Jones underlines golden ambition

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The Independent Online

Marion Jones produced the fastest sea-level 100 metres of her career at last night's DN Galan meeting in Stockholm to remind every other woman sprinter in the world who is the overwhelming favourite for the Olympic gold medal.

Marion Jones produced the fastest sea-level 100 metres of her career at last night's DN Galan meeting in Stockholm to remind every other woman sprinter in the world who is the overwhelming favourite for the Olympic gold medal.

The 24-year-old from Los Angeles recorded a wind-assisted 10.68sec to win a race in which only Ukraine's Zhanna Pintusevich-Block, with 10.98, presented the vestige of a challenge. Jones' US colleague Inger Miller, who took the world 200m title in her absence last year, could only manage joint fifth place in 11.09.

Other than her 10.65 at altitude two years ago, it was Jones's swiftest effort at the distance. "Finally I broke the 10.70 barrier," she said. "I couldn't be more pleased. This is a dream result because I have been having technical difficulties all season. This run has given me the boost I needed at this point."

In the men's 100m, Darren Campbell, one of the few Britons competing in a meeting that came just five days before the Norwich Union British grand prix, had a satisfying run, taking third place behind Ato Boldon in 10.06, only 0.02sec off the personal best with which he secured the European title two years ago.

In contrast Dwain Chambers - whom Campbell beat in Budapest but who subsequently moved to the forefront of the domestic sprinting scene with a bronze medal at last year's world championships - was left with considerably more to prove at Crystal Palace on Saturday after failing to qualify from his heat with a time of 10.24.

A race diminished by the absence of the world record holder, Maurice Greene, following his injury at the recent US Olympic trials, was won in a relatively conservative 10.01 by his training partner.

"It was a fair race, but as you know, the big show is not until 23 September in Sydney, so I've time to sharpen details before then," Boldon said.

The withdrawal of Jonathan Edwards, nursing an ankle problem which he is confident will be recovered in time for Saturday, left Larry Achike with another opportunity to fly the British flag just as he did earlier this month at the European Cup. Once again, Achike did not disappoint, taking second place with a triple jump of 16.99m behind the winner, Rostislav Dimitrov of Bulgaria, who recorded 17.30.

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