SEOUL — His name is Kingdom, and he rules the Olympic 110-meter hurdles.
Roger Kingdom of Monroeville, Pa., defended the championship he won 4 years ago in Los Angeles, running the third-fastest time ever, 12.98, in the final Monday at the Olympic Stadium.
Kingdom, 25, ran 12.97 earlier this year, but it was at high altitude in Italy. Renaldo Nehemiah set the world record of 12.93 in 1981.
Kingdom easily finished ahead of Great Britain's Colin Jackson, who was second in 13.28, and American Tonie Campbell of Ontario, who was third in 13.38.
"Well, that's what I wanted to do," said Kingdom, only the second man to win the high hurdles in consecutive Olympic Games.
He said that this victory meant more to him than the one in 1984.
"I'm the second person to win it twice," he said. "I broke the Olympic record. I ran a 12 at the Olympic Games."
Failing in an attempt to win a second gold medal was Valerie Brisco of Los Angeles in the women's 400 meters. She had the lead entering the stretch but faded to finish fourth in 50.16.
The Soviet Union's Olga Bryzgina, the 1987 world champion, won in 48.65, bettering Brisco's Olympic record of 48.83. East Germany's Petra Mueller, the runner-up to Bryzgina at the World Championships, was second in 49.45. The Soviet Union's Olga Nazarova was third in 49.90.
Diane Dixon of Brooklyn, N.Y., was fifth in 50.72, and Denean Howard Hill of Sylmar was sixth in 51.12.
In the men's 400, UCLA's Steve Lewis and Danny Everett finished 1-2 in their semifinal to qualify for Wednesday's final. Lewis ran 44.35 and Everett 44.36. World record-holder Butch Reynolds also advanced, winning his semifinal in 44.33.
The surprise in that semifinal was that East Germany's Thomas Schoenlebe, the 1987 world champion, failed to advance, finishing fifth in 44.90. He was edged for the fourth and final qualifying berth by Nigeria's Innocent Egbunike, formerly of Azusa Pacific College, who ran 44.74.
While the result in the hurdles was expected, the question in the men's 800 meters was whether it was more stunning that Kenya's Paul Ereng won or that Morocco's Said Aouita didn't.
Aouita, 27, is the world's finest middle-distance runner--which he is the first to admit--and has boasted that he would win three gold medals in the 800, 1,500 and 5,000, an unprecedented combination of events. He won the 5,000 at the 1984 Summer Olympics and the 1987 World Championships.
But he didn't even win the silver medal in the 800 meters, finishing behind Olympic defending champion Joaquim Cruz from Brazil as well.
Ereng, the 1988 National Collegiate Athletic Assn. champion as a freshman at the University of Virginia, had never run the 800 until this year. He was a quartermiler until he arrived in Charlottesville, Va., last September, his first time out of Kenya, and was steered toward the 800 by Fred Hardy, Virginia's assistant track and field coach.
Still, Ereng, 20, didn't have a time among the top 10 in the world this year and wasn't even considered the best Kenyan in the event when the summer started.
That was Billy Konchellah, who won the 800 meters at last year's World Championships. But Konchellah, who spends most of the year in Southern California, became ill again with the tuberculosis that was first diagnosed in 1985 and was unable to qualify for the Kenyan team.
While Aouita played it conservatively, ready to unleash his notorious kick, Ereng was among the leaders through the first two-thirds of the race. But he appeared to be out of medal contention when Cruz and Great Britain's Peter Elliott pulled away at the same time that Aouita started his surge.
Ereng, however, had speed to burn. He passed Cruz and Elliott about 50 meters from the finish and won going away in 1:43.45. Cruz ran 1:43.90, holding on to second ahead of Aouita, who ran 1:44.06.
Elliott, who was on the receiving end of an elbow from Aouita in the race to the finish, was fourth in 1:44.12. Johnny Gray, who went to Crenshaw High and trains in Santa Monica, was fifth in 1:44.80.
Another 800-meter runner who trains in Santa Monica, Kim Gallagher, finished third in the women's race, not bad considering that she quit running a year ago because of internal physical problems and didn't resume until March.
She won the silver in 1984, but this medal meant more because she competed against two great East German runners.
Both of them, 1987 world champion Sigrun Wodars and Christine Wachtel, beat her. But Gallagher was with them until the final stretch, when she was trapped on the inside behind Yugoslavia's Slobodanka Colovic and the Soviet Union's Inna Evseeva. Gallagher slipped past them to take control of third place, but it was too late to challenge the East Germans.
"It wasn't the race I wanted to run to get the gold," said Gallagher, 24. "I had to go around them at the end because I got boxed-in. But I'm happy to get the bronze."