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Athletics: Grindley trails in the final strides: Mike Rowbottom reports from Glasgow

IF THERE had been a 380 metres event at yesterday's Pearl International Games, which incorporated a Britain v Russia match, David Grindley might have won it. As it was, his strength over the boards here failed him, and the figure who had been at his shoulder - the United States' world 200m champion, Michael Johnson - moved past to win in 46.43sec.

It was a satisfactory start to the season, none the less, for the 19-year-old who came to world attention last summer in reaching the Olympic final and setting a British record of 44.47. 'I knew Johnson was there,' Grindley said. 'But I was too tired by the end. I'm planning to break 46 seconds indoors this season, though. And if I do get in a fast time I will consider going to the world indoor championships.'

With Roger Black and Derek Redmond still to make their impact upon the season, the general health of British 400m running was underlined by the earlier performance of Mark Richardson, Grindley's rival from school events, who won the 300m invitation event in 33.15, a UK record.

The outstanding performance of the meeting, which saw Russia win both the men's and women's matches, came in the long jump, where the United States' world champion and record holder, Mike Powell, saved his best until last with a leap of 8.36m, the best seen in this country either outdoors or in.

The day before, Powell had shrugged off the report detailing how the track on which he set his world record of 8.95m in 1991 had been too hard to be within IAAF specifications. But he added that if anyone doubted the legitimacy of that performance, he would make the point fully this season.

Steve Smith, the world junior high jump champion finished ahead of the two Russian jumpers, recording 2.23m, but the men whom he really wanted to beat to underline his potential for this season, the former world record holder Patrick Sjoeberg the world champion, Charles Austin, and the winner with 2.29, indoor world champion Hollis Conway, finished ahead of him.

Smith looked dismayed after his third failure at 2.29m, 8 centimetres below the height which won him his title in Seoul last year and left him top of the world rankings.

In the men's 800m Tom McKean produced the biggest roar of the afternoon as he held off David Sharpe to win in 1min 46.86sec.

The Russian women's domination in field and track was broken only by Yvonne Murray. Receiving her traditonal roar of encouragement from the home crowd, she broke away after four laps to win in 8:56.19, only 10 seconds adrift of the indoor best she set in winning the European indoor title in 1987. She has two more indoor runs scheduled in the next fortnight before tackling her main objective of the spring, a series of three road races in California.

The men's 3,000m produced an encouraging victory for John Mayock, the European indoor silver medallist. His time of 7:59.82 afforded him as much surprise as delight, as he had done no running on the track since the World Cup in Cuba last September.

What made the men's 3,000m especially challenging was the presence on the top bend's inside rim of the shot-putt landing area. As the shots thudded down, it was the job of a blazered official lurking between two pot plants to catch them before they reached the track. On one occasion he failed, obliging several runners to take avoiding action. Not an arrangement that should be allowed to continue.

