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SYDNEY 2000 / SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES | Track & Field

No Relay for Miller or Devers

September 29, 2000|RANDY HARVEY | TIMES ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR

SYDNEY, Australia — Inger Miller's manager had said she was desperate to join the U.S. women's 400-meter relay team to silence skepticism about her injury, but she didn't get that opportunity, withdrawing today because of a strained hamstring that earlier prevented her from running the 100 and 200.

The United States' chances in the relay, thus Marion Jones' for another gold medal, were further damaged when Gail Devers, who had pulled up in the 100 hurdle semifinals because of a torn hamstring, caught a flight bound for home.

A U.S. team of Chryste Gaines, Torri Edwards, Nanceen Perry and Passion Richardson advanced through the first round today to the semifinals, but its time of 42.92 seconds was only fourth best behind Jamaica (42.46), Bahamas (42.58) and Germany (42.82).

Despite the loss of two of the team's best sprinters, the U.S. coach, Karen Dennis, said that the other runners "will not let Marion down."

Jones was selected to run in Saturday's finals of both the 400 and 1,600-meter relays if the U.S. teams advance that far.

Upon withdrawing last week from the 100, Miller, second in the world last year to Jones in the 100 and the world champion in the 200, said that she suffered her injury while training in Westwood during the first week of September.

Yet, in a climate of cynicism because of the International Olympic Committee's increased efforts to eradicate drugs, Miller's manager, Emanuel Hudson of HSI, said he heard rumors that the former Pasadena Muir and USC sprinter was trying to avoid testing by not competing here.

Hudson said he was "sick to death" of such speculation and said Miller would do everything possible, even risking further injury, to run in at least the first round of the relay so that she could be tested.

But Dennis said that Miller decided today that she might damage the team's chances if she ran while injured.

"She's not healthy," said Dennis, estimating that Miller was only 75% recovered from the injury. "You can't put people that are not healthy in the Olympic Games."

Also on the track today, both U.S. men's relay teams advanced to the semifinals. Teams of Kenny Brokenburr, Tim Montgomery, Brian Lewis and Maurice Greene in the 400 and Jerome Young, Angelo Taylor, Calvin Harrison and Alvin Harrison in the 1,600 each won their heats. The women's 1,600 team had yet to run.

Poland's Rob Korzeniowski won his second consecutive gold medal in the 50K walk, adding that title to the one he won in the 20K earlier this week.

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