Originally created 07/20/98

Jones wins ninth straight 100



UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Not even a false start and the fastest field in history could keep Marion Jones from winning her ninth consecutive 100-meter race and a very rich prize.

On her second try, Jones burst out of the blocks and raced to a three-yard victory at the Goodwill Games Sunday night.

Although her time of 10.90 seconds was her second-slowest of the year, it was the eighth straight time she had broken 11 seconds. No other sprinter has done it more than six times.

"It was not the best race in the world, but I'm satisfied to win," Jones said. "I got the victory, I got the check."

Jones' check was $41,250 -- $40,000 for winning and $1,250 for setting a Goodwill Games record. The games are awarding prize and record payments from a $5 million jackpot for the first time.

Even more impressive was that Jones was running into a headwind of nearly 2 mph and facing a field in which all the runners had broken 11 seconds.

No one but Jones, the second-fastest woman ever in the 100 behind Florence Griffith Joyner, could break 11 this time.

Ukraine's Zhanna Pintusevich was second at 11.09, with Inger Miller third at 11.18, and Jamaica's Merlene Ottey fourth at 11.21.

"Today, Marion was unbeatable," Ottey said.

Just as she has been all year.

On Monday, Jones will try for her fifth victory in a row in the 200 and another whopping paycheck.

Dan O'Brien, the Olympic gold medalist and world record-holder in the decathlon, returned to the event for the first time since the Atlanta Games and had a respectable showing.

After the first five events, O'Brien was in second place with 4,575 points, 45 behind Chris Huffins, the U.S. champion and world leader.

"I felt the two years' off," O'Brien said. "I wanted to finish in style, but I just didn't get a good rhythm going in the 400. My overall fitness is good and my technique was solid."

O'Brien was ahead of his Olympic pace after four events and was leading the final event, the 400, into the stretch before finishing third. He also ran well early in the 100, again slowing in the closing meters.

"I had a great first four events," he said.

Huffins was pleased with his overall performance.

"This was a very solid day, better than nationals," Huffins said after accumulating 4,620 points. "At the nationals, I didn't do anything outrageous during the second day, so hopefully I can do better tomorrow and get a higher score (than 8,694)."

The final five decathlon events will be Monday.

John Godina, the world leader in the shot put and discus, won the shot at 70 feet, 4´ inches, after finishing a disappointing third in the discus at 206-2 behind Dmitri Shevchenko (212-8) and Andy Bloom (209-11).

Ato Boldon, the 200 world champion from Trinidad and Tobago, blazed around the curve and raced to a two-meter victory over Tyree Washington in 20.15. The time matched the fifth-fastest of the year, even though the race was run into a headwind.

Shana Williams took advantage of the absence of Jones, the world leader in the long jump, and became the first American to win the event at the Goodwill Games, leaping a wind-aided 22-9 to beat Russia's Lyudmila Galkina, the 1997 world champion, and Greece's Niki Xanthou, the world championship silver medalist.

Deon Hemmings, the 1996 Olympic champion in the women's 400 hurdles, capitalized on world record-holder Kim Batten's mistake at the final hurdle and won in 54.20.

Mozambique's Maria Mutola led nearly all the way in winning her second Goodwill Games women's 800 in 1:58.83, her season's best. Mutola withstood a late charge from Jearl Miles-Clark, second in 1:59.08. Miles-Clark's sister-in-law, Joetta Clark, was third.

The competition began with basketball, and the U.S. team of college players quickly found out there's a difference at the international level.

Puerto Rico, cheered on by aa clear majority of the 8,700 fans at Madison Square garden, rallied from a 19-point deficit to beat the United States 84-76.

Eddie Casiano scored 31 points fro the winners, while Duke's Elton Brand led the United States with 24.

Australia, behind 17 points from Andrew Gaze, beat Argentina 84-72, and Lithuania beat Russia 79-72.

In gymnastics, Dominique Moceanu, the youngest member of the "Magnificent Seven" gold-medal gymnastics team in Atlanta, won the women's all-around title. She finished with a score of 38.662, well in front of Maria Olaru of Romania with 37.975. Another Romanian, Simona Amanar, was third with 37.850.

In synchronized swimming, a U.S. athlete moved in on history.

Bill May and partner Kristina Lum were in second place behind Russia after the short program of duet, and a medal when the event is completed Monday would be among the first for a man in an international synchro meet.

The U.S. team, with May as a reserve, also was in second place behind Russia.