Edwards crash landing

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The Independent Online

Jonathan Edwards outclassed the Italians Paolo Camossi and Fabrizio Donato in last night's Notturna di Milan meeting here with the best triple jump performance in the world this year of 17.56 metres.

However, Edwards landed heavily in setting that mark on his third effort after two no jumps and took no further part in the competition, receiving immediate first-aid treatment.

Despite soreness in his lower back, the 35-year-old was delighted with his effort. "I fell heavily but I'm alright," he said. "I don't think I've gone so high in the air before and the landing knocked the wind out of me. I felt ready for a good performance here. It's marvellous to have won with such a great jump."

Katharine Merry also made an impressive start to the summer, winning her opening 400m race in 50.44sec. It was no contest after 150m as the Olympic bronze medallist lengthened her stride to go clear, with the American Monique Hennagan, who ran 51.52sec, and Danielle Perpoli of Italy trailing.

The win put Merry in good spirits as she prepares for the World Championships in Edmonton at the start of August. "I aim to win the gold medal ­ that is my realistic ambition and plan for this year," she said. "This is just the start I wanted. I felt so strong out there."