Sun, Jul 13, 2003 - Page 23 News List

Greene disappoints as Sturrup, Mutola aim for big money

AP , ROME

Chandra Sturrup and Maria Mutola kept their Golden League winning streaks -- and US$1 million jackpot hopes -- alive, while Maurice Greene had his hopes of a fifth straight victory in Rome snapped Friday.

The Bahamian sprinter Sturrup captured the 100m at the Golden Gala in a year-best time of 10.89 seconds, while US champion Kelli White finished runner-up for the third straight week in the Golden League, where winners of the same event in each meet share a lucrative prize.

Rome is the third of six meets in the prestigious series.

"I know that now the jackpot is not just a dream," Sturrup said. "I think if I start thinking about it I'll lose focus."

Mozambique's Mutola executed the tactics in her 800m race perfectly, looking back at Slovakian challenger Jolanda Ceplak after passing her about 20m before the finish. Mutola won in a meet-record 1:57.21.

"I'm just pleased with this run," Mutola said. "It's going to be tougher from now on."

Former world-record holder Greene, who had declared Thursday that he would run under 10 seconds, finished a disappointing third in 10.09. Fellow American John Capel, back running after two years as a wide receiver for the University of Florida football team, won in 10.04, leading an all-American sweep of the first three places.

"The start didn't go as I planned," Greene said. "In the end I felt like I was coming on strong but [Capel] just ran a great race today."

Capel pronounced himself "back" after his football hiatus.

"The feeling to beat Maurice Greene and Bernard Williams is enormous," he said. "It feels like the two-year rest didn't hurt me that much. I've never been good at 100m, so you can't ask for much more than that.

"I wanted to get out with Bernard because he's a great starter. As long as I got out strong, I could beat Bernard in the middle. I'm a 200m guy, I know once I stand up I've got it."

Top British sprinter Dwain Chambers came in fourth in the 100m.

In the most thrilling race of the evening, Kenya's Abraham Chebii captured the 5,000m in 12:57.14, outsprinting rising Ethiopian star Kenenisa Bekele in the final 100 meters while world-record holder Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia looked on from third position.

As soon as the pacemakers retired after 3,000m, the race was between the three Africans. Bekele led, with his protege in pursuit and Chebii slightly further back. As the trio rounded the final turn, the 30-year-old Gebrselassie offered an abbreviated shake of his head as if to say he couldn't keep up and the 23-year-old Chebii and 21-year-old Bekele headed for the line in a two-man duel.

As the pair quickened the pace, Chebii's longer legs seemed to give him some extra speed to clinch the victory.

In other events at the Stadio Olimpico, three-time world champion Allen Johnson captured the 110 hurdles for the second week in a row, finishing in 13.08, slightly slower than his season-best time of 12.97 set in Paris a week ago.

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