Related News

Home » Sports » Athletics

Hurdles drama clouds Carson meet

WORLD champions Bernard Lagat and Jeremy Wariner shared the limelight with Olympic 400-meter gold medalist LaShawn Merritt, after easing to comfortable victories at the Adidas Track Classic on Saturday.

Kenyan-born Lagat coasted home in the men's 1,500, American Wariner dominated the 400 and Merritt, stepping down in distance, set the fastest time this year in the 200.

The day's biggest drama, however, occurred in the men's 400 hurdles, where world champion Kerron Clement clinched a controversial victory after race organizers botched the placement of the eighth hurdle on the Home Depot Center track in Carson, California.

World 1,500 and 5,000 champion Lagat, bitterly disappointed after injuries deprived him of a medal at last year's Beijing Olympics, won in 3:36.38 with a powerful surge over the last 100.

"The race started well and the pace-maker did a good job," a beaming Lagat told reporters after finishing ahead of Canada's Nate Brannen (3:37.03).

"He is the one who helped me get the good time today."

Twice world 400 champion Wariner produced a near-perfect first 60 meters before powering home in 44.66.

"I felt great coming into this week," the American said after beating Chris Brown of the Bahamas (45.03) and Trinidadian Rennie Quow (45.05). "My work ethic is more focused than it has been after a disappointing season last year. I just want to get back to the top where I was. I just need to focus a little more on my finish and get my speed endurance up."

Merritt, who trounced defending champion Wariner to win the 400 in Beijing last year, powered to victory in the 200 in 20.07.

"I knew I was in good shape when I came off the curve," Merritt said, after cruising to the finish line ahead of fellow Americans Xavier Carter (20.71) and Kelly Willie (20.73).

"As long as they didn't get away from me, I knew I would be in a good position to strike when I wanted to. And that's what I did. It wasn't really about the time. I just wanted to win the race and test my speed."

American Clement surged to victory in a controversial 400 hurdles that left Olympic champion Angelo Taylor fuming.

Clement, who took silver in Beijing, crossed the line in 48.38 seconds with compatriot Taylor second (48.70) and Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic third (48.95).

The entire field, however, was blindsided by race organizers, who placed the eighth hurdle too close to the seventh.

"Whoever is in charge of putting up the hurdles needs to be fired," an angry Taylor said. "I could have stayed at home today. I feel sick, man. That race doesn't count."

Although Clement's year-best time will not count officially, he was delighted with his performance in the chaotic conditions.

"I'm very happy with my time," the 23-year-old said. "I was just really happy to come out here and compete against top-level people - Angelo and everybody else.

"My focus was just to focus on myself out here and try to get the win."



Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend