Athletics: Kipketer and Szabo chase $1m pay day

WILSON KIPKETER attempts to secure his share of a $1m (pounds 625,000) jackpot tonight but insists it is just another day at work.

"For every piece of work you get a salary," the Kenyan-born Dane said before the final Golden League meeting here, where he needs one more 800m victory to pocket at least $500,000. "My job is to run fast and if I run fast enough, they pay me well," he said. "I'm running pretty fast right now."

The jackpot is shared between anyone who manages to win at all seven meetings and the only other athlete still in contention for a share of the pay-out is Romania's 5,000m runner Gabriela Szabo who has looked all but unbeatable over 5,000m this season.

The blonde Romanian used her trademark kick some 300 metres from home to beat close friend Zahra Ouaziz of Morocco in the World Championship 5,000m final in Seville and did the same trick over 3,000m at the Brussels Golden League meeting.

Another highlight of the prestigious Berlin meeting promises to be the men's 100m duel between the world record holder Maurice Greene and Canada's Bruny Surin, who came a close second behind the American in Seville.

But with Greene being tired after his recent exertions, the best bet for a world record in Berlin's Olympic stadium seems to be the rarely- run 2,000m. Hicham El Guerrouj, the 1,500m world champion, aims to improve the 11-year-old mark of 4:47.88 set by Algerian Noureddine Morceli.

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