| Ana Guevara reacts after crossing the finishing line in the 300m in Mexico City Saturday. (AFP)
Mexico City: Mexico’s Ana Gabriela Guevara broke the 300m world record at the Grand Prix Banamex on Saturday.
Guevara broke the old mark of 35.46 secs set by England’s Kathy Cook in August 1984. She clocked 35.30 seconds.
European champion Ionela Tirlea of Romania was second in 36.20 while Olympic 400m gold medal winner Cathy Freeman of Australia finished third in 36.42 secs.
The 25-year-old Guevara, one of Mexico’s finest athletes, was all smiles after the race while waving a Mexican flag and thanking the crowd for their support. She collected a string of nine straight victories in 2002.
The 300m is not contested at the Olympics but Guevara can use this as a confidence booster for the 400m which she plans to run at the Athens Olympics in 2004.
Her victory on Saturday took place in front of a 40,000-strong home crowd at the high-altitude Olympic Stadium —the site of the 1968 Games.
She will tune up for the Athens Games by competing this year at the Pan-American Games and the World Championships in Paris this August.
In the men’s 100m, Canada’s Nicholas Macrozonaris upset American world record holder Tim Montgomery to win in 10.03 seconds.
Macrozonaris spoiled the season debut of Montgomery, who was second in 10.04 seconds. American Jon Drummond was third in 10.07 seconds. Montgomery was far from the peak form shown while creating the 100m world record of 9.78 seconds last September in Paris. He blamed the defeat on a poor start.
“I am very surprised,” Montgomery said. “This is the first race of the year. I think I had a bad start today. That is what happened.” (AFP)