Greene clocks meet-record 9.91 in 100
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Tim Montgomery and girlfriend Marion Jones can watch the Olympic 100 meters together. Neither one will be in the races.
Montgomery, the event's world record holder, finished seventh in the 100 final Sunday in the U.S. Olympic track and field trials, far behind the winner -- his strutting, fist-pumping, longtime nemesis Maurice Greene.
One day earlier, Jones was fifth in the women's 100 final, losing out on a bid to defend her gold medal in the Athens Games. Both left the track area amid a horde of reporters, pausing only long enough to rip the media for the coverage of the steroid scandal that has unfolded around them.
"This is the reason I didn't win: I've got y'all on my back," Montgomery said. "I have to deal with y'all every day."
Montgomery has bigger problems away from the track. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has accused him with using steroids and other performance enhancing drugs. If found guilty, he could be banned from the sport for life.
Montgomery has taken his case directly to the international Court of Arbitration for Sport, where the decision is binding.
He is one of four sprinters accused by USADA with steroid use. If found guilty, they all face lifetime bans.
Michelle Collins, one of those facing the charges and a favorite in the women's 400, withdrew from the meet Sunday, citing a hamstring injury, her coach said. George Williams, also the coach of the U.S. Olympic men's team, said she phoned him from Texas to say she was injured on the warmup track in Sacramento and had returned home.
Another member of that quartet, Chryste Gaines, failed to qualify in the women's 100.
That left Alvin Harrison as the only one of the four still running at the trials. He made it through the first round of the 400 Sunday.
Jones has not been formally accused of an any drug offense, but remains under investigation by the USADA. She has repeatedly, firmly denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs.
After her poor showing Saturday, she followed a beefy bodyguard off the track to a golf cart that took her away.
"I talk to you guys and you say something negative," she said. "I don't talk to you guys and you say something negative. I'd much rather not talk and spend time with my son."
Montgomery is finished, but Jones will be back at the Cal State-Sacramento track Monday night for the long jump qualifying. She also is entered in the 200.
Greene, who turns 30 on July 23, appeared ready to defend his gold medal in the 100 with a meet-record 9.91 clocking. Justin Gatlin was second at 9.92 and Shawn Crawford third at 9.93. The top three in each event make the Olympic team.
"My goal is to go 1-2-3 and show the world we have the best sprinters," Greene said.
Crawford has the world's fastest time this year, 9.87 seconds last month in the Prefontaine Classic.
"I think I'll win it" in Athens, Crawford said. "I'm through being humble."
Greene's comeback from a broken leg in a 2002 motorcycle accident is complete.
"Greatest of all time, what can I say?" he said.
That's what the "G.O.A.T" tattoo on his right biceps stands for. There's also a lion in the tattoo, representing Greene's self-proclaimed status as king.
"And the track is my jungle," he said.
By winning, Greene prevented a sweep of the sprint titles by coach Trevor Graham -- whose pupils include Gatlin, Crawford and women's 100 champion LaTasha Colander. Graham is the former coach of Montgomery and Jones, who dumped him last year.
Montgomery, Jones and dozens of other athletes testified before the grand jury that ultimately indicted four men connected with the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative. The four men, including baseball star Barry Bonds' personal trainer, have pleaded innocent to distributing steroids to top athletes.
Harrison finished second in his opening-round heat of the 400 to advance to Monday's semifinals. Also advancing was his twin brother, Calvin, who faces a two-year suspension for failing two drug tests.
"Everything will be OK, so just keep your thumbs up and keep the smiles going," Alvin Harrison said. "Everything's all right."
Joining the Harrisons in the semifinals was world champion Jerome Young, who recently had his 2000 Olympic relay gold medal taken away because of a failed drug test in 1999.
In other events Sunday in 96-degree heat, Tiombe Hurd -- who is legally blind -- broke the U.S. record in the women's triple jump with a winning leap of 47 feet, 5 inches. The old record of 47-3½ was set by Shelia Hudson in 1996.
Sheena Johnson, who just completed her senior season at UCLA, won the 400 hurdles in a world-leading 52.95 seconds, the fastest time by an American on U.S. soil.
Johnson, Brenda Taylor and Lashinda Demus had the three fastest times in the world in making the U.S. team in the event.
Tim Mack won the men's pole vault, but failed in three attempts to break the U.S. record of 19-9½. He will be joined in Athens by Toby Stevenson and Derek Miles. Defending Olympic champion Nick Hysong finished fifth and failed to qualify.
World champion Dwight Phillips easily won the long jump. The event was absent his chief rival, Savante Stringfellow, who is out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon. Stringfellow is known for donning a "Superman" shirt between jumps.
"I brought the Spiderman suit," Phillips said, "but it was too hot to wear today."
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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