Jones good enough to rule world
From Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina
May 17, 2006
FORMER Olympic champion Marion Jones can return to the sprinting elite, says ex-hurdler Jeff Howser who is assisting with her coaching.
Jones, who is formally coached by Steve Riddick, also practises with Howser’s group three or four days a week.
“She looks good. Her starts are getting better and she is looking technically very sound,” Howser, a US Olympic Trials hurdles finalist in 1968 and 1972, said.
“I think she can break 11 (seconds). I think she can be close to 10.90.”
That would put 30-year-old Jones among the world’s top athletes again but is more than two tenths of a second slower than her 1998 personal best of 10.65sec.
She clocked 11.06sec for an easy 100m win over former world champion Torri Edwards in Mexico last Saturday in her first race for 11 months. Her time, at altitude, is the third fastest in the world this season.
Riddick, who has been indicted on federal bank fraud charges and did not travel to Mexico, confirmed Howser was working with Jones on her starts at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina but said he was still providing the sprinter’s workouts.
“Me and Marion talk about two or three times a day.” Riddick said via telephone from his Norfolk, Virginia office.
Howser, the speed, agility and conditioning coach at Duke University, also coaches US sprinter Jason Smoots and Briton Daniel Caines, the 2003 world indoor 400 silver medallist.
“Marion is still working mostly Riddick’s workouts. I’m doing the hands-on, technical stuff with her,” Howser said.
“He (Riddick) is still the coach of record.”
Jones, who won five medals at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney including three golds, has run poorly since having a son with ex-partner Tim Montgomery in June 2003.
The couple separated last year.