DEMUS beats Pittman - 1July05- Paris GL

:slight_smile: First Golden League success for former World Junior champion Lashinda Demus
Friday 1 July 2005
Just a week after her personal best 53.35 performance to win her first national title, American Lashinda Demus rode that momentum to her first major international invitational win with a 53.85 victory over a solid field at the Stade de France.

‘It felt fine. I actually thought we ran faster than 53.8,” the 22-year-old said after her fifth win in as many races over the full-lap barriers. “The other girls went out faster than I did. I’m normally not the third or fourth person over the hurdles, but this race I was because they were running hard. So I just kind of stayed on my normal pace. That’s one thing I was told before the race, to just run my own race. This is a big meet. You just have to concentrate and that’s what I did.”

Australia’s Jana Pittman, the reigning World champion, went out hard from the start to build a clear lead after the second hurdle. Running just to the inside of Demus, Pittman was clearly applying the pressure, but Demus wasn’t rattled.

“I caught myself panicking. But at that point,” the former University of South Carolina star said, “when she’s there, there’s nothing you can do, so I just kept running and didn’t give up.”

Demus maintained her composure entering the final straight, eventually catching Pittman as the pair approached hurdle nine.

“It was the tenth hurdle that I went over with my alternate leg and that kind of slowed me down, so the girl on the outside [Anna Jesien of Poland] kind of came up, and so did Jana, but I held on.”

I can go faster!

Demus admitted that she is still feeling the effects from the stiff competition and her performance last weekend at the US Championships, where she emerged as the second fastest in the world, trailing only Russian Yuliya Pechonkina’s 53.05.

“I though that may have had something to do with it because I thought we ran faster here. I’m real fatigued now. Normally I get over it, but I’m real fatigued.”

Her three days of competition in Carson did take their toll, both physically and emotionally, Demus admitted.

“That was hard. Three races in three days, that was real hard. But well worth it.”

In the larger picture, her early season performances appear to be a gradual continuation of her 2004 season, in which she reached the semi-finals of the Olympic Games, and her stellar 2002 season, in which she captured the World Junior title with a still-standing World junior record of 54.70.

After her victory in Carson last weekend, Demus said, “I know what I’m capable of … and that’s medalling at Worlds. But you never know what’s going to happen.” In Paris, she added that she wasn’t particularly surprised with her performance.

“No,” she said firmly. “I think I can go faster.”

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF