Sturrup beats Jones for second time in 4 days

Updated: June 1, 2005, 5:15 PM ET
Associated Press

MILAN, Italy -- Marion Jones ran a sluggish 11.67 seconds in the 100 meters at the Grand Prix Regione Lombardia meet Wednesday, finishing second to Chandra Sturrup for the second time in four days.

Sturrup, of the Bahamas, won in 11.42 after beating Jones at the FBK Games in Hengelo, Netherlands, on Sunday.

Jones false-started on the race's first attempt, then was slow out of the blocks when the race got underway.

"It was difficult to recover. My race was kind of over from there,'' Jones said. "I just sat there in the blocks and that was the difference. Once I came up running everybody was two, three steps ahead of me.''

Jones has struggled mightily in recent events. Jones ran a modest 11.29 in the Netherlands, and clocked 11.28 in her first 100 race of the year at Martinique on April 30.

"Sunday's race I thought I had a better start,'' she said. "Sunday's race, the second part of the race, wasn't as good as today's race. So if I can put them together, I think I'll be OK.''

The three-time Olympic gold medalist is trying to regain her form in time for the U.S. championships later this month.

Jones is planning to compete in the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., this weekend before entering the U.S. Championships, which begin on June 23.

"I'll run the 100 on Saturday, then I'll see how I run there and decide if I need to go home and train or do one more meet,'' she said of her plans before the trials.

Jones has been shunned by many European meet organizers since being linked to the BALCO steroid scandal in the United States. The Euro Meetings Group, which represents many of Europe's top meets, recommended not inviting Jones to any events.

Though Jones has never failed a drug test and denies using performance enhancing drugs, only the Milan and Hengelo meets have invited her to run so far.

Jones is also happy with her progress since surgery on her right shin in February 2004.

"I'm doing good. I'm coming back slowly,'' she said, adding that she began to feel comfortable again this past winter. "It's been a struggle getting here. There were days where I couldn't push off with my leg, so I'm happy that it's all coming back together.''

Also Wednesday, Dorcus Inzikuru of Uganda broke the world record in the rarely contested women's 2,000-meter steeplechase, which isn't an Olympic event.

Inzikuru's time of 6 minutes, 4.46 seconds improved on the old mark of 6:11.84 – set by Russia's Marina Pluzhnikova on July 25, 1994, at St. Petersburg.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press