Olympic champion Hassiba Boulmerka of Algeria fought off
GOTEBORG, Sweden (AP) _ Olympic champion Hassiba Boulmerka of Algeria fought off a determined challenge from Britain’s Kelly Holmes today to add the World Championships 1,500 meter title to her collection.
Boulmerka took the lead with 250 meters to go after Jamaican Yvonne Graham led for most of the race.
Holmes then made her bid for the lead, but Boulmerka cut off her route by moving away from the curb. Holmes tried to go around her on the inside, but Boulmerka, who also won the world title in 1991, was too strong and hung on to win in 4 minutes 02.42 seconds.
Holmes took the silver in 4:03.04 and Carla Sacramento of Portugal won the bronze in 4:03.79. Ruth Wysocki, the only American in the final, placed seventh in 4:07.08.
Also today, Michael Johnson, who is hoping for an unprecedented 200-400 double, attempted to defend his 400 title. There also was the men’s shot and women’s 10,000 meters.
With defending champion Jackie Joyner-Kersee back home contemplating her flop in the long jump, the heptathlon should have been a wide open event and countrywoman Kym Carter was well placed after three events in fourth.
Germany’s Heike Drechsler and 1991 titlist Sabine Braun were among the favorites, but Braun dropped out after only two events with an injured hand after a fall in the high jump.
``I injured it hitting the post,″ Braun said. ``I especially felt it during the shot put warm up and I think it’s better to abandon than to risk worsening the injury.″
At the tie, Braun was in fourth place and Dreschsler, after poor performances in the 100 hurdles and high jump, was 10th.
While Braun’s withdrawal was bad enough for the Germans, the shot put was little better for Dreschsler in the shot and she improved to only ninth after three events.
Russia’s Svetlana Moskalets led the field with 2,913 points after three events with Rita Inancsi of Hungary only 20 points behind in second and Syria’s Ghada Shouaa just four points behind the Hungarian.
Carter was fourth with 2,864, only 49 points behind the leader and DeDee Nathan, replacement for Joyner Kersee, was eighth, one ahead of Drechsler, with 2,755.
The International Amateur Athletic Federation announced today that 82 athletes drug tested in the first three days of the World Championships all tested negative.
The first three days included the prestigious men’s 100 meters, won by Canada’s Donovan Bailey, the women’s 100, won by Gwen Torrence of the United States, the decathlon, won by two-time defending titlist Dan O’Brien and the triple jump, in which Britain’s Jonathan Edwards set two world records.
They also included the women’s 100-meter hurdles, won by defending titlist Gail Devers, shot put and marathon, men’s 20-kilometer walk and hammer throw, the women’s long jump and 10-kilometer walk.