ZURICH, Switzerland — Said Aouita of Morocco ran the second-fastest 3,000 meters of all time at the Weltklasse Grand Prix track and field meet Wednesday night, failing by less than half a second to match Henry Rono's eight-year record.
Aouita, bidding to add the 3,000 to the 1,500 and 5,000 world records he already owns, finished in 7 minutes 32.54 seconds. Rono's record is 7:32.10, set in Oslo on June 27, 1978.
Aouita's run was the highlight of the opening part of the Letzigrund Stadium meet, featuring 19 Olympic champions and 15 world No. 1-ranked performers among the 350 athletes from 41 countries.
In another action, Steve Scott of the United States edged Britain's Sebastian Coe in the 1,500 meters.
The men's 1,500 featured six of the eight 1984 Olympic finalists. But Coe, in his first appearance since illness forced him from the Commonwealth Games, was unable to repeat his Olympic victory. Scott edged him on the line to win in the relatively slow 3:35.14. Coe finished in3:35.22.
The meet is traditionally considered to be the best one-day event of the European outdoor season.
Canadian Ben Johnson confirmed his current superiority in the event over Carl Lewis, the quadruple U.S. Olympic gold medalist, with a runaway 100-meter victory in 10.03 seconds.
Nigerian Chibi Imoh was second in 10.22 and Lewis was third in 10.25. It was the third time this season that Johnson--whose 9.95 at the Goodwill Games last month was the fastest time ever at low altitude--had beaten Lewis.
The United States' other 100-meter Olympic champion, Evelyn Ashford, had no trouble winning her event in a 10.95. Jeanette Bolden finished second in 11.08.
Belgian William Van Dijck won the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 8:17.24.