NEW YORK: Gail Devers launched her 2003 athletics season with a national record of 7.78sec in the 60m hurdles Friday at the Millrose Games, second stop on USA Track and Field's indoor Golden Spike Tour.
Fellow American Stacy Dragila added a centimetre to her national record in the indoor women's pole vault with a vault of 4.72m, but failed in her bid to better the world record, while sprinter Maurice Greene settled for third place in the 60m won by Terrence Trammell.
Devers said she had no idea coming into the meeting that she was poised to deliver such a performance. The 36-year-old had planned to run the 60m flat until organizers asked her to switch to the hurdles.
“I wasn't sure what I was going to run,” she said. “I practice by myself, and I had no one to practice out of the blocks with. The goal was just to get out – it was a little shaky.”
Devers, who eclipsed the mark held by Jackie Joyner-Kersee, dedicated her race to Jalen “a 3-year-old kid from Los Angeles who had his third heart surgery”.
Dragila's night was a repeat of the outcome last week in Boston. After improving her national mark, she failed in three attempts at 4.77m, which would break the record of 4.76 established last Sunday in Glasgow by Russian Svetlana Feofanova.
"John Smith had told me me take my time, be patient, let it come to me," Greene said of his coach's advice. "Obviously, I was too patient! I wasn't aggressive enough.
"Physically I feel fine. It's a learning experience," added Greene, whose time of 6.57sec was well outside both the 6.48 he was aiming for and his world record of 6.39. – AFP