LONDON (AP) - Britain’s Zola Budd and Mary Slaney of the United States
Undated (AP) _ LONDON (AP) - Britain’s Zola Budd and Mary Slaney of the United States will meet again over 3,000 meters in London July 20, track promoters announced Sunday.
The two have not met since they collided during the event at the Los Angeles Olympics last year. Slaney, the former Mary Decker, tumbled off the track and Budd faded to finish seventh.
Decker initially blamed Budd for the fall but they since have settled their differences.
″I’m very excited at the thought of racing Mary,″ the 19-year-old Budd said Sunday, 24 hours after running the fastest 3,000 meters in the world this year.
She clocked 8 minutes 44.54 seconds at an international meet in Gateshead, England, Saturday - still eight second outside Slaney’s world record.
Sponsors Peugot Talbot announced Sunday they were extending their July 19 meet at the Crystal Palace track by a day to accommodate the anticipated interest in the race.
″This the rematch the world has been waiting for,″ British athletics promotion officer Andy Norman said.
It will be televised live in Britain but no decision has been made about overseas coverage.
Budd was granted British citizenship on three months before the Olympics.
Her native South Africa is banned from international sporting competition due to its policy of racial separation, known as apartheid.
Since the Olympics a year ago she has spent only five weeks in her adopted country, which has angered some athletics officials.
The public has, in the main, responded warmly to the slightly-built barefoot runner in her appearances in Britain, though there have been sporadic protests from anti-apartheid demonstrators.
″I’m particularly happy that the race will take place in Britain where I have received tremendous support from the public,″ Budd said. ″It will be a marvellous evening for me.″
Since the Olympics, Budd has taken the world cross-country title but has run just two track races, including a surprise loss over 3,000 meters in Belfast last Monday.
Decker has won a mile in Vancouver and ran the third fastest 5,000 meters in history at Eugene, Oregon.