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Field wide open in women's 100 final

John Mehaffey | August 21, 2004 11:47 IST

No Marion Jones, the Sydney Olympics 100 metres champion.

No Kelli White, the world champion in Paris last year. No Torri Edwards, who succeeded her fellow American as the world gold medallist when White was banned for doping.

In the absence of the three top Americans, Saturday's Olympic women's 100 metres final is the most open since the 1992 Barcelona Games.

Germany's Katrin Krabbe had been the early favourite in Barcelona but withdrew from the Games because of the controversy following her suspension for tampering with a drugs test.

Although Krabbe, the double 1991 world and European sprint champion, was cleared to compete on a technicality she withdrew, saying the emotional turmoil would not allow her to perform properly.

Sadly, doping still scars the central sport of the Olympic Games.

Jones, who failed to qualify for the Athens sprint, is being investigated by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

White has been banned for two years after admitting taking a disturbing variety of prohibited drugs. Edwards is herself serving a two-year ban after testing positive for a stimulant this year.

Greece's Katerina Thanou, silver medallist behind Jones in Sydney, is also missing after withdrawing from the Games in a scandal over missed dope tests.

To everybody's surprise, Gail Devers, better known as a 100 metres hurdles exponent, emerged from the pack to win the Barcelona 100 flat title.

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Four years later in Atlanta, she won again in the tightest of finishes from Jamaican Merlene Ottey with both women credited with the same time.

Astonishingly the pair are still competing at the highest level and will run in Saturday's semi-finals.

Devers, 37, grabbed the last place on the American team after Edwards's ban. Ottey, 44, now runs for Slovenia.

Even after the bizarre events of the past year, it seems inconceivable that either will figure among the medallists on Saturday.

It remains anyone's guess, however, who out of the remaining Americans LaTasha Colander and Lauryn Williams or Frenchwoman Christine Arron, or any of the other likely finalists, will succeed Jones as Olympic champion.

No Marion Jones, the Sydney Olympics 100 metres champion.

No Kelli White, the world champion in Paris last year. No Torri Edwards, who succeeded her fellow American as the world gold medallist when White was banned for doping.

In the absence of the three top Americans, Saturday's Olympic women's 100 metres final is the most open since the 1992 Barcelona Games.

Germany's Katrin Krabbe had been the early favourite in Barcelona but withdrew from the Games because of the controversy following her suspension for tampering with a drugs test.

Although Krabbe, the double 1991 world and European sprint champion, was cleared to compete on a technicality she withdrew, saying the emotional turmoil would not allow her to perform properly.

Sadly, doping still scars the central sport of the Olympic Games.

Jones, who failed to qualify for the Athens sprint, is being investigated by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

White has been banned for two years after admitting taking a disturbing variety of prohibited drugs. Edwards is serving a two-year ban after testing positive for a stimulant this year.

Greece's Katerina Thanou, silver medallist behind Jones in Sydney, is also missing after withdrawing from the Games in a scandal over missed dope tests.

To everybody's surprise, Gail Devers, better known as a 100 metres hurdles exponent, emerged from the pack to win the Barcelona 100 flat title.

Four years later in Atlanta, she won again in the tightest of finishes from Jamaican Merlene Ottey with both women credited with the same time.

Astonishingly the pair is still competing at the highest level and will run in Saturday's semi-finals.

Devers, 37, grabbed the last place on the American team after Edwards's ban. Ottey, 44, now runs for Slovenia.

Even after the bizarre events of the past year, it seems inconceivable that either will figure among the medallists on Saturday.

It remains anyone's guess, however, which out of the remaining Americans LaTasha Colander and Lauryn Williams or Frenchwoman Christine Arron, or any of the other likely finalists, will succeed Jones as Olympic champion.


Athens 2004: The Complete Coverage

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