|HOME | SPORTS | OLYMPICS | NEWS|
September 28, 2000
Marion gets boost as Miller joins squadThe Rediff Team
Marion Jones' campaign to become the first woman, and only the second athlete in Olympic history, to take home five golds from a single edition of the Games received an unexpected boost on Thursday morning with the US track team reinstating Inger Miller in its 4x100 relay squad.
The terminally fast, chronically injury-prone Miller had dropped out of both the 100 and 200m sprints in Sydney, following a hamstring injury after she had comfortably qualified during the US team trials.
While she did come to Sydney, she was not named to the US relay team given her injury. On Wednesday, Miller said that she was over the injury but was ambivalent about running in the relays. "In an individual event, it does not matter, if you lose you lose," Miller said. "But a relay is a team thing and I don't want to be the one who spoils it for the others, least of all Marion."
The US team coaches apparently think otherwise. Miller had said she would run if the team needed her -- and on Thursday morning, she was told that the 4x100 relay team could use her presence. As a result, Miller has agreed to run, and will probably either lead off or run the third leg of the relays, the finals of which are slated for Saturday.
Miller has a history of injury. As a result of a surgery performed in May 1994, Miller runs with two permanent screws in her left navicular bone (in front of the ankle bone). The problem surfaced around 1991 but was not properly diagnosed, and Miller aggravated it in 1994 while running in a relay.
Miller in fact concealed that injury and went on to win the 100 and 200, but was then told by doctors that if she did not go in for surgery, the bone would be ground down to dust and she would be unable to walk properly, let alonerun.
She then underwent the surgery and spent three months on crutches followed by three more in rehab. She returned to sprinting in March 1996.
The dimunitive (5'4") 28-year-old resident of California went on to win a gold in Atlanta as part of the winning US 4x100 relay team. That first foray into the international spotlight confirmed that she had inherited her father Lennox Miller's genes. The Jamaican had taken a silver (1968) and bronze (1972) in the 100m sprints for Jamaica, before emigrating to the US of A.
Two years after that Olympic outing, Miller -- who till then had been coached by her father -- joined the Los Angeles-based camp of the legendary John Smith, whose other wards include Maurice Greene, Ato Boldon and Jon Drummond.
At the time, she was ranked number three in the world. In 1999, she became the world number one, winning the 200m in a time of 21.77 seconds at the World Championships. Marion Jones had opted out through injury.
In the same meet, she also won a silver in the 100m, producing a stunning series of runs in which she set up a personal best time in the quarterfinals, broke it in the semis, and then broke it again in the finals.
TRAVEL | NEWSLINKS
ROMANCE | WEDDING | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEATHER | FREE MESSENGER | BROADBAND | E-CARDS | EDUCATION
HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK