Demus falls, cedes lead in 400-hurdles
OSLO, Norway -- Lashinda Demus stumbled near the finish line while in the lead and wound up third Friday in the 400-meter hurdles at the Bislett Games, losing her chance for a $1 million jackpot.
The American hurdler had won her first two races in the Golden League series. The jackpot is awarded to any athlete who wins a discipline at each of the six Golden League meets and then also competes at the World Athletics Final.
France's Christine Arron won her third straight 100-meter race and Tatyana Lebedeva of Russia got her third consecutive win in the triple jump, staying in contention for the jackpot.
Sandra Glover, another American, capitalized on Demus' stumble to win the race in 53.93 seconds. Poland's Anna Jesien was second in 54.43 and Demus third in 54.59.
"I'm very disappointed," Demus said. "I almost fell, I don't know why."
Arron overcame some minor problems midway through her race to win the 100 in 11.06 seconds, beating three Americans. Lauryn Williams was second in 11.16, Latasha Colander third in 11.17 and Rachelle Boone-Smith fourth in 11.23.
"The start was good, then in the middle I stumbled a little bit, so I needed to fight to come back in the race," Arron said. "It wasn't easy at all. I wasn't thinking about the jackpot before the race, just this 100 to be concentrated enough and run my own race."
Lebedeva got the triple jump win at 48 feet, 10¼ inches despite jumping in pain.
"I felt spasm in my left Achilles and was thinking whether to compete at all," Lebedeva said. "Fortunately, even with pain I was able to jump and win. My only aim was to win and continue to race for the jackpot. I saw the American [Demus] lost, so I knew we remained only two."
Ladji Doucoure of France took the men's 110-meter hurdles in 13.00 for a new Bislett Stadium record and his second Golden League win of the year. It was just .03 off his world-best time this year. He finished ahead of three Americans, Joel Brown (13.22), Terence Trammell (13.27) and Allen Johnson (13.34).
Johnson, who will try to win an unprecedented fourth straight gold medal in the event at the world championships starting next weekend in Helsinki, Finland, ran his first race after a four-week injury layoff.
"It wasn't my best race, but I'm coming back," Johnson said. "I know where I am by now. Still enough time to come to the right shape."
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press