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Six Gold Medals Awarded on 3rd Day of World Athletics - 2003-08-26

Six gold medals were awarded on the third day of the 2003 World Athletics Championships in France. There were surprising results in the women's pole vault and men's 100-meters.

After Ivan Tikhon of Belarus captured the first gold medal of the day by throwing the hammer 83.05 meters, the bad news began for American athletes. Defending World and Olympic champion Stacy Dragila of the United States failed to medal in the women's pole vault, finishing fourth. Her Russian-rival Svetlana Feofanova took the gold with a jump of 4.75 meters. But Stacy says she did her best.

"You know, I'm OK with it," she said. "I mean, I knew in the back of my mind it hurts, now you're going to make me cry."

Three-time world triple-jump champion and world record holder Jonathan Edwards of Britain surprised many by choosing early retirement, ending his career by pulling out of the final of the event he has dominated for the last decade. Edwards says the time was right.

"I just feel very privileged to be here and have the chance to retire at the championships, to get a lovely response from the crowd, and I feel it's the right time. I feel very happy and very thankful for the career that I've had," he said.

Christian Olsson of Sweden claimed the gold with a jump of 17.72 meters.

In another shock, U.S. men failed to medal in the 100-meter sprint, as Kim Collins of Saint Kitts and Nevis took the gold in 10.07 seconds. The next three runners all clocked 10.08 seconds, but Darrel Brown of Trinidad and Tobago and Darren Campbell of Britain edged Dwain Chambers of the United States in a photo finish to claim the silver and bronze.

Earlier in the evening, Jacques Freitag of South Africa leaped two-point-three-five meters for gold in the men's high jump. In the only other women's final Monday night, Irina Yatchenko of Belarus captured the discus gold with a throw of 67.32 meters.