Three-time defending champion Maurice Greene of the United States has failed to qualify for the 100-meter final at the World Track and Field championships in Paris.
Greene slowed down Monday with a leg injury in his semifinal heat. Greene got off to a great start but grimaced midway through the race as the field blew past him. He finished next-to-last, limping across the line and holding the back of left leg. Greene said he would miss the rest of the championships and would not compete in the 400-meter relay this weekend. Greene had not won a race since June first and had not run competively in the 100-meter event in about six weeks. Kim Collins put the tiny Caribbean island of Saint Kitts and Nevis on the map when he won the men's 100-meter world title in 10.07 seconds. Darrel Brown of Trinidad and Tobago placed second while Britain's Darren Campbell was third (10.08). Another American defending champion, Stacy Dragila, was eliminated in the women's pole vault final when she failed to clear a height of 4.60 meters. Dragila, who has been inconsistent all season, won the women's pole vault when it was introduced for the first time at the 1999 world championships and retained the title two years ago. She is also the reigning Olympic champion and former world record-holder.
Russian Svetlana Feofanova claimed the gold medal in the women's pole vault, clearing a championship record of 4.75 meters. German Annika Becker placed second (4.70) ahead of bronze medalist Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia (4.65). Ivan Tikhon of Belarus won the gold medal in the men's hammer with a throw of 83.05. Adrian Annus of Hungary won silver (80.36) and Koji Murofushi of Japan bronze (80.36). Elsewhere, Jacques Freitag of South Africa won the gold medal in the men's high jump. Freitag cleared 2.35 meters for a season's best performance. Sweden's Stefan Holm claimed silver and Mark Boswell of Canada took the bronze.
Sweden's Christian Olsson easily won the gold medal in the men's triple jump at 17.72 meters. Pan American champion Yoandri Betanzos of Cuba took the silver (17.28) and Leevan Sands of the Bahamas bronze (17.26). Jonathan Edwards' brilliant triple jump career came to a disappointing end as he pulled out during the final. The 37-year-old British star, the defending world champion, reigning Olympic champion and world record-holder, announced last week he would retire after the world championships. Edwards, who suffered a badly injured ankle two weeks ago, quit after just two jumps of 14.06 meters and 16.31 meters.
Irina Yatchenko added to Belarus' growing medal haul by winning the women's discus gold medal. Yatchenko's first effort of 67.32 meters clinched victory. Anastasia Kelesidou of Greece was second with (67.14) while her compatriot Ekaterini Voggoli took the bronze (66.73). Belarus leads the medal count so far with five medals, including three golds.
Meanwhile, the International Association of Athletics Federations gave U.S. track officials until Tuesday night to take disciplinary action against sprinter Jon Drummond, who threw a tantrum after being disqualified from the 100-meter heats. The IAAF ruled that Drummond's behavior was unsportsmanlike.
Drummond lay on the track in protest after being thrown out of Sunday's quarterfinal heats for a false start. His angry and tearful tirade threw the schedule at the Stade de France into chaos for nearly an hour. If the IAAF is not satisfied with the U.S. action, the world body can impose its own sanctions against Drummond, including suspending him from the rest of the championships. Drummond is currently eligible to compete in the 400-meter relay this weekend.
The turmoil was the result of a new IAAF rule on false starts. Only two are allowed in any race, with the athlete who committed the second one disqualified, no matter who did the first.