Only four Americans won events

Updated: September 5, 2004, 6:04 PM ET
Associated Press

MOSCOW -- Olympic hurdles champion Joanna Hayes was one of just four American winners in 15 events Sunday at the Russia's Challenge track and field meet in the first head-to-head competition since 1982.

Russia outscored the U.S. team 236-182 in the meet that was expected to be a rematch of the Olympic track competition. But the meet was overshadowed by the school hostage crisis that ended in southern Russia on Friday with more than 350 people dead, many of them children.

A minute of silence was held in memory of the victims. The program was reduced from 20 to 15 events and entertainment elements were canceled.

In Athens, the United States won eight gold medals, 12 silver and five bronze, while Russia finished with six gold, seven silver and seven bronze.

Sunday's competition was a revival of a Cold War tradition which pitted the superpowers against each other from the 1950s until the 1980s, in events dubbed the Match of the Giants or Match of the Continents.

Hayes covered the 100-meter hurdles in 12.78 seconds, just 0.41 over her Olympic record time. Mariya Koroteyeva of Russia was second in 12.86, and American Jenny Adams third at 13.08.

"This is my first race since the Olympics. It could be worse," Hayes said.

"I think it's great that the tradition is back. I know that over the years the U.S. and Russia are always the best in athletics, so there's always a kind of a battle. I think it's good for the sport and for both countries."

Americans Marcus Brunson, Kareem Streete-Thompson and Mardy Scales swept the top three spots in the men's 100 dash. Brunson finished in 10.15. Streete-Thompson was 0.18 seconds behind, and Scales was third in 10.40.

Monique Hennagan, a member of the U.S. Olympic champion 1,600 relay team, won the women's 400 in 50.63, and American Ron Bramless won the 110 hurdles in 13.55.

Winners for Russia included Olympic 800 champion Yuriy Borzakovskiy (1:47.72), high jump champion Yelena Slesarenko won with a leap of 6 feet, 6¾ inches. American Amy Acuff, fourth in the Olympics, was third at 6-2¼.

Slesarenko made one attempt to break the world record of 2.09, but gave up after failing on her first attempt at 2.10.

Men's long jump champion Dwight Phillips finished second to Russia's Danila Burkenya, who won with a leap of 25-8¾.

Long jump silver medalist Irina Simagina beat Olympic champion Tatyana Lebedeva, with American Shakeema Walker third.

Eighteen competitions of varying formats were held between the United States and the Soviet Union since 1958, with the Soviet athletes dominating in 14. The Americans won three times and one match ended in a 186-186 draw.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press