Athletics: Surin sears as Bailey makes low-key return

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The Independent Online
BRUNY SURIN ran the fastest 100 metres of the year but world record holder Donovan Bailey made a disappointing comeback yesterday. Surin clocked 9.92 seconds to win the final while fellow Canadian Bailey, back in action after a long injury break, returned a modest 10.51 to finish third in his heat and did not make it to the final.

Surin, who beat Britain's Dwain Chambers and Ghanaian Erik Nkansah into second and third places, bettered the previous fastest time of 1999, a 9.94 clocked by Namibian Frankie Fredericks in Australia in March.

"I expected to run a good time, but I didn't think it would be that good." Surin said. Olympic champion Bailey, who set a world record 9.84 winning gold at Atlanta in 1996, had been nursing an Achilles tendon injury and had not competed since September. "The most important thing was to be in a race again and to finish the race." he said. "I know I can run much faster. I need four or five more meetings before I can run a real fast time."

Jonathan Edwards, with 17.43 metres for the triple jump, and German Michael Stolle, with 5.91 metres in the pole vault, also set 1999 bests at the Nuremberg meeting.

Marion Jones suffered a scare in the long jump at her home meeting, the Raleigh Invitational in North Carolina, when she injured her right knee after a 7.01 metre winning leap on her final attempt.

Jones, who has set her sights on five gold medals at the Sydney Olympics, lay in the sand gripping her knee after the winning effort. Wearing an ice pack afterwards, she revealed that the knee was hyper-extended. "I came down wrong on my knee," Jones said. "I think I scared myself a little bit."

This mishap showed how fragile Jones's chances are. Her goal is to win the 100m and 200m, the long jump and the 4x100 and 4x400 relays.

This was Jones's first long jump effort of the year and part of a carefully planned schedule of events allowing her to prepare for the United States championships this month and the World Championships in August at Seville.

Jones was down in second place, trailing Adrien Sawyer's 6.82m leap entering the final round, after two jumps and three scratches.

"It was time to crank it up," Jones said. "I definitely had a 7m jump in me." Her winning leap was the best this year by an American, and just off the 1999 world best of 7.02m by Italy's Fiona May.

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