Goodwill Games: Third Man Mitchell comes first

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The Independent Online
DENNIS MITCHELL carried out his threat to upset the 100 metres establishment by winning the showpiece event in St Petersburg yesterday in a time of 10.07sec, relegating his fellow Americans, Leroy Burrell and Carl Lewis, to second and fourth place respectively.

Mitchell, always a fast starter, led from gun to tape, running into a headwind of 1.9 metres per second. Burrell, the world record holder, finished just ahead of Jon Drummond, 10.11 to 10.12, with Lewis well back in 10.23. 'It felt great, I feel like a million dollars,' Mitchell said afterwards.

Known in some quarters as the Third Man following one Olympic and two World Championship bronze medals, the 28-year-old from North Carolina was only invited to the meeting when Britain's Linford Christie withdrew injured. Last Friday in Oslo he ran 9.94, the second fastest time in the world this year.

Lewis, meanwhile, announced he was pulling out of today's long jump, in which he was scheduled to meet the world record holder, Mike Powell. 'I'm out,' he said. 'My back is a little sore. If you don't feel 100 per cent you can't jump against the world record holder.'

Earlier in the day Sonia O'Sullivan's unbeatable run was smothered in a blanket finish to the women's 1500m. The Irishwoman, going for her sixth victory in 18 days, lost to the 42-year-old Russian Yekaterina Podkopyeva, the world indoor champion.

O'Sullivan, whose last defeat was in Moscow in early June, found the tactical race a different proposition to running with pacemakers, which she has been experiencing lately. Afterwards she announced that she had scrapped plans to run the 1500m at next month's European Championships and will concentrate on the 3,000.

Gwen Torrence, the Olympic 200m champion, sprinted to her second title in two days. Following victory in the 100m on Sunday, she won the longer sprint in 22.09 yesterday, again beating Irina Privalova of Russia into second place.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee predictably headed the field after the first day of the heptathlon, despite trailing after the shot put, her weakest event. But Sergei Bubka, the world record holder from the Ukraine, never looked convincing in the pole vault and managed only equal third, behind the Russians Igor Trandenkov and Maksim Tarasov.

Kenya's Tecla Laroupe took the women's 10,000m in 31:52.39; Russia's Dmitri Shevchenko won the men's discus with 64.68m; and another Russian, Marina Pluzhnikova, set a world record of 6:11.84 in the seldom-run women's 2,000m steeplechase.

Italy's young basketball side scored a notable victory over experienced Puerto Rico, cruising to an 83-69 victory after opening a 20-point lead by half-time. Italy's reward is a semi-final against the United States, while Puerto Rico will meet Russia. Both sides won their first two Group A opening round matches.