Hurdles and struggles
American Dragila wins pole vault; Devers advancesPosted: Sunday September 24, 2000 12:00 AM
SYDNEY, Australia (CNNSI.com) -- American Stacy Dragila won the inaugural women's pole vault, as Gabriela Szabo of Romania set an Olympic record in the women's 5,000 meters and Maria Mutola gave Mozambique its first Olympic gold medal by winning the women's 800.
It was the busiest night of track and field events.
In men's events, Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia successfully defended his 10,000-meter title, Britain's Jonathan Edwards won the triple jump, Anier Garcia of Cuba won the 110-meter hurdles and Lithuania's Virgilijus Alekna won the discus.
In the 100-meter hurdles, Garcia won in 13.00 seconds and stripped off his shirt in triumph. Terrence Trammell took silver in 13.16 and his U.S. teammate, Mark Crear, won the bronze medal.
Defending champion Allen Johnson, who hit each of the 10 hurdles, was fourth in 13.23 -- a hundredth of a second behind Crear, the 1996 silver medalist. World champion Colin Jackson was fifth.
Alekna won the discus gold medal with a throw of 69.30 meters (227 feet, 4 inches). The 1996 Olympic champion, Lars Riedel of Germany, won the silver and Frantz Kruger of South Africa took the bronze.
Dragila's winning clearance in the pole vault was 15 feet, 1 inch (4.60 meters). She failed at three attempts to break her own world record. Tatiana Grigorieva of Australia won the silver and Vala Flofadottir of Iceland the bronze.
"The gold medal is beyond any world record," said Dragila, whosmiled and clapped her hands after her winning vault. "To make history, I don't think there's anything better."
Dragila, a 29-year-old from Auburn, Calif., already was the first and only women's pole vault world champion. She set the event's first Olympic record with her winning vault.
Szabo, the 1996 silver medalist, won the 5,000 in 14 minutes, 40.79 seconds -- smashing the Olympic record by more than 19 seconds. Sonia O'Sullivan of Ireland won the silver and Gete Wami of Ethiopia the bronze.
Mutola, the 1996 bronze medalist, came from behind on the final stretch to win the women's 800 in 1:56.15 -- playfully sticking her tongue out after crossing the finish line. Stephanie Graf of Austria was second and Kelly Holmes of Britain won bronze.
Edwards, a silver medalist four years ago, had a winning leap of 58-11/4 (17.71 meters) in the triple jump. Yoel Garcia of Cuba took the silver and Denis Kapustin of Russia got the bronze.
Gebrselassie, who has not lost at 10,000 meters since 1993, needed a dramatic kick on the closing straight to catch Kenya's Paul Tergat at the finish line. Gebrselassie won in 27:18.20 - nine hundredths of a second faster than Tergat. Assefa Mezgebu of Ethiopia took the bronze.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.