Athletics / Goodwill Games: Morceli in pacemaker controversy

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The Independent Online
THE credibility of the third Goodwill Games as an international championships took a blow yesterday when the world champions Noureddine Morceli and Moses Kiptanui openly used pacemakers to win their respective races.

Morceli, the world 1500 metres and mile record holder, raced to the year's fastest mile assisted by two fellow-Algerians who both dropped out of the race before the finish.

His agent, Aamer Brahmia, said a deal had been struck with the organisers to organise a fast race for television. Asked if he thought it correct to use a pacemaker in a championship event, Brahmia shrugged and said: 'Why not?'

Kiptanui, the world steeplechase champion, also used two pacemakers, both of whom also dropped out, in an unsuccessful attempt on the world 5,000m mark, a race which saw Britain's Jon Brown pick up a creditable bronze medal.

Kiptanui confirmed after the race he had planned an assault on the world record and added he had discussed tactics with the pacemakers Kipuego Kororia and Frank O'Mara. However, a stiff wind in the back straight put paid to any hopes of breaking the world mark set this year by Ethiopia's Haile Gebresilasie.

Mike Powell, the world record holder, won the men's long jump in the absence of the world champion, Carl Lewis. Lewis blamed a sore back for his withdrawal, but Powell, who won with his final leap of 8.45m, was not impressed: 'I don't think it's good that the Olympic champion won't go out there,' he said. 'We put ourselves on the line week in and week out, whether it's cold and wet or whether we have a a sore back or a sore hamstring.'

Derrick Adkins won the men's 400m hurdles ahead of the 1991 world champion, Samuel Matete of Zambia, while Jearl Miles won the women's 400m from her fellow American, Maicel Malone, in a photo-finish.

The Olympic and world champion Jackie Joyner-Kersee predictably won the heptathlon, but her winning total of 6,606 points was disappointing as her coach and husband, Bob Kersee, had predicted after the first day that she was on course for a score of 6,900.

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