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Lolo makes another Olympic statement

20 July 2008

American Lolo Jones won gold with an impressive 12.69 in the women's 100-meter hurdles at the Mitin de Atletismo Ciutat de Barcelona, a European Athletics Permit Meeting, on Saturday. The victory comes on the heels of Jones' victory in the same event at the U.S. Olympic trials earlier this month, and should give the hurdler confidence as she enters the home-stretch of her preparations for next month's Olympic games in Beijing.

The crowd of 7,000 also witnessed Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown make an Olympic statement of her own, winning the women's 200 meters in 21.98, a time only she has beaten this year.

Cameroon's Francoise Mbango, who won Olympic gold in Athens four years ago, was the clear winner in the women's triple jump, leaping 14.95 meters.

Just a month removed from her debut in the event, European cross country champion Marta Dom?nguez set the Spanish women's 3,000-meter steeplechase record with a run of 9:21.76. She did so despite finishing second to Kenya's Eunice Jepkorir, who won in 9:18.76. Jepkorir owns the event's second-fastest time in the world this year.

"After this race, I'm not discounting anything at the Olympic games, not even a medal. I still need to improve my technique over the barriers, but this has given me a lot of confidence," told EuropeanAthletics.com.

Dom?nguez, the 2002 and 2006 European 5,000-meter champion, and Jepkorir quickly moved to the front and dropped the rest of the field, with Dom?nguez desperately attempting to stay with Jepkorir until the bell.

"I couldn't keep up with her at that point, but I finished the race feeling as though there was still a lot more to come," added Dom?nguez, who is the fastest European this year behind Liliya Shobukhova. Shobukhova set a European record in the 5,000 meters with a 14:23.75 at Saturday's Russian Championships in Kazan.

On the men's side, Portugal's two-time European sprint champion, Francis Obikwelu, won the men's 200 meters in 20.46, becoming the fastest European of the year at the distance.

The meeting marked the first time in eight years that international athletics returned to Barcelona's Olympic stadium, the centerpiece of the 1992 games.

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