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WORLD TRACK NOTES : 6 Ex-Soviets in Top 7 of the Hammer

August 16, 1993|RANDY HARVEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

STUTTGART, Germany — When the Soviet Union existed, it could send only three athletes in each event to track and field's World Championships. But since its breakup, the 12 former republics are competing independently, and each can potentially enter three athletes in each event, threatening to overwhelm some disciplines--such as the hammer throw.

Eight of the 12 finalists Sunday at Gottlieb Daimler Stadium were from former Soviet republics. They took six of the first seven places, allowing only a Hungarian, Tibor Geseck, to interrupt their dominance. He finished third. Andrei Abduvaliyev of Tajikistan won the gold medal, Igor Astapkovich of Belarus the silver.

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Kim Jones of Seattle led for the first 1 hour 45 minutes of the women's marathon before wilting to eighth place.

"I kept waiting for the others to take over the lead," she said. "But no one was willing to do that. So I kept going."

Japan's Junko Asari and Tomoe Abe finished first and third, respectively. Portugal's Manuela Machado was second. Asari's winning time was 2:30:03.

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Meredith Rainey qualified for the women's 800-meter final, to be held Tuesday, in 1:57.63, the third-fastest time ever by an American.

Both U.S. entrants in the men's 800-meter semifinals, Johnny Gray and Mark Everett, finished last in their heats. Gray could not move up from the back of the pack after being bumped on the first lap by Great Britain's Curtis Robb. The United States has filed a protest.

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