Freeman Wins 400 Meters Gold Medal
SEVILLE, Spain (AP) _ Cathy Freeman successfully defended her 400 meter world title today, holding off Germany’s Anja Ruecker to give Australia its first gold medal at the World Championships. Lorraine Graham of Jamaica was third.
Freeman was in control throughout the race but had to hold off a late challenge by Ruecker in lane 8 to win in 49.67 seconds, the best time of the season. Ruecker finished .07 of a second back to take silver. Graham had a time of 49.92.
Olympic Champion Marie-Jose Perec, who won the world title in 1991 and 1995, withdrew from the championships early this month because she wasn’t sufficiently recovered from injury and illness which had kept her out of competition for most of the past two seasons.