Lewis happy with pace

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The Independent Online
Flamboyant Jon Drummond put the pressure on America's veteran sprint corps with a pair of superb 100 metre runs at the US Olympic trials at Atlanta.

The 27-year-old equalled his personal best of 9.99sec in the first round, then recorded 10.00sec in beating the world record-holder Leroy Burrell and eight-times Olympic champion Carl Lewis in a quarter-final full of notable talents. "I don't want to say too much and jinx myself," Drummond, who has never won a major 100m title, said. "I ran well. I am fast and I'm happy."

Burrell, surprisingly strong after battling foot problems all year, finished second in the quarter-final in 10.01 with Lewis needing a late burst to claim third in 10.04. "I don't think today was indicative of how things will go," Lewis said afterwards. "It's a marathon, and I feel I can run at this level or better in all four rounds. I could have run better in the first 10 metres but I felt very comfortable."

Burrell was 14th among 24 qualifiers from the first round, running 10.16. But he chased Drummond to the finish line in the quarter-final. "The difference was I ran the second race," he said. "I was wired in the first race. The heat wore me out."

Dennis Mitchell and Michael Marsh - the 1992 Olympic 200m champion - also advanced to the semi-finals. Mitchell won his quarter-final in 10.08 and Marsh was second to Jeff Williams in 10.07 in their race.

The world champion Gwen Torrence and the 1992 Olympic gold medallist Gail Devers were joined by the recent collegiate champion D'Andre Hill in recording times of 10.99 in the women's 100m quarter-finals.

"I feel good," said Torrence, who could win four golds in the Atlanta Games. "I'm just trying to stay healthy and not worry about outside things. The best way to do that is to just run and not say negative things I can read in the paper the next morning."

The day was not as comfortable for the heptathlon world record holder Jackie Joyner-Kersee. She twisted her left ankle while high jumping and led DeDee Nathan by 69 points after clearing only 1.78m.

She ran 13.03 in the 100m hurdles and recorded 15.41m in the shot, but had noticeable problems in the 200m, where she held on to win in 24.27sec, more than a second slower than her world-record performance. She ended the day on 3,916 points - 451 off the pace of her 1988 record. But was not too disheartened. "It [the ankle] hurts," she said. "But it's gonna hold."