Athletics: Modahl off to a flying start

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The Independent Online

Modahl off to a flying start

Britain's Diane Modahl had a close win in her opening run of the season when she just eased out Jamaica's Inez Turner in the 800 metres at the Osaka Grand Prix in Japan. Modahl clocked 2 min 2.79 sec to Turner's 2:03.05. "I've trained very hard since the winter to run well in the world championships in August and today's race shows that things are going very well," Modahl said. Britain's other top three place in the grand prix went to Ashia Hansen, who came second in the triple jump. The American sprinter Tim Montgomery was the surprise winner of the 100 metres, and promptly declared himself a future world record holder. Running with wind assistance, Montgomery was the only one of the seven starters to finish in under 10 seconds, beating his fellow Americans Leroy Burrell and Jeff Laynes into second and third respectively. The brash 22-year-old, who set a personal best of 9.95 sec, said he believed his best times were still ahead. "I believe that with the right conditions I can set a world record when the time comes," he said. The Olympic silver medallist Frankie Fredericks easily won the 200 metres in 19.90 sec, while Daniel Komen put himself in the mood to celebrate his 21st birthday next week with a two-second win over his fellow Kenyan Julius Gitahi in the 5,000 metres in a time of 13 min 3.51 sec.