Reebok Grand Prix
Held: June 11, 2005 at Icahn Stadium, New York, NY
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Liu and Arnold
which way but Liu's
Liu was coming off a win last week at the Nike Prefontaine
Classic, where the Chinese phenom ran a 2005 world leader with his
time of 13.06 seconds. Johnson, however, had false started for the
first time in his career in that race and was disqualified.
Saturday at the packed Icahn Stadium (4,328 attendance), the
field was charged with a false start when Liu jumped out of the
blocks early. When the gun went off the second time, Liu bolted to
the lead, but Johnson quickly came back on him to seize the lead.
Yet it was the unheralded Arnold, the 1996 NCAA champion, who then
moved ahead, negotiating the final three hurdles first.
Johnson surged back off the final barrier as the 1996 Olympic
gold medalist nipped Arnold with a time of 13.03 to Arnold's
personal-best 13.05. Both times were faster than Liu's 2005 world
leader of 13.06, run last weekend at Prefontaine. Liu was third in
the race in 13.11.
Perry and Hayes
Perry makes statement in hurdles
The women's events provided a quartet of 2005 world-leading performances,
with one of the most stunning coming in the Visa women's 100-meter hurdles.
Michelle Perry is rapidly changing her job description from heptathlete to
hurdler. The Olympic heptathlete has been scorching in hurdle races this year,
and she achieved a new level on Saturday. With Olympic gold medalist Joanna
Hayes leading throughout the race, Perry came off the final hurdle trailing her
fellow UCLA grad.
But Perry put on a burst in the final three strides of the race, nudging past
Hayes to win in a world-leading time and huge personal best of 12.45 seconds.
Perry's time is .2 seconds better than her previous best of 12.65 seconds, set
in winning the Payton Jordan U.S. Open two weeks ago, and makes her the
third-fastest American woman in history. The second-fastest American in history,
Hayes was second in 12.47, followed by 2001 world champion Anjanette Kirkland
Dibaba and Dibaba
Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia, who in February broke the indoor
world record during the Visa Championship Series' Reebok Boston
Indoor Games (14:32.93), on Saturday ran most of the women's 5,000
meters under world outdoor record pace. The world junior record
holder and Olympic bronze medalist ran the final mile of the race
alone as the muggy weather conditions ultimately took their toll.
Dibaba, who on June 2 turned 20, never the less finished in a 2005
world-leading time of 14:32.43. Her sister, Olympic 10,000m silver
medalist Ejegayehu Dibaba, was second in 14:46.37 with fellow
Ethiopian Sentayehu Ejigu third in 15:09.07.
Big women's 3,000m world leader
Ethiopians Meseret Defar and Werknesh Kidane traded the lead throughout the
women's 3,000 meters, with American Shalane Flanagan running solo in third. The
Olympic gold medalist at 5,000 meters, Defar took off with 200 meters to go,
winning in a world-leading time of 8:33.57. Kidane was second in 8:36.39, with
Kim Smith of New Zealand (8:54.32) outkicking Shalane Flanagan (8:54.43) for
third. Flanagan's time was the fastest time of the year by an American and a
Jamaican Kenia Sinclair also won out in a very close race, moving away from a
crowded lead pack with 120 meters left in the women's 800 to win in a
world-leading time of 1:59.10. A trio of Americans followed, all surpassing the
previous 2005 best by an American and all dipping under 2:00 - Treniere Clement
was second in 1:59.59, Jen Toomey was third in 1:59.96, and Kameisha Bennett was
fourth in 1:59.98. A first lap of 58.5 seconds helped set up the sub-2:00 pace,
with Toomey leading with a lap to go.
finds Greener pastures
2000 Olympic champion and three-time world champion Maurice
Greene returned to the victor's position in the Reebok men's
100-meter dash. Olympic 200-meter gold medalist Shawn Crawford took
the early lead, but Greene surged in the middle stages of the race
and won in 10.08. Crawford was second in 10.10, followed by Jamaican
Dwight Thomas in third in 10.11.
Hobbled since the indoor season with foot injuries, two-time Olympic silver
medalist Adam Nelson had a big day in the 24 Hour Fitness men's shot put. His
first throw of 21.25m/69 feet, 8.5 inches was easily his best throw of the year,
and he improved to 21.58m/70-9.75 on his second attempt, the fourth-best throw
in the world this year. World and Visa Championship leader John Godina fouled on
a monstrous first throw that was at the 22-meter mark, then he sprained his
ankle on his second attempt (21.40m/70-2.5). Godina, a three-time world
champion, did not throw again, and Nelson fouled on his final two attempts to
take the victory.
Alex Kipchirchir of Kenya sprinted to a world-leading, 2:16.94 in the Reebok
men's 1000 meters, followed by Elkanah Angwenyi of Kenya (2:17.13) and indoor
American record holder David Krummenacker (2:17.57).
thunders to 200m win
World junior record holder Usain Bolt of Jamaica gave the large
contingent of Jamaican fans something to cheer about, running away
from the field to win the men's 200 in 20.31 seconds. American Rae
Edwards was second in 20.54, with Olympic silver medalist Bernard
Williams third in 20.64.
The finish of the men's 3,000-meters also brought the crowd to
its feet. American indoor record holder Tim Broe moved up onto
leader Gebre Gebremariam's shoulder with 400 meters to go, followed
in third by Kenyan Boaz Cheboiywo. Gebremariam was able to pull away
in the final 100 meters, winning in 7:39.48, followed by Cheboiywo
(7:39.82) and Broe (7:41.07).
Me'Lisa Barber posted a U.S. leader and personal best in the women's 100
meters, winning in 11.05 seconds over Olympic Trials champion LaTasha Colander
(11.11) and 2000 Olympic bronze medalist Tayna Lawrence of Jamaica (11.23).
In the women's 400, Olympic Trials champion Monique Hennagan ran her best
time of the year (50.67) to win the race going away. Fellow Olympic 4x400m relay
gold medalist Dee Dee Trotter also ran a personal season's-best 51.00 for
second, with Novlene Williams of Jamaica third in 51.12.
American Olympic finalists Sheena Johnson and Brenda Taylor ran down Tanisha
Mills in the final straightaway in the women's 400-meter hurdles. The 2004
Olympic Trials champion, Johnson finished in 55.46 seconds, with Taylor third in
55.76 and Mills third in 56.02. In the men's race, Bayano Kamani won in 48.76,
followed by Danny McFarlane of Jamaica (48.91) and world championships silver
medalist Joey Woody (49.60)
Olympic Trials fifth-place finisher April Steiner won the women's pole vault
with a personal-best clearance of 4.50m/14-9. American record holder Kim Kreiner
won the women's javelin with a throw of 57.26m/187-10, and Limei Xie of China
took the women's trip jump with 14.09m/46-2.75. Bashir Ramzy won the men's long
jump (7.86m/25-9.5), and Olympic Trials runner-up Brian Chaput won the men's
javelin with a toss of 79.16m/259-8.
Top U.S. Performances -
Reebok Grand Prix
Next up in the Visa Championship Series:
June 23-26, USA Outdoor Track &
Field Championships in Carson, CA. On ESPN June 25, 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. ET; on
ESPN2 June 26, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. ET.