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Green Versus Crawford: the Busan Showdown

Posted September. 13, 2004 22:11,   


Known as the “human bullet,” Maurice Greene (30, U.S.A.) will make his first appearance in Korea.

The Korea Athletic Federation announced that Athens Olympics 200m gold medalist Sean Crawford (26, U.S.A.) will go up against Greene in a 100-meter event that will be held on August 24 at Busan Asia Main Stadium for the 2004 Busan International Athletics Event.

Greene, after coming in first at the 100-meter event at the 1997 World Athletics Championships, continued to defend his title at the Championships for three consecutive years, and was also renowned as the champion of the 100-meter sprint until 2001.

His personal best record, 9.79 seconds (currently the second best time overall), was once unchallenged, and he confidently vowed that he would win a second Olympic gold medal after the one he won at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. However, his teammate Justin Gatlin came in first while Greene finished third with a time of 9.87 seconds, only 0.02 seconds behind Gatlin at Athens.

Despite his recent performance and his outstanding clean record, which has never placed him near the BALCO scandal, it is his thorough training as the world’s best sprinter that makes him still reign as a track star.

Greene and Crawford’s competition is the first exciting track and field event in 16 years to be held inside the country since Carl Lewis (U.S.A.) and Ben Johnson (Canada) faced off at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

At this event, being held in commemoration of the 2002 Busan Asian Games, some 61 athletes from 19 countries will be participating, including Allen Johnson (U.S.A.), ranked first worldwide in the men’s 110m hurdles, Matt Hemingway (U.S.A.), the men’s high jump silver medalist at the 2004 Athens Olympics, Joseph Mutua (Kenya), currently the world’s number four runner in the men’s 800m, and Andrus Varnik (Estonia), the world’s second best athlete in the men’s javelin throw.

Yulia Nesterenko (Belarus), the gold medalist in the women’s 100m at the 2004 Athens Olympics, will not be participating in the event, but silver medalist Lauryn Williams (U.S.A.) and Debbie Ferguson (Bahamas), the 200m bronze medalist, will be showing off in a speed competition.

Sang-Ho Kim hyangsan@donga.com