Daniel Wins 10,000 Track Gold
PALMA DE MALLORCA, Balearic Islands (AP) _ Leigh Daniel has little experience as a distance runner. She looked like a veteran Thursday night.
Waiting until just the right moment to make her move, Daniel overtook Yuri Kano of Japan with four laps to go and pulled away steadily to win the women’s 10,000 meters in the University Games for the first American gold medal outside of swimming.
Daniel, who took up the sport seriously four years ago, completed the grueling 25 laps around the newly sanctioned track at Son Moix Stadium in 32 minutes, 58.80 seconds.
``Early, I was just trying to say with the Japanese girl. Then I knew from my coaches we were slowing down,″ the 20-year-old Texas Tech student said. ``It seemed like it was a good time to make a move.″
Daniel built a lead of about 50 yards in the span of a lap, and breezed home.
She showed no ill effects from the 86 degree heat and heavy humidity which took its toll on others. Morocco’s Narjat Karzaz, in position to take the bronze with a lap remaining, started to stumble over the final 100 meters and collapsed, unconscious, just short of the finish line. She was taken away on a stretcher and given fluids intravenously. Two other runners also failed to complete the race.
Daniel, the NCAA champion in the 10,000 and runner-up in the 5,000, called the conditions ``very good,″ and celebrated her gold by carrying a tiny American flag on a victory lap.
She must progress to become a threat on the international scene, failing to qualify for the world championships by placing seventh in the U.S. national championships last month. But the tenacity and talent are there.
Kano was second in 33:16.41 and Denmark’s Annemette Densen, who ran with the leaders until 3,500 meters remained, finished in 33:36.11 for the bronze.
Cuba’s Yuhisleidis Cumba Jay won the day’s other gold with a 61 feet, 4 1/4 inch put of the shot.
Swimmer Tomoko Hagiwara helped Japan break the University Games record in the women’s 400-meter medley relay and also picked up her fourth medal of the competition by winning the 200-meter individual medley.
Japan won the relay in 4:09.90, slicing more than a half-second off the games record set by the United States four years ago.
It was the third games swimming mark to fall, after Japan’s Miki Nakao cracked the standard for the women’s 200 backstroke and Mark Warkentin broke the record for the men’s 800 freestyle. Warkentin goes after his American record-tying fifth gold Friday in the men’s 1,500 freestyle.
Americans grabbed six medals in the pool Thursday, as Cara Lane won the women’s 1,500 freestyle to go with her prior victory in the 800 free, Thomas Hanna won the men’s 200 individual medley, and Beau Wiebel took the men’s 200 backstroke.
In diving, world champion Ioulia Pakhalina and Irina Lashko of Russia went 1-2 in the women’s 1-meter springboard event, with American Jenny Lingamfelter third.
Elsewhere, Italy’s Maria Vezzali won the women’s individual foil in fencing, while Portugal, Japan, China and France won golds in judo.
In soccer, traditional powerhouses Italy and Brazil advanced to the semifinals, as did host Spain and the Czech Republic. Defending champion Italy beat South Korea 5-3 in a rematch of the 1997 gold medal game.
China, Japan, France and Russia reached the women’s volleyball semifinals.