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Devers reconsiders, will race in Paris

21 February 2007
www.wcsn.com

By Dave Ungrady

Following her surprise win in the 60-meter hurdles at the Millrose Games earlier this month, Gail Devers said she had no plans to run another indoor meet in 2007. She also said she would consider another competition if the right offer came along.

Three weeks later, it appears a sufficient offer has emanated from France. Devers is scheduled to compete in the 60-meter hurdles at the seven-event Paris Bercy indoor meet Friday. Devers is the only U.S. athlete entered in the meet.

According to USA Track and Field, Devers is considering flying back from France to Boston to compete Saturday at the U.S. indoor championships in the 60-meter hurdles. Devers sits in second place in the VISA Championship series, 26 points behind leader Shalane Flanagan, who is scheduled to compete in the 3,000 meters in Boston. Devers needs to run a 7.33 or better in the hurdles race to be in position to claim the $25,000 top prize. She ran 7.86 at the Millrose Games.

In the women's 60-meter hurdles, Devers will face two Canadian women who she beat at the Millrose Games. Perdita Felicien finished fourth in 7.96 and Priscilla Lopes finished fifth at 8.04.

Devers, who has won three Olympic gold medals, should fare well in the Paris race. Only two athletes she will face, Felicien and Josephine Onyia of Nigeria, have run under eight seconds this year.

At the meet in France, Devers, 41, will compete for only the second time since the 2004 Summer Olympics, where she did not finish her qualifying heat in the 60-meter hurdles. She gave birth to her daughter, Karsen, in June, 2005.

Devers has not ruled out an attempt to compete in the 2008 Summer Olympics. She said during the Millrose Games that her career is, "day to day, year by year."

In Paris, other marquee athletes scheduled to compete include Russians Yelena Isinbayeva, the world and Olympic pole vault champion, and Yelena Slesarenko, 2004 Olympic champion in the high jump; Olusoju Fasuba of Nigeria, the eighth-ranked sprinter in the world, in the men's 60 meters; Kim Gevaert of Belgium, the sixth-ranked sprinter in the world, in the women's 60 meters. Other events include the men's high jump and the men's 60-meter hurdles.



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