Athletics: Gardener pursues improved time after 100m victory

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The Independent Online

Jason Gardener, the European 60 metres indoor champion, is thirsting for more races after his 100m win in Tuesday night's Athletissima meeting in Lausanne.

Although relegated to the B race at the Super Grand Prix event, Gardener overcame some world-class rivals to win in 10.25sec.

On the same track where he ran his 9.98 personal best four years ago, Gardener nevertheless acknowledged that he would have liked to have produced a much faster time. Yet he easily defeated two leading United States sprinters, Mickey Grimes and Shawn Crawford, without too much effort

Running into a stiff breeze on a wet and cold night, Gardener knew a very quick performance was never likely. Now, however, he is eager to go much faster and increase his confidence before the British World Championship trials at the end of this month.

At the moment he has only the Norwich Union Super Grand Prix at Gateshead on 13 July pencilled into his programme. This year's world indoor 60m bronze medallist is now hoping he can find some other fixtures - preferably where the weather will be conducive to fast times.

Gardener said: "I need to get in a big time and I cannot see that happening at Gateshead where it is normally very cold.

"Last night has to be my best race of the season but I have got to go faster. OK it was cold and I have had a bit of a back problem, but I was sluggish."

Gardener was the only Briton to produce any real form. In the 200m, the 1998 Commonwealth champion, Julian Golding, ran a season's best of 20.49. But that was only good enough for fifth place, one position ahead of the European bronze medallist, Marlon Devonish, who clocked 20.74.

Giving the pair some idea of what to expect at the World Championships in August, Coby Miller, who is not included in the US team for the event in Paris, ran a superlative 20.04.

Over 1500m, John Mayock was a lowly 15th in a slow time of 3min 41.63sec. Nick Buckfield was eliminated early in the pole vault after a best clearance of 5.60m.

The Commonwealth silver medallist, Lee McConnell, clocked 51.57 for seventh in her 400m race.

In the women's 3,000m, Sonia O'Sullivan fought through the field to finish ninth in 8:54.16. O'Sullivan is set to compete in the 3,000m at Gateshead as part of her build-up to next month's World Championships. It will be her first track appearance in Britain this year. "I'm feeling good at the moment and am confident that I can run well and produce a winning performance," she said.

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