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Sunday, September 5, 2004
World record-holder fades late again

Associated Press

RIETI, Italy -- His career winding down, Wilson Kipketer repeated his 800-meter bronze-medal performance at the Olympics in the Rieti Grand Prix on Sunday.

One week after the Athens Games finished, the Kenyan-born world record-holder who competes for Denmark again lost a lead after the final turn and finished third.

Kenya's Joseph Mutua won in 1 minute, 43.35 seconds and Youssef Saad Kamel of Bahrain was second in 1:43.43, just ahead of Kipketer (1:43.89).

Just as in Athens, Kipketer was in the lead after 500 meters, but faded and was overtaken on the final straight.

The three-time world champion and silver medalist at the 2000 Sydney Olympics had indicated this could have been his final race, but he backed away from that Sunday.

"The race was good, the only thing that was a mistake was that I stayed behind for a long time," he said. "This might be my second-to-last race. I don't think this will be my last race."

In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Russia's Gulnara Samitova won in 9 minutes, 21.40 seconds, far off her record time of 9:01.59 at a meet in Greece in July.

Jamaicans won the men's and women's 100-meter dashes.

Asafa Powell fought a strong wind to win in 10.18 seconds, his second victory in three days after winning the Van Damme Memorial on Friday in Brussels.

Aleen Bailey won the women's 100 in 11.34 seconds.

Olympic pole vault champion Timothy Mack of the United States was also victorious in Rieti, clearing 18 feet, 8¾ inches.

Italy's Nicola Ciotti won the high jump at 7 feet, 5 inches, beating brother Giulio Ciotti, who tied for second with American Matt Hemingway at 7 feet, 3¼ inches.

Hemingway, the silver medalist in Athens, was hoping for more.

"I'm definitely a little disappointed after jumping well at the games. I would have like to do better," he said, adding that all the post-Olympic attention may have hindered him.

"I've never been in this position. My whole world has been turned inside out and upside down," he said.

In the 400, Jamaica's Michael Blackwood beat Athens silver medalist Otis Harris in a photo finish. Blackwood won in 44.80 seconds and Harris clocked 44.86.