Athletics: Surprise defeat for Zelezny at farewell to home fans

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The Independent Online

The javelin world record holder, Jan Zelezny, was beaten into third place in his final appearance at the Czech Republic's top athletics meeting here last night. The 39-year-old three-times Olympic and world champion threw 83.52 metres but was beaten by Russia's Sergei Makarov with 88.49m.

Latvia's Ainars Kovals threw a lifetime best of 85.74m in second place, but Nick Nieland of England managed only one valid throw, of 80.31m, for a disappointing sixth.

Natasha Danvers-Smith was an impressive third in the 400m hurdles, clocking 55.40sec behind the US pair of Lashinda Demus and Sheena Johnson. Demus, last summer's world championships runner-up recorded 54.62sec while Johnson ran 54.97sec.

Debbie Ferguson won the 100m ahead of the Americans Me'Lisa Barber and Stephanie Durst. The Bahamian won in 11.14sec. The British No1, Emma Ania, came fifth in a season's best 11.42sec.

Britain's Jermaine Mays set a season's best of 8min 43.74sec when 10th in the 3,000m steeplechase. The leading runners stopped a lap too early, allowing Gunther Weidlinger of Austria to win in 8min 25.67sec.

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