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Track and Field Roundup : Schonlebe Sets World Indoor Record at 400 Meters

January 20, 1985|From Times Wire Services

Thomas Schonlebe of East Germany set the only world indoor mark in the inaugural World Indoor Track and Field Games at Paris Saturday by winning the 400 meters in 45.60 seconds.

Schonlebe, a 400-meters finalist outdoors at the 1983 World Championships at Helsinki, Finland, improved the previous best of 45.79 set by American Antonio McKay on Feb. 11, 1984.

Schonlebe had a five-meter lead at the finish and finished powerfully ahead of Britain's Todd Bennett and American Mark Rowe.

There was the chance of another world best in the pole vault when, after four hours of competition, four vaulters were still in contention: Soviet brothers Sergei and Vassiliy Bubka and the French duo of Thierry Vigneron and Patrick Abada.

Abada was eliminated when he failed at 18-6 1/2 and at that stage Vassili Bubka led from his elder brother, the outdoor world record holder, and Vigneron.

The Frenchman cleared 18-8 on his first attempt. The Bubka brothers passed at that height but Vassiliy failed at 18-10.

Sergei Bubka went over 18-10 and won, Vigneron failing at 19-0. Bubka then attempted a new world indoor best of 19-2, slightly higher than Vigneron's mark, but missed on three attempts. At Johnson City, Tenn., Villanova's mile relay team broke the world indoor record less than an hour after the mark was set by a relay team from Auburn in the Eastman Invitational Track and Field Meet.

The record time of 3:08.01 was run by Villanova's Martin Booker, Charles Jenkins, John Marsahll and Edwin Modibedi. It was recorded by fully automated timing devices in the meet's invitational mile relay event at East Tennessee State University.

Earlier, Auburn's Kevin Henderson, Steve Griffiths, Bruce Hardy and Calvin Brooks ran the mile relay in 3:08.23, breaking the record of 3:09.4 set by Pacific Coast Club on Feb. 27, 1971, with manual timing devices at Pocatello, Idaho.

In the invitational event, Villanova beat the Manhattan College team, which ran the mile in 3:08.86, also better than the 1971 world indoor record.

In the men's mile, Ray Flynn of Team Kangaroo led six sub-four-minute milers with a time of 3:54.77. Flynn, a native of Ireland, lives in Johnson City, where he graduated from East Tennessee State.

Sydney Maree of Philadelphia was second in 3:54.78, followed by John Walker of New Zealand in 3:55.55, Steve Scott of Phoenix Sub Four in 3:55.92, Marcus O'Sullivan of Ireland in 3:57.10, and Jim McKeon of Richmond in 3:58.62.

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