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Jones gets the better of Zhanna twice

Brussels, Aug. 31 (AFP): Athletics golden girl Marion Jones stamped her authority over rival Zhanna Pintusevich-Block Friday, beating her in both the 100 and 200m at the sixth of the seven Golden League meetings.

While the 26-year-old crept to within one win of a share of the 50kg gold bar bonus, so did 400m hurdles world champion Felix Sanchez.

The other two gold bar contenders, Ana Guevara and Hicham el Guerrouj, also stayed in the hunt, although the latter failed in his bid to break his 1500m world mark as did Maria Mutola in her attempt at regaining the 1000m record.

World and Olympic 100m champion Maurice Greene was sixth suffering his fifth defeat in nine races this season.

Sanchez, of the Dominican Republic, had his hardest race for a long time as European champion Stephane Diagana led him over the final hurdle but his younger legs just got him past the 33-year-old French veteran in the final few metres to keep his hopes alive of the bonus.

Guevara remains unchallenged at the 400m as she powered a crushing victory over world and Olympic silver medallist Lorraine Fenton, making the Jamaican’s confident declaration that she would end her bonus hopes ring very hollow.

Denmark’s enigmatic 800m world record-holder Wilson Kipketer also looked unbeatable as he surged effortlessly clear of a star-spangled field to win his event in the fastest time of the year, 1:42.76, but then announced he would be winding his season down.

“Physically I’m fine, but mentally I’m tired as I’ve been on the road a lot and I want to go home and wake up in the same bed and eat breakfast at home,” he said.

Turkey’s surprise European 1500m champion Sureyya Ayha proved her win was no fluke. The 23-year-old took the stuffing out of a class field to win in the best time yet this year of 3:57.75, an astonishing three seconds clear of the runner-up, Belarus’ 3000m steeplechase world record-holder Aalesya Turova.

“The Turkish football team’s achievement in finishing third in the World Cup inspired me to try and be as successful as them and their success has obviously infected me!” commented Ayhan.

Kenya’s Commonwealth Games 5,000m champion Sammy Kipketer showed he was no slouch at 10,000 either as he ran the fastest one in four years timing 26:49.38. Such was the pace, that 14 of the 17 finishers ran personal bests.

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