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SCOOP Olympic Update, Sunday 24 Sept, 2000

SCOOP Olympic Update, Sunday 24 Sept, 2000
Article: Mathew Loh

THE FASTEST human beings in the world were revealed last night as USA sprint stars Marion Jones and Maurice Green exploded 100 metres down the track at Stadium Australia to each win gold in the glamour event of Sydney 2000.


Exuding confidence and class the awe-inspiring Jones, unbeaten in four years, was on another level to her opponents as she sped to gold in an incredible - given the track is rated as slow - 10-75.


Leaving her opposition for dead Jones crossed the line arms upraised with a huge smile and in moment of Olympic magic the 110,000 crowd, including her husband world champ shot putter CJ Hunter, rose as one to rowdily acknowledge one of the finest sprinters in history.


Silver was taken by impressive Greek sprinter Ekatarina Thanou in 11.12 - an important achievement with Athens hosting the 2004 games - while Jamaican Tanya Lawrence won bronze with a time of 11.18. Another Jamaican also made the event that little bit more special and that was of course the phenomenal 40-year-old Merlene Ottey who made history by competing in 6th consecutive Olympics.


But the night belonged to Jones whose sensational speed saw her take the first of what she hopes will be a collection of five golds in the 100, 200, 4x100, 4x400 and long-jump. It would be a brave punter that bet against her as she appears in form to dominate these Olympics in a Carl Lewis like manner.


Joining Jones on her pedestal was the "coolest athlete alive" the irrepressible Maurice Greene who powered to gold in a scintillating sprint of 9.87.


Swaggering to the start like a gun-slinger and with the pent-up energy of a caged panther Greene, who swore he would win gold in Sydney after missing out in Atlanta, looked menacingly down the track intent on tearing up the tarmac and his opposition.

And apart from his great friend, training partner and Sydney house-mate Ato Boldon of Trinidad, Greene proved he was in a class of his own by racing to a famous gold.

Boldon also proved he was a class sprinter by pushing Greene hard to earn silver in 9.99. Obadele Thompson of Barbados claimed bronze in 10.04.


In other sports news the Black Caps performed well to win the second test against Zimbabwe in Harare by eight wickets.


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