BIRMINGHAM, England, Feb 18 AFP - Former Olympic champion and world 100m record holder Maurice Greene suffered a disappointing start to his 2005 indoor season when he was beaten into third place in the 60 metres at the Birmingham indoor meeting today.
Greene finished behind American compatriot Leonard Scott who won in 6.49secs and world 100m champion Kim Collins of St Kitts and Nevis despite being awarded the same time of 6.54 as the second placed man.
The eagerly anticipated race was ruined as a spectacle however with the disqualifications of Portugal’s Francis Obikwelu, the Olympic 100m silver medallist, as well as Trinidad’s Mark Findlay and Britain’s Mark Lewis-Francis.
Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, the Olympic 10,000m champion, could only finish second in the 2 miles behind compatriot Markos Geneti who won in 8min 14.28sec.
Bekele, still recovering from the death of his fiancee Alem Techale on a training run last month, was passed in the last few metres by Geneti.
Russia’s Olympic women’s pole vault gold medallist Yelena Isinbayeva leapt to a new world indoor record height with 4.88m to win her event. Isinbayeva set the outdoor world record of 4.92m in Brussels last year.
Kelly Holmes was another Olympic winner on top form today when the 800m and 1500 gold medallist in Athens took the 1000 metres in a time of 2:35.39.
However, Holmes said she still hasn’t made up her mind over whether or not she will compete in next month’s European Indoor Championships in Madrid.
I want to leave the decision about Madrid until the last possible minute,'' insisted Holmes, although the selectors will announce the side on Tuesday. I hope they put my name down and then I can decide right at the end. I need to feel that I am able to run well if I go to the Europeans and tonight has made me feel that.’’
Sweden’s Carolina Kluft, the Athens gold medallist in the heptathlon, won the long jump with a leap of 6.66m but was only eighth in the 60m hurdles.
Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell clocked a season’s best in the 200m in a time of 22.38.