Lewis revels in hurdles run of a lifetime

Denise Lewis ran a lifetime-best time to win the 100m hurdles at the Decastar 2000 event in Talence, France, and give herself a flying start in the heptathlon. Lewis ran a faultless race to finish in 13.13sec, knocking five-hundredths of a secondoff her four-year-old personal best.

Denise Lewis ran a lifetime-best time to win the 100m hurdles at the Decastar 2000 event in Talence, France, and give herself a flying start in the heptathlon. Lewis ran a faultless race to finish in 13.13sec, knocking five-hundredths of a secondoff her four-year-old personal best.

Lewis, one of Britain's foremost Olympic gold medal hopes, underwent a calf operation last autumn, and was expected to face a stiff fitness test against Eunice Barber during the two-day competition. But the Frenchwoman - who beat Lewis, the 1998 European and Commonwealth champion, for the gold medal in Seville last summer - withdrew from the meeting on Thursday night. Barber was still feeling the affects of a hamstring injury she collected when warming up at Gates-head a fortnight ago, which forced her out of the European Cup.

The victory earned Lewis 1,105 points and the overall lead after all three 100m hurdles races. She led Poland's Ursula Wlodarczyck by 55 points and Marie Colloonville from France by 58 going into the afternoon's high jump, shot putt and 200m. Lewis continued in a positive vein by clearing a season's-best 1.84m high jump to increase her score to 2,134 points and retain the overall lead.

In Glasgow, Allison Curbishley clocked an Olympic qualifying time of 51.96sec to win the 400m at the Railtrack Scottish Championships at the Scotstoun Stadium. The former British No 1 was in commanding style on her return from injury.

She gave notice with a heat victory in 54.11 after jogging the final 40 metres, and then won the final by all of 20 metres. She was delighted with her performance, saying afterwards: "People had written me off for the Olympics, but I was never going to be satisfied with just going to Sydney to run in the relay."

In the men's 800m, an electrifying burst from the Fife teenager Greg McEwan put British Olympic team hopeful Jon McCallum to the test. McCallum, at present British No 3 over 1500m, was left toiling in fourth when McEwan went clear 200m out, but eventually came back to win.

Elijah Lagat, this year's Boston marathon winner, will replace Ondoro Osoro in Kenya's three-man marathon team for the Sydney Olympics. Osoro, who was named in the team on 22 July, was shot in the neck the following day when carjackers stole his vehicle with his pregnant wife and young daughter inside. They were later released unharmed, but he remains in hospital.

Lagat was among the three marathon runners dropped from the team by the Kenyan Amateur Athletics Association for allegedly failing to impress coaches with their seriousness about preparing for the Games. The East African Standard quoted the KAAA chairman, Isaiah Kiplagat, as saying that the decision to name Lagat, who won this year's Boston event in a time of 2hr 9min 47sec, was based on consideration of the world rankings.

The other two dropped from the team were the two-time Boston Marathon winner Moses Tanui, who finished three seconds behind Lagat this year, and the Tokyo Marathon winner Japhet Kosgei. They have accused the KAAA of discriminating against them.

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