LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) _ Two-time world champion Cathy Freeman of Australia recorded the season's best time in the women's 400 meters Wednesday, her 38th victory in 39 finals since the Atlanta Olympics.

Freeman won easily at 49.56 seconds, more than a half-second faster than her closest rival, Lorraine Graham of Jamaica.

Graham, the bronze medalist to Freeman at the 1999 World Championships, was second at 50.07.

``I'm happy it's the world's leading time this year,'' Freeman said. ``It's nice, though technically it wasn't the best race.

``I need to get out of the blocks quicker and I need to improve my gear changes from fourth to fifth instead of third to fifth.''

Freeman, who is unbeaten this year, improved on Marion Jones' previous season best by .03 seconds.

But for Freeman, who finished second behind France's Marie Jose Perec at the 1996 Olympics, the victory was only a small stepping stone on her path toward gold at the Sydney Games.

``It's great to win here,'' Freeman said, ``but ultimately, my heart is set on winning at home in Sydney.''

Gail Devers won the women's 100 hurdles at 12.50, beating Nigeria's Glory Alozie, runner-up at 12.56.

Devers, a three-time world champion, who ran the fastest time of the season of 12.47 recently at Rome, also was entered in the 100 sprint.

Kenya's Noah Ngeny won the men's 1,500 at 3:31.61.

Ngeny, the first to run under 3:30.00 this season when he won at 3:29.99 last week, finished far ahead of France's Driss Maazouzi, second at 3:32.41, and Canada's Kevin Sullivan, third at 3:32.60.