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
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.