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|August 21, 2000||
Fears subside over wind problems
Fears that gusting winds may prevent track and field athletes from setting world records at next month's Sydney Olympics have subsided after the successful Australian trials at the Olympic Stadium.
Athletics officials said overall times were good and the cross-winds that caused havoc at this year's national championships were non-existent.
"I was really surprised at the lack of wind," Australia's head coach Chris Wardlaw said.
"There was a lot of wind around at the weekend but you couldn't feel it inside the stadium.
"I didn't hear any complaints whatsosever so it would seem that the wind is no longer an issue."
The unpredictable swirling winds were such a problem at the Australian trials in February that a handful of Australia's top athletes, including dual 400 metres world champion Cathy Freeman, asked for the trials to be switched to another venue to ensure as many Australians as possible reached the qualifying standards.
The four corners of the 110,000-seater stadium were enclosed with giant canvas sheets during the trials which ended on Saturday, although the venue management insisted nothing had changed since the national championships.
Ironically, while the wind played no part in the trials, the night-time temperatures did with some athletes complaining about the cold.
"It was very cool at night," sprinter Melinda Gainsford-Taylor said. "It could be a problem if you didn't warm up properly but I'm sure it'll be okay by the Games."
Mail Sports Editor
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