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Fredericks wins 100 at St. Denis meet

June 2, 1997

ST. DENIS, France (AP) - Frankie Fredericks beat back a challenge by Ato Boldon to capture the 100 meters Monday at an international track meet in this suburb just north of Paris.

A late afternoon rain cooled the weather and slowed the times as Fredericks ran 10.09 seconds into a slight wind. He has a personal best of 9.86, equaling Carl Lewis as the third fastest 100 of all-time.

Brian Lewis of the United States was second in 10.19, followed by Davidson Ezinwa of Nigeria, who clocked 10.20 and Boldon at 10.23.

``I think I ran well. I had some good opposition,″ Fredericks said. ``When you have good opposition the time doesn’t really matter. I’m just happy that I’m healthy.″

Fredericks won a pair of silver medals at the Olympics in 1992 and 1996 at both the 100 and 200.

Boldon, who recently ran 9.89 in the 100 meters, took third in both sprints at Atlanta.

Fredericks doesn’t mind missing the 150-meter duel between Donovan Bailey and Michael Johnson Sunday night which Bailey won when Johnson pulled up.

``I don’t think I have any credentials to be there,″ Fredericks said. ``Michael is the world recordholder in the 200 and Donovan is the world record holder in the 100. Where do I fit in?″

He did say, however, that he was disappointed with the outcome.

``It would have been nice if Michael didn’t get injured and they can both walk away and say one is faster,″ Fredericks said. ``Unless that happens, the other one could claim he’s faster.″

Jamaican veteran Merlene Ottey won the women’s 100 in 11.19, edging Olympic long jump champion Chioma Ajunwa of Nigeria, second in 11.20.

In the men’s 1,500, Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco ran 3 minutes, 31.76 seconds, a good time in the conditions but far from his 3:29.51 in his opening 1,500 of the season last Saturday at Hengelo, Netherlands.

``The conditions weren’t ideal,″ El Guerrouj said. ``The pace in the first 500 was too slow but it’s the best I could do.″

The 400 and 800 splits were 55.17 and 1:52.41 before he went out alone with more than a lap to go, passing 1,200 in 2:49.41.

Still El Guerrouj looks to be the top middle distance runner of the season so far, especially with Noureddine Morceli dropping out of the $1 million two-mile race against Haile Gebrselassie on Saturday.

Kevin Little of the United States won the 200 in 20.43. Two months ago he won the world indoor 200 in Paris.

Bryan Bronson of the United States won the 400 meters hurdles in 48.24, the best time of the season. Derrick Adkins, the world and Olympic champion fell in the final straightaway.

In the women’s 400 hurdles, Kim Batten of the United States upset Olympic champion Deon Hemmings of Jamaica. Batten ran 53.62, also a season’s best.

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