Despite the assistance of altitude, Britain's Olympic silver medallist closed with a jump of 17.67 metres, well outside his world best of 18.29m. "It was disappointing not to do better but I was tired after the Olympics... I think we were all feeling a bit flat," he said.
There was disappointment for the deposed Olympic champion Linford Christie, who in his first 100m race since being disqualified in Atlanta, finished second behind the Atlanta sprint relay gold medallist Bruny Surin of Canada. Charging into a headwind, Surin clocked 10.17sec, while Christie, who was disqualified in the Olympic final after two false starts, finished in 10.29sec. The Nigerian brothers Osmond and Davidson Ezinwa were third and fourth respectively.
Many of the sprinters and jumpers travelled to the high-altitude ski resort in north-west Italy - the only place to regularly hold international athletics meetings more than 2,000m above sea level - direct from Atlanta in the hope of setting world records in the thin atmosphere. In the event, none of them managed to shake off their jet lag, and all times and distances were well off the world marks despite organisers offering a Ferrari to any record-breakers.
Two years ago Sergei Bubka broke his pole vault world record here, and in 1995 Cuba's Ivan Pedroso broke the long jump mark, though it was later annulled amid claims the wind machine had malfunctioned.
Most of the American Olympic medallists missed yesterday's meeting, preferring to attend a reception with President Clinton in Washington.
Rosie Edeh scored for Canada in the women's 400m hurdles in 54.97sec, with Ireland's Susan Smith second in 55.30. The Jamaican sprinter Merlene Ottey, a double silver medallist in Atlanta, limped out of the women's 100m after straining her thigh in the warm-up.
The former world 110m hurdles champion Colin Jackson failed to gain revenge on the Atlanta gold medallist Allen Johnson, who won in 13.25sec. Jackson, who was fourth in the Olympic final, finished third yesterday in 13.49. The European athletics circuit continues in earnest on Saturday with a Grand Prix meeting in Monte Carlo followed by the Zurich meeting on August 14.
The Olympic double silver medallist Roger Black will run a 300m race against his 4x400m relay team-mates, Iwan Thomas, Jamie Baulch and Mark Richardson, in the Performance Games at Crystal Palace on Sunday. His fellow Atlanta medallists Jonathan Edwards, Steve Backley and Steve Smith will also be competing.Reuse content