Athletics: Morceli sets world record: Algerian rules 3,000m

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The Independent Online
NOUREDDINE MORCELI added the 3,000 metres world record to his list of achievements last night as he finished in 7min 25.11sec at the Monte Carlo Grand Prix.

The 24-year-old Algerian, who also holds the world record for the mile and the 1500m, finished almost four seconds inside the mark of 7.28.96sec set in Cologne two years ago this month by Moses Kiptanui. It was a timely answer in kind to the Kenyan's success last Saturday in setting a new two-mile record of 8min 9.01sec.

Morceli announced his intention of dominating every distance from 800 to 5,000m at the Bannister Mile celebrations in London three months ago. Perhaps he was carried away - he did say he had never enjoyed an occasion more - but last night's performance brought the whim a little closer to reality.

He missed a world 3,000m record by just 0.28sec at the same meeting last year after starting too fast. This time he had sensible pacemaking and the presence of the world 5,000m record holder, Haile Gebresilasie, who shadowed him until the final 500 metres.

'I wanted to make sure of beating the record after what happened here last year,' Morceli said. 'The crowd were willing me me to do it.'

Morceli's celebration lap drowned Colin Jackson's ninth successive 110m hurdles victory ceremony of the season. Jackson clattered the first hurdle and hit another before lunging ahead of the Olympic champion, Mark McKoy, to win in 13.26sec, with Tony Jarrett third.

Du'Aine Ladejo, Britain's European indoor 400m champion, broke through the 45 seconds barrier for the first time in his career as he overhauled his British rival Roger Black to finish third behind Derek Mills, of the United States, who won in 44.73sec.

Ladejo's time of 44.94, the same as the second-placed Kenyan, Samson Kitur, highlighted the 23-year-old's form going into the European Championships. Black, who will be seeking a record third European title in Helsinki, faded from second to fourth place over the final 20 metres. He looked pained, but his time of 45.08sec was hardly cause for dismay.

John Regis, who ran a British 200m record of 19.87sec in the thin air of Sestriere, in Italy, on Sunday, beat the world champion Frankie Fredericks once again with a time of 20.01, but had to give best to America's 1991 world champion Michael Johnson, who ran 19.94. Regis's chances of retaining his European title next week are clearly excellent.

Monte Carlo results,

Sporting Digest, page 31