IT SEEMS that
Gail Devers has found the secret to prolonging her stellar career: give birth,
take two years off, turn 40. Simple. Last Friday night Devers, winner of three
Olympic gold medals, burst back into the track spotlight with an unexpected
victory in the 60-meter hurdles at the 100th Millrose Games. "People
thought I went away," said Devers after the race. "I always knew I
could come back."
scarcely been seen on the international stage since failing to finish her heat
of the 100-meter hurdles at the 2004 Olympics. On June 20, 2005, Devers gave
birth to daughter Karsen and took six months off. She returned for a cameo at
the '06 Millrose Games but ran a plodding 8.13. Her time of 7.86 seconds at
this year's Millrose was the best in the world in the current indoor season
until Sweden's Susanna Kallur ran 7.85 one day later.
Devers had always
been plagued by injuries. Reporters asking, "How are you?" could expect
a response that sounded like dialogue from ER. Now she says she is healthy.
"The best healing," she says, "is time off." She trains in
Atlanta with Danielle Carruthers, 27, whom Devers also coaches. Devers won't
commit to a long-term schedule, but every race is an audition. She is running
without a major apparel or shoe sponsor and looking to make a deal that would
enable her to brand her own logo on products.