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September 12, 2000
Superstar says she's a Nervous NellieGene Cherry
Marion Jones, who plans to make history at the Sydney Olympics, confessed to feeling nervous after flying in to Australia on Tuesday morning.
The American sprinter is bidding for an unprecedented five gold medals in the 100 and 200 metres, the long jump and both relays.
"Definitely there were butterflies in my stomach looking out the window and seeing Australia," Jones told Reuters after arriving in Melbourne from Los Angeles.
"It's good, it's exciting, it was a long trip and I'm ready to take a nice, long nap. I just want to get it all started now."
Jones was accompanied by her husband C.J. Hunter, the world shot put champion who pulled out of the Games on Monday because of a knee injury, coach Trevor Graham and manager Charles Wells.
She said she was upset that Hunter would not be taking part in the Games.
"It's disappointing for me, I'm upset for him but he's a tough guy," she said.
Only a sprinkling of onlookers were present on a cool, spring morning. None of them recognised Jones who will train in Melbourne before making the trip to Sydney to take part in Friday's opening ceremony.
Jones begins her exacting schedule on the first day of the athletics programme seven days later with the opening two rounds of the 100 metres. The semifinals and final of the 100 are scheduled for the following day.
She will then get three days' rest before the first two rounds of the 200 metres on September 27 plus the long jump qualifying, followed by the 200 semifinals and final on the following day.
If all goes to plan Jones will compete in the long jump final on September 29 then prepare for the 4x100 and 4x400 metres relays on September 30, the penultimate day of the Games.
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