Tue, Aug 22, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Russia holds off US to win Birmingham track meet

AP , BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND

Russia on Sunday won the four-team Birmingham International track meet despite a dominating performance from US sprinters.

Russia started the second day of the meet with a 22-point lead and hung on to win with 349 points. The US was second with 312.5 points, followed by Britain with 269 and China with 158.5.

American sprinters Allyson Felix, Brianna Glenn and Wallace Spearmon couldn't rally the US team despite impressing in difficult conditions.

Felix, the 200m world champion, ran through a swirling crosswind and won in 22.19 seconds -- the second-fastest of the year.

"It's been a rough season for me this year," Felix said. "I went home recently and just got my mind together to get it right on the track. I had to focus on my race as there was some people who could beat me out there if I didn't take care."

Sanya Richards finished second in 22.52, with Yuliya Gushchina of Russia third in 23.10.

Glenn, a last-minute replacement for the injured Torri Edwards, beat Irina Khabarova at the finish line in the 100m, crossing in 11.34 -- 0.07 ahead of the Russian. Joice Maduaka of Britain was third in 11.42.

"I was just supposed to be here for the relay but I figured, hey, here's a chance to run 100 meters," Glenn said. "And so I am very happy with the performance. A win's a win."

Spearmon eased to his fifth victory of the year in the 200m, running 20.30 to beat Marlon Devonish of Britain by 0.19. Yang Yaozu of China finished third in 20.92.

The American sprinters denied that the failed doping tests of Marion Jones and Justin Gatlin would distract them.

"It's unfortunate and it's a tough time for the sport to have two such big blows like that," Felix said. "Most of us who are out there running are running hard and running clean."

Jones tested positive for the banned performance enhancer EPO at the US Championships in Indianapolis in June.

Bernard Lagat won the 3,000m in 7:50.49, more than a second ahead of Britain's Mo Farah. It was an impressive debut for the Kenyan-born athlete, who was running in his first team race for the US.

China's sole win on the final day came in the men's javelin. The Asian team won three events at the two-day meet, including the men's 110m hurdles and women's javelin.

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