Saturday, September 30|
Jones caps Games with impressive 400 run
SYDNEY, Australia -- Marion Jones' total for the Sydney
Olympics: three golds, two bronze and one incredible leg of the
4x400 meter relay.
Five medals -- more than any other woman ever in track and field.
"It's hard for me to reflect right now," Jones said. "In a
couple of days, when I look back, I'll probably feel these were
successful games. I wanted to win them all, without a doubt, and I
still think it's possible. But I didn't, so I'm not going to dwell
And she probably could win the 400, too.
But don't worry, Cathy Freeman. Jones has no desire to ever,
ever be a 400-meter runner, even though she and Freeman had the
fastest legs of any runners in Saturday night's finals of the
women's 4x400 meter relay.
Jones' up-and-down-and-up week at Olympic Stadium ended with one
last appearance on the gold medal stand as part of the winning U.S.
team in the 4x400 meter relay.
"You have no worries," she told Australians. "I do not plan
to challenge Cathy at all. It's hers for as long as she wants it."
Freeman and Jones were hand-timed in 49.4 seconds, but Jones'
remarkable run came in the third leg, and it gave the United States
a huge lead that made it nearly impossible to lose.
Somehow, Jones was able to run that incredibly fast leg of the
4x400 at the end of nine days in which she also ran three heats and
a finals in the 100 meters, three heats and a final in the 200, the
qualifying and final rounds of the long jump and the anchor leg of
the 4x100-meter relay.
Not to mention dealing with the announcement that her husband
had tested positive for the steroid nandrolone.
She said her coach, Trevor Graham, deserves the credit for
getting her through it.
"I'm tired, now," Jones told reporters shortly after her relay
victory. "I'm tired, but I actually feel surprisingly good. I think
it just says a lot about the type of training that Trevor put me
through this year, the fact that I can go through all these days
and still stand up here and talk to you guys -- for too long."
Then she was gone with a smile.
The night did not begin so well for Jones.
She had practiced with the rest of the 4x100-meter relay team for
the first time only that afternoon. So she was rusty at getting the
baton for the anchor leg.
And there was an even worse exchange between the second and
third runners, Torri Edwards and Nanceen Perry. The exchange
between Perry and Jones was so bad that Jones took an almost
standing start. She made up some ground, but could only get the
bronze, behind silver medalist Jamaica and gold medalist the
Jones waved off reporters afterward.
"I've got a 400 meters to run in an hour and a half," she
And boy did she run it.
"I told her that was one of the smoothest legs in the 400 that
I've ever seen," said Jearl Miles-Clark. "I'm just happy she was
on my team. I've told her before, `If you train for this thing, you
could set the world record,' and she just looks at me like I'm
Jones makes no secret of her dislike for the race, but she never
lost power as she rounded the curve down the final stretch.
"I've got no desire to run it," Jones said. "It's an event
that I don't like how I feel after it because I'm the type of
athlete I like to be in control of my body, and in that last
stretch you really have no control of your body."
Track and field results
Not even Jones could save women's 400 relay
Jones leads relay team to gold; U.S. men sweep
Men's relay team offends some with display after victory