Thursday, August 26, 2004
Bahamian Debbie Ferguson ran her seasons best 22.30 seconds but it was only good for a bronze in the womens 200 metres in Athens last night. The medal was the second sprint medal by a Bahamian at the Olympics.
Jamaican Veronica Campbell became the first Caribbean woman ever to win an Olympic sprint gold when she captured the 200 metres in 22.05 seconds. The silver went to 18-year-old American sprint sensation Allyson Felix (22.18).
The result breaks a run of four consecutive silver medals for the Caribbean in the womens 200 metres -- Grace Jackson in 1988, Juliet Cuthbert (1992), Merlene Ottey (1996), all from Jamaica, and Bahamian Pauline Davis-Thompson at the Sydney 2000 Games.
Four years ago, Ferguson's time was good for gold but last night it was not enough.
Campbell led from the start and repelled a determined challenge from Felix down the stretch to secure Jamaica's sixth gold medal in Olympic history.
Jamaica's previous gold medals went to Arthur Wint in the 400 metres in London 1948, George Rhoden (400) and the mens 1600-metre relay in Helsinki (1952), Donald Quarrie (200) in 1976, and Deon Hemmings (400 hurdles) in Atlanta, 1996.
In the men's 200-metre semis, Jamaican Asafa Powell advanced with a fourth place finish in semifinal two in 20.56 seconds. The men's finals are to be run tonight