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Wariner at home in outdoor debut

25 April 2007

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World and Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner began his individual race campaign of the outdoor season with a double win at the Michael Johnson Classic at Baylor University on Saturday.

While not as quick as he was at last season's opener at the same meet and venue, Wariner, who had been a part of a 3:03.54 4x400-meter relay win in Houston on March 24, got his individual 2007 season off in easy style yesterday.

He won the 400 meters in a world-leading time of 44.66, ahead of Jamaican Sanjay Ayre's 45.37 and Darold Williamson's 45.42. Wariner then took the third of three 200-meter section races.

It was a busy day for Wariner, who also ran the second leg for the Waco All-Stars in the mile relay. He took over in second place from Ayre and ran a split of 44.90 -- over 440 yards -- to give the lead back to the All-Stars.

Williamson, the anchor leg on the 2004 Olympic gold medal relay team, battled through the final turn for a 45.2 split and a winning time of 3:05.14. Baylor was second in 3:05.30.

On the women side, World Athlete of the Year Sanya Richards did not compete after describing herself as "really sick, with a bad flu-like virus during the week."

In the women's 400-meter hurdles, Sandra Glover, the world championships bronze medalist, was another prominent scratch. In the race, 2006 Asian Games gold medalist Huang Xiaoxiao from China clocked 55.81, the fastest time in the world this season.

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