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Dragila does it again!


Jill Geer
Chief Public Affairs Officer
USA Track & Field
(508) 520-1529

EDMONTON – Competing in the greatest women’s pole vault competition ever staged, Stacy Dragila on Monday again demonstrated why she is the standard-bearer of the event. In what came down to a two-woman duel, Dragila gunned down Svetlana Feofanova to win the women’s pole vault at the World Track & Field Championships. Both women cleared a championship record 4.75 meters/15-7, but Dragila, the defending World and Olympic champion and world record holder, won on fewer misses. Monika Pyrek of Poland was third at 4.55m/14-11.

For the first time in history, four women cleared 4.55m in the same competition – Dragila, Feofanova, Pyrek and Olympic silver medalist Tantiana Grigorieva. But from then on, it was High Noon in the Canadian west, with Dragila and Feofanova facing off.

Both women cleared 4.60m/15-1 on their first attempts, but Dragila ended up winning the competition at 4.65m/15-3 when she succeeded on her second attempt and Feofanova needed three tries. With Dragila vaulting first, the American put the heat on the Russian, but Feofanova responded. Both women cleared 4.70m/15-5 and 4.75 on their first attempts. Neither made their attempts at a world record 4.82m/15-9.75, which would have brought with it a $100,000 bonus.

“It was a great competition,” Dragila said. “I knew being over in Europe for five meets, competing against Svetlana and Monika, that it was going to come down to some serious bars today. I’m just lucky to stay one step ahead of everybody again.”

In the women’s 100m, Marion Jones suffered her first loss in four years, winning the silver medal. With a reaction time of .123 seconds, 1997 world 200m champion Zhana Pintusevich-Block got a lightning fast start, putting a gap on the field that Jones could not make up. Though closing at the end of the race, Jones finished second 10.85 seconds to Pintusevich-Block’s world-leading time of 10.82. Olympic silver medalist Ekaterini Thanou of Greece was third in 10.91, with Americans Chryste Gaines (11.06) and Kelli White (11.15) fifth and seventh, respectively.

Ironically, Jones had beaten Pintusevich-Block in a photo finish for Jones’ first world title in 1997.

In the semifinals, Jones endured her first loss to Pintusevich Block, running 10.95 to Pintusevich-Block’s 10.94. Gaines advanced by placing fourth in the race in 11.12. In the other semifinal, White ran 11.19 to place third and Angela Williams was sixth in 11.31.

In Monday’s other finals, Antonio Pettigrew was fourth in the 400 with a season best time of 44.99 seconds. The event was won by Avard Moncur of the Bahamas in 44.64, followed by Ingo Schultz of German in 44.87 and Gregory Haughton of Jamaica in 44.98.

Walter Davis was fifth in the men’s triple jump with a jump of 17.20m/56-5.25. World record holder and Olympic gold medalist Jonathan Edwards of Great Britain won the competition at 17.92m/58-9.5. Christian Olsson of Sweden was second at 17.47m/57-3.75, and Igor Spasovkhodskiy of Russia at 17.44m/57-2.75.

In the first day of the men’s decathlon, Bryan Clay led the Americans in 16th place with 4018 points. Clay’s marks were 10.73 in the 100, 7.20m/23-7.5 in the long jump, 12.79m/41-11.5 in the shot put, 1.94m/6-4.25 in the high jump and 49.64 in the 400m. Phil McMullen stood in 17th with 4006 points (11.39, 6.98/22-10.75, 15.12/4-7.25, 1.97/6-5.5, 49.08), and Kip Janvrin was in 19th with 3859 points (11.17, 6.72/22-0.75, 13.45/44-1.5, 1.88/6-2, 48.26).

Team USA qualified six athletes for final during Monday’s prelims.

1995 silver medalist Tonja Buford-Bailey (54.15) and Sandra Glover (55.04) both ran season-best performance to make it to Wednesday’s final of the women’s 400m hurdles, placing second and fourth in their respective heats. Brenda Taylor was sixth in her heat in 56.52 and did not advance.

Competing in her first World Championships, Melissa Price was the seventh qualifier for Tuesday’s women’s hammer final with a throw of 65.65m/215-4. Dawn Ellerbe threw 64.34m/211-1, finishing 13th in qualifying, one spot shy of the final cut. Anna Norgren was 17th in qualifying at 63.74m/209-1.

Two-time U.S. champ Adam Setliff endured an off day but still qualified in 11th position for the men’s discus final with a throw of 62.25m/204-2. Not making the final were shot put world champion John Godina, who was 21st in qualifying at 57.19m/187-7, and Andy Bloom, 23rd at 56.32m/194-9.

Olympic finalist Adam Goucher looked strong in his 1st round heat of the men’s 5,000m, placing third in 13:32.92 to advance easily to Friday’s final. Nick Rogers struggled in his heat and did not advance, finishing 16th in 14:33.39. U.S. indoor 3,000m champion Tim Broe finished seventh in his heat of the 3,000m steeplechase in 8:27.26, qualifying for the final on Wednesday. Tom Chorny was 11th in the race in 8:51.74 and did not advance. Anthony Famiglietti also was 11th in his semifinal, running 8:44.54.

No American advanced in he women’s 400m. Demetria Washington ran a personal best 51.26 to finish fourth in her heat, Monique Hennagan ran a season best 50.98 to finish fifth in her race, and Michelle Collins ran 51.22 to finish third in the last of three semifinals.

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