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Carl Lewis excites fans at Linz meet

July 9, 1997

LINZ, Austria (AP) _ Although his Santa Monica Track Club failed to win the 400-meter relay at the Zipfer Grand Prix meet Wednesday, Carl Lewis excited the specators.

Lewis, winner of nine Olympic gold medals and eight World Championship golds, anchored Santa Monica to a second-place finish, behind a U.S. team with Dennis Mitchell running the final leg. The winner’s time was 37.97 seconds, with Santa Monica second at 38.17.

Preceding Mitchell were 100-meter winner Vincent Henderson, Rohsann Griffin and Bruce Seddlir.

``No, I’m not disappointed with the defeat,″ Lewis said. He added he had ``no regrets″ about his decision to retire from track and field this year.

The meet’s biggest disappointment was the absence of 100-meter world record-holder Donovan Bailey of Canada. The Olympic and world champion pulled out with a strained thigh muscle.

He was scheduled to run in the showcase 400 relay for Canada. As a result, the Canadian team withdrew.

Lewis, meanwhile, thrived in the limelight. Posters and billboards of him in full speed down a track were plastered all over Linz.

Another crowd favorite, double Olympic champion Gail Devers, won the women’s 100 in 11.06.

Henderson took the men’s 100 in 10.06, outleaning Mitchell at the finish.

Olympic champion Allen Johnson continued his domination of the 110 hurdles, clocking a world-leading 13.12.

The season’s leading long jumper, Ivan Pedroso of Cuba, won at 28 feet, 1 inch.

Olympic gold medalist Lars Riedel of Germany won the discus with a meet-record 221-9, beating countryman Jurgen Schult, the world record-holder. Schult’s best throw was 208-0.

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