PEARL INTERNATIONAL GAMES (Glasgow) Great Britain v Russia: Men: 3,000m: 1 J Mayock (GB) 7min 59.82sec; 2 A Tikhonov (Rus) 8:00.15; 3 * J Chesire (Ken) 8:01.73; 6 D Spawforth (GB) 8:04.61. 1500m: 1 S Melnikov (Rus) 3:45.36; 2 A Loginov (Rus) 3:45.41; * 3 A Rakipov (Rus) 3:45.60; 5 K McKay (GB) 3:48.04; 8 M Steele (GB) 3:56.40. 800m: 1 T McKean (GB) 1:46.86; 2 D Sharpe (GB) 1:46.92; 3 V Graudyn (Rus) 1:47.97. 400m: 1 * M Johnson (US) 46.43sec; 2 D Grindley (GB) 46.90; 3 B Whittle (GB) 47.13. 200m: 1 A Fedoriv (Rus) 20.91; 2 M Bates (US) 21.39; 3 E Ivanov (Rus) 21.45. 60m: 1 *H Neal (US) 6.66; * 2 D Mitchell (US) 6.68; 3 A Parkhomovsky (Rus) 6.69. 4 D Campbell (GB) 6.70; 8 M Rosswess (GB) 6.91. 60m hurdles: 1 * R Kingdom (US) 7.66; 2 A Tulloch (GB) 7.87; 3 V Shishkin (Rus) 7.87; 4 B Taylor (GB) 7.90. Invitation 300m: 1 M Richardson (GB) 33.15; 2 S Wariso (GB) 33.66; 3 D Morris (Trin) 34.02. 4 x 200m relay: 1 Russia 1:23.04; 2 Britain 1:24.69. Pole vault: 1 M Tarasov (Rus) 5.80m (equals UK All Comers' record); 2 * K Tarpenning (US) 5.60; * 3 G Baudoin (Fr) 5.50; 5 K Hughes (GB) 4.80; 6 N Buckfield (GB) 4.80. High Jump: 1 * H Conway (US) 2.29; 2 * P Sjoberg (Swe) 2.29; 3 * C Austin (US) 2.26; 4 S Smith (GB) 2.23; 7 B Reilly (GB) 2.15. Long jump: 1 * M Powell (US) 8.36 (UK All Comers' record); 2 D Bogrianov (Rus) 8.06; 3 S Tarasenko (Rus) 7.97; 4 F Salle (GB) 7.96; 7 S Faulkner (GB) 7.16. Triple jump: 1 O Grokhovsky (Rus) 16.89; 2 J Edwards (GB) 16.80; 3 D Kapustin (Rus) 16.69; 4 J Golley (GB) 16.65. Shot: 1 S Nikolayev (Rus) 20.38; 2 S Smirnov (Rus) 19.83; 3 P Edwards (GB) 18.20; 4 S Whyte (GB) 17.38. Women: 3,000m: 1 Y Murray (GB) 8:56.19; 2 A Wyeth (GB) 9:05.23; 3 E Afanasieva (Rus) 9:12.50. 1500m: 1 L Kremlyeva (Rus) 4:14.24; 2 B Nicholson (GB) 4:16.10; 3 L Rogacheva (Rus) 4:17.59; 4 M Newman (GB) 4:28.86. 800m: 1 L Nurutdinova (Rus) 2:02.86; 2 L Gurina (Rus) 2:03.32; 3 D Modahl (GB) 2:03.35; 5 D Gandy (GB) 2:08.40. 400m: 1 M Shmonina (Rus) 52.37; 2 E Ruzina (Rus) 52.57; 3 * K Mackey (US) 53.77; 4 L Fraser (GB) 55.02. 200m: 1 N Voronova (Rus) 22.81 (UK All Comers' record); 2 * C Guidry (US) 23.09; 3 M Trandenkova (Rus) 23.57; 4 S Jacobs (GB) 24.39; 5 G McLeod (GB) 24.69. 60m: 1 N Voronova (Rus) 7.24; 2 O Bogoslovskaya (Rus) 7.27; 3 * E Ashford (US) 7.35; 4 B Kinch (GB) 7.41; 6 L Armstrong (GB) 7.73. 60m hurdles: 1 T Reshetnikova (Rus) 8.10; 2 E Chernyshova (Rus) 8.13; 3 J Agyepong (GB) 8.26; 5 C Court (GB) 8.48. 4 x 200m relay: 1 Russia 1:33.91; 2 Britain 1:36.65. Triple jump: 1 I Lasovskaya (Rus) 13.98; 2 M Griffith (GB) 13.35; 3 M Agyepong (GB) 13.28. Long jump: 1 E Sinchukova (Rus) 6.55; 2 E Chicherova (Rus) 6.49; 3 Y Idowu (GB) 6.25; 5 M Bell (GB) 5.83. High jump: 1 E Gribanova (Rus) 1.91; 2 D Davies (GB) 1.89; 3 E Zhdanova (Rus) 1.89; 4 D Marti (GB) 1.86. Shot: 1 L Peleshenko (Rus) 19.67; 2 A Romanova (Rus) 19.30; 3 M Lynes (GB) 15.77; 4 S Andrews (GB) 15.26.

* denotes guest. Match result: Men: GB 61pts Russia 78. Women: GB 44 Russia 84.

(Photograph omitted)