Mon, Aug 21, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Russia's women dominate in UK

RUSHIN' AHEAD Russia's women won everything except the javelin on Saturday, leaving teams from the US, Britain and China trailing in their wake

AP , BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND

The Russian ladies 4x100m relay team makes the final batton change during the international athletics meeting at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham on Saturday.

PHOTO: AFP

Russia's women dominated the first day of Birmingham's international track meet on Saturday, giving the team the lead over the US, Britain and China.

Russian women won the 400m, the 1,500m, the 400m relay, the 400m hurdles and the 3,000m steeplechase. Also, Yelena Isinbayeva won the pole vault at 4.77m.

Only a Chinese victory in the javelin kept the Russians from a sweep of all women's disciplines.

Russia leads with 165 points, 22 more than the US. Britain is in third place with 129 points, and China is last with 73.

Isinbayeva, who set the world record in Birmingham in 2004, cleared only 4.77 -- well below the record of 5.01.

"I'm not disappointed. I'm just so tired after Gothenburg and the weather was difficult today, the wind is going round," Isinbayeva said.

"I try to do the world record at every competition but always something is not right. I hope that soon everything will be right," she said.

Tatyana Veshkurova won the 400m in 51.29, Olga Yegorova took the 1,500m in 4:09.53 seconds, and Tatyana Petrova ran a personal best 9:22.82 to take the 3,000m steeplechase.

Intermittent rain and strong wind kept track times high, and Britain's 400m relay team edged the US at the finish to win in 38.91 seconds.

Justin Gatlin had been expected to lead the US relay team, but the 100m co-world record holder was dropped after testing positive for testosterone or other steroids after a relay race in Kansas in April. The Olympic and world champion denies knowingly using banned substances.

Jordan Vaden of the US won the 100m in 10.39 seconds, beating British sprinter Mark Lewis-Francis by 0.02. Dwain Chambers finished third in 10.43.

US women ran with news that Marion Jones had failed a doping test in June at the US athletics championships, where she won the 100m.

"I'm shocked," Moushami Robinson said after finishing fourth in the 400m, which Tatyana Veshkurova of Russia won in 51.29.

The US 400m relay team managed the best result of the day, finishing behind Russia, which won in 43.46.

Many of the US athletes refused to comment on the case until they heard official confirmation from US officials.

Race organizer Fast-Track Events said it was withholding payment to Jones for her appearance at a meet in London last month until the case is resolved.

China competed without captain Liu Xiang, the world record holder in the 110m hurdles, who pulled out of the meet earlier this month.

That didn't stop China from winning the event on Saturday, with Shi Dongpeng running 13.48 seconds to secure the only first-point wins for the men.

"This wasn't my best performance but I am happy to have won," Shi said. "I train with [Liu] so I know what it takes to be the best. It's a shame he couldn't be here, but I like being in Birmingham," he said.

Yesterday's events will see US women sprinters Allyson Felix and Sanya Richards race in the 200m, and Lauryn Williams and Torri Edwards in the 100m.

Last year's World and 2004 Olympic long jump champion Dwight Phillips of the US was also scheduled to compete.

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