ATHLETICS O'Sullivan sets season's best

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The Independent Online

Jan Zelezny, the Czech world javelin champion and Sonia O'Sullivan, the Irish middle-distance runner established world-best marks this season at an international meeting in Bratislava last night.

Some 15,000 people watched as Zelezny hurled the javelin 90.80 metres on his first attempt while O'Sullivan ran alone for the entire 3,000 metre race, beating her closest rival by 27 seconds, finishing in 8min 45.50sec.

Widely considered the favourites coming into the event, neither O'Sullivan's nor Zelezny's performance came as a surprise. Both athletes said the meet was a good preparation for August's World Championships in Gothenburg.

"As far as the World Championships are concerned, it was a good test of the pace that will be required," O'Sullivan said. After his winning throw, Zelezny said: "I hope that such a result will be sufficient to win the title at the World Championships."

The two-time Olympic champion Roger Kingdom, of the United States, equalled the season's best time in the 110 metre hurdles in 13.30 seconds in a preliminary heat, then was timed at 13.35 for the race.

Another athlete to dominate was the German Lars Riedel, at present the world's best discus thrower. With a distance of 64.34 metres, the two- time World champion outclassed the competition. The runner-up was Lithuania's Vyacheslav Kidikas with 62.72m.