J.J. Johnson sprints to double in Greece
Sunday 3 August 2003
American J.J Johnson’s sprint double was the highlight of the international meeting - IAAF GP II - in Thessaloniki, Greece tonight.
27 year-old Joshua Johnson who was third in the US nationals over 200m this summer strode to an impressive 10.15 (-0.2m/s) and 20.21 (+0.2m/s) sprint double. In the dash, his opposition was more than impressive, as World Cup winner Uchenna Emedolu (10.17) of Nigeria, out-dipped St Kitts’ Commonwealth champion Kim Collins (10.17) for second in a photo-finish.
Former World Indoor 200m champion Shawn Crawford of the USA was fifth in the 100m in 10.40, but took third place around the bend (20.58) to make it an American sweep in the 200m, as Ramon Clay took (20.48) second place behind Johnson.
There was a 44.94 second win in the men’s 400m for USA’s Jerome Young who beat Jamaica’s World Cup winner and Commonwealth champion Michael Blackwood (3rd 45.21). Christopher Brown of the Bahamas was second (45.16). Reigning World champion Avard Moncur of the Bahamas was well back in fifth, 45.84.
However, it was the one lap hurdles which produced perhaps the more significant result as European champion Stephane Diagana, who is one of France’s bets for medals at the forthcoming World Championships in Paris, was soundly beaten into 4th place (49.27) by a Jamaican 1-2-3 finish led home by Kemel Thompson in 48.50. Thompson’s winning run in Zagreb (48.24) on 7 July at the moment makes him the third fastest runner in the world this season.
Diagana’s time was a season’s best following on from his 49.67 clocking on 29 June in Poznan, Poland, but still shows that he is off the fitness needed to make an effective challenge in Paris.
In the infield, Jaroslav Bába equalled his Czech national junior outdoor record of 2.30m when winning the men’s High Jump (he jumped 2.32m indoors in February of this year), and the men’s Shot was dominated by USA’s 2002 Grand Prix Final winner, Adam Nelson with 20.55m.
World Student Games champion Demetria Washington of the USA, who was second at the US nationals clocked 51.46 in the women’s 400m, to beat compatriot Monique Hennagan who was second in 51.81.
The 400m Hurdles saw a Greek record for Faní Halkiá in 56.40, though that only gave her fifth place behind Poland’s Anna Jesien who won with 55.92, while the 100m Hurdles produced a 12.90 second photo-finish between Jamaica’s Vonette Dixon and Flora Redoumi of Greece, with the former getting the judges nod.
Nigeria’s Mercy Nku took the women’s 200m in 22.83. She also finished third in the 100m (11.32) behind Anzhela Kravchenko’s 11.31 win.
World record holder Mihaela Melinte of Romania secured the women’s Hammer with a 68.80m release which beat Poland’s Olympic champion Kamila Skolimowska (67.47m).