like it on television, but I knew I was going to catch Sepeng,'' said Kipketer.
     '`The only trouble was that time was running out and I didn't know if I'd make it before the finish line.''
     Svetlana Masterkova of Russia won the women's 1500 metres with Regina Jacobs of the U.S.A. second and Kutre Dulecha of Ethiopia third.
     Inga Babakova of Ukraine won the women's high jump, with Russian Yelena Yelesina winning silver and Svetlana Lapina third.
     The Russians won a gold, beating the U.S.A. to the line, in the women's 4x400 relay.
     The only other event of the final day was the women's marathon, in the morning.
     When the citizens of Edmonton fill the streets to watch the marathon, they should be on the lookout for Song-Ok Jong, the North Korean who introduced herself in a big way to the world yesterday.
     '`Yes, I am a new marathon runner in the eyes of the rest of the world,'' said the gold-medal winner.
     '`Hopefully, they will know me better in the future.''
     Silver medallist Ari Ichihashi of Japan had never heard of her.
     '`The Korean is a new name to me and when you don't know an athlete, it's difficult to guess what their tactics would be.
     '`I wanted gold. I'm sure I will eventually be very satisfied with silver, but I really did want the gold.''
     Lidia Simon of Romania was the bronze-medal winner.
     It was the first ever gold medal for North Korea at an IAAF World Championship.
     Jong, who collected $50,000 U.S. for the win, also paid off her political debts.
     
     INSPIRATION
     '`I imagined in my mind the image of our Korean leader Kim Jong Il and this inspired me today,'' she said.
     It was one more gold medal than Canada won. Obviously the image of Prime Minister Jean Chretien doesn't work as well.
     The U.S.A. won the most medals with 17 - 11 of them gold. Russia finished second with 13 medals (six gold) and Germany was third with 12 medals (four gold).
     Host Spain was seventh with four medals (two gold).





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