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Friday, September 29
Jones falls short in long jump

SYDNEY, Australia -- Marion Jones' drive for five gold medals ended in the long jump pit on a steamy Australian evening.

Marion Jones
With all the spotlights on Marion Jones, she came through brilliantly in the 100 and 200 meters, but didn't have the same success in the long jump.

Jones earlier won the 100 and 200 meters and has proclaimed for the past two years that she intended to win five gold medals at the Sydney Games. She got another medal in the long jump -- but it was not gold.

"The dream for five is not alive any more," Jones said. "I don't regret at all saying I was going to go for five. I had a shot, and it just didn't pan out."

In her weakest event, Jones captured the bronze medal Friday behind 1992 Olympic champion Heike Drechsler of Germany and 1996 silver medalist Fiona May of Italy.

Drechsler won with a jump of 22 feet, 11¼ inches (6.99 meters). May and Jones both jumped 22-8¼ (6.92), but May got the silver because her second-best jump was farther than Jones'.

Drechsler, who at 35 is more than a decade older than Jones, has been one of world's top long jumpers for 17 years. She won the first of her two world championships in 1983 -- when Jones was 7 years old.

Jones' long jump style often has been criticized. She fouled on four of her six attempts in the final. On her fifth try, she seemed to struggle on her sprint down the runway and had to slow as she approached her takeoff. Jones fouled on her sixth and final jump.

"I'm not going to stand here and lie. I'm disappointed to say the least. I thought I had a good chance to win the gold, but you've got to applaud Heike -- she was the best long jumper today," Jones said.

"The only positive thing I can get out of this competition is I can tell my grandkids in 30 years that I competed against one of the best long jumpers ever."

After the race, Jones waved to the crowd, then quickly dressed -- her work is not done at these Olympics. She still has the 400-meter and 1,600-meter relays to run.

After clinching the gold medal, Drechsler hugged Jones and then danced with a German flag.

Nick Hysong of the United States won the Olympic pole vault gold medal Friday with a best of 19 feet, 4¼ inches (5.90 meters). U.S. teammate Lawrence Johnson won the silver and Maxim Tarasov of Russia won the bronze.

Hysong is the first American to win the pole vault since 1968. Until then, the Americans had never lost in the event.

Even while Jones was competing in the long jump on a hot night -- it was 86 degrees at the start of the competition -- her bid for five golds was in trouble elsewhere.

Jones watched from the long jump area as the U.S. women's 400-meter relay team, which Jones will join in the final Saturday, finished second to the Bahamas in its semifinal. The U.S. squad lost two of its fastest runners earlier in the day when Gail Devers and Inger Miller withdrew because of injury.

An amazing streak ended in the men's 1,500 meters. Hicham El Guerrouj, the Moroccan who had not lost at that distance since the end of 1997, was caught on the final stretch and defeated by Noah Ngeny of Kenya.

Ngeny won in an Olympic-record 3 minutes, 32.07 seconds. El Guerrouj won the silver and Bernard Lagat of Kenya won the bronze.

El Guerrouj, the world record-holder, took the lead with 2½ laps to go and held a comfortable margin until the final turn. That's when the Kenyans made their move, and Ngeny caught him only a few meters before the finish line.

Jason Pyrah of the United States was 10th in the 1,500 final.

An American team of Chryste Gaines, Torri Edwards, Nanceen Perry and Passion Richardson finished in 42.82 seconds in its semifinal of the 400 relay. The Bahamas won the race in 42.42. Jamaica won the other semi in 42.15.

Jamaica had two finalists in the women's 100, and also was fastest in the first round of the relay earlier in the day. The Bahamas, with three finalists in the 100, was second fastest in the first round -- while the U.S. squad was fourth fastest.

The American women's 1,600-meter relay team won its first-round heat and moved into the final Saturday.

Kamila Skolimowska of Poland won the women's hammer Friday with a throw of 233 feet, 5 inches (71.16 meters). Olga Kuzenkova of Russia won the silver and Kirsten Muenchow of Germany the bronze. American Dawn Ellerbe was seventh and her U.S. teammate, Amy Palmer, was eighth.

In the steeplechase, Reuben Kosgei led a one-two finish by Kenyans by winning the gold in 8 minutes, 21.43 seconds. Wilson Boit Kipketer won the silver and Ali Ezzine of Morocco captured the bronze medal.

In the men's 50-kilometer walk earlier in the day, Robert Korzeniowski of Poland completed his sweep of the men's walking medals at the Sydney Olympics.

Korzeniowski, who got gold in the 20-kilometer walk last week when Bernardo Segura was disqualified after crossing the finish line first, won the 50-kilometer walk in 3 hours, 42 minutes, 22 seconds.

Korzeniowski, also the 1996 Olympic champion in the 50-kilometer walk, broke away from the field in the closing stages of the race. Aigars Fadejevs of Latvia won the silver medal and Joel Sanchez of Mexico got the bronze.

Curt Clausen was the top American walker in 22nd place. Philip Dunn was 28th and Andrew Hermann was 31st.

Maurice Greene and his teammates on the U.S. men's 400-meter relay squad sped into the final by posting the fastest semifinal time of 37.82 seconds.

In the men's 1,600-meter relay, a U.S. squad including twin brothers Alvin and Calvin Harrison won their semifinal in 2 minutes, 58.78 seconds. Michael Johnson, the 400-meter champion, is expected to join the squad for the final Saturday.


Track and field results

Jones 'has no fear' about her honest talent

Melinte's appeal over drug suspension denied

Jones easily wins 200 for her second gold medal

Miller says she's ready to run relays for the U.S.

Devers walks off track with hamstring tear

Jones returns to the track seemingly without a worry in the world

Johnson loves making history, and he made some more

Freeman carries hopes of a nation to victory

Johnson doesn't win heat, but still makes 400 final Help | Advertiser Info | Contact Us | Tools | Site Map | Jobs at
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