Johnson's world record

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The Independent Online
Michael Johnson broke the oldest world record in athletics when he clocked 19.66 seconds in the men's 200 metres at the US Olympic trials in Atlanta last night. The Italian Pietro Mennea set the previous record of 19.72sec at Mexico City on 12 September, 1979.

Johnson raised his arms in the air in triumph when he saw the time and then posed for photographers at the timer. The wind registered a legal 1.7m per second. The fastest 200m ever, 19.61, was run by Johnson's American compatriot, Leroy Burrell, in 1990. The wind in that race was 4.0.

Johnson ran 19.70 in the semi-finals yesterday, but a tailwind of 2.7 prevented it from being recognized as a world record.

Johnson, who hopes to become the first male athlete to win the 200m and 400m at the same Olympics, has already made the US team with the third- fastest 400m of all-time, 43.44.

The decathlete Dan O'Brien atoned for his pole vault disaster at the 1992 trials by vaulting a personal best and winning the decathlon trial with 8,726 points, his fourth best score.

A trio of world championship medallists - Donovan Bailey, Bruny Surin and Michael Smith - will lead Canada's athletics team in Atlanta, but the participation of Angela Chalmers, Canada's only medallist from the 1992 Games, is in doubt.

Chalmers, the Olympic 3,000m bronze medalist, has been battling with a calf injury since May and did not compete at the Canadian trials in Montreal on Saturday. She has been selected for the Olympic team but may not recover in time.