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Devers soars, Greene stumbles in New York

3 February 2007

Maurice Greene walks through the Madison Square Garden tunnels after falling in the 60 meters. Maurice Greene walks through the Madison Square Garden tunnels after falling in the 60 meters.
By Dave Ungrady

Earlier this week, 40-year-old Gail Devers said her running career is day-to-day and 32-year-old Maurice Greene said he might be a little rusty.

At the Millrose Games on Friday night in New York City, Devers -- a three-time Olympic gold medalist -- had a day to remember and Greene -- a two-time Olympic gold medalist -- suffered a fate to forget.

Devers won the 60-meter hurdles in 7.86 seconds, performing beyond her competitors' expectations, but not surprising them.

"No one expected her to go out and win that race," said Joanna Hayes, the 100-meter high hurdles gold medalist at the 2004 Summer Olympics, who finished second to Devers on Friday night. "But no one's surprised."

Devers competed for the first time since giving birth to her daughter in 2005. She had to wait until the end of her race to pull away and win by .05 seconds. Danielle Carruthers, who is coached by Devers, finished third.

"I always open up at Millrose," said Devers. "And I wanted to come back for the fans who supported me when I had my baby. You have Danielle and my husband to thank for me being in this race. They said you've got to jump in a race. This (meet) has always been a great experience for me."

Devers said she does not know if she will compete again during the indoor season.

Greene, who took off most of the last year, had a lifetime-first experience Friday night. Halfway through the race, while in the front of the pack of runners, he stumbled and fell. He had never before fallen in a race.

"At the start, there's a little dip in the track" he said. "I guess I missed a stop and I couldn't recover. I thought, 'uh, oh,' I'm going down. I didn't think I pulled anything. It happens. I've only been back doing start blocks for a week and a half now. That's the part I was worried about."

American Aries Merritt, who won the 60-meter hurdles in 7.62 seconds, also said he felt a dip in the track during his race.

Greene said he would wait until he sees how he feels tomorrow to determine if he suffered an injury during the race. Earlier this week, he said the Millrose Games would likely be his only indoor competition.

Shawn Crawford, the gold medalist in the 200 meters at the 2004 Summer Olympics, won the 60-meters race in 6.56 seconds.

"I made up the race at 40 meters," he said. "I saw (Greene) him when he came out of the blocks because he was ahead. That got me going. I was just focused on driving and getting to the finish line number one."

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