Archive for Saturday, August 11, 2001

Jones captures 200 title

August 11, 2001


— A struggling Marion Jones still was good enough to win her first world 200-meter title and extend her winning streak in the event to 27 finals Friday night.

Jones did not look smooth down the stretch but still had the strength to finish in 22.39 seconds and hold off Debbie Ferguson of the Bahamas by 0.13 seconds.

The victory atoned for Jones' stunning runner-up finish in the 100 final, ending her string of 42 consecutive finals wins in that event, and was satisfying after she pulled up lame with back spasms in the semifinals of the 1999 World Championships.

"It's incredible," Jones said. "I was confident coming into the race."

Though she was confident, she was far from her best. The time was well above Jones' fastest of 21.62.

Still, she was able to add the world title to the Olympic gold medal she won in the 200 last year.

The popular Jones was given a standing ovation by the crowd at Commonwealth Stadium as she went past the stands blowing kisses to the spectators.

Ferguson, the former NCAA champion at Georgia, finished second in 22.52. Kelli White was third at 22.56.

Earlier, Gail Devers broke smartly out of the blocks and led all the way in winning her semifinal heat in the women's 100 hurdles in a world-leading 12.56.

The 34-year-old Devers is seeking her fourth world hurdles title, to go along with one gold medal in the 100 and one in the 400 relay. No woman has won four titles in championship history, and Devers is the leading women's gold medalist with five.

In winning her heat, Devers led three Americans into today's final.

Joining her were Jenny Adams, who ran a career-best 12.67 in finishing second to Bulgaria's Svetla Dimitrova (12.65) in the other semifinal, and Anjanette Kirkland, the world indoor 60 hurdles champion. Kirkland was third in Dimitrova's heat in 12.80.

Olympic champion Olga Shishigina of Kazakstan also qualified for the final in 12.75.

In the 400 hurdles final, Felix Sanchez became the first athlete from the Dominican Republic to win a medal in the championships.

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