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Local fave Gevaert wins 100 meters in Liege

17 July 2008

LIEGE, Belgium - Germaine Mason crossed the bar at 2.30 meters but narrowly failed to clear the 2.34-meter bar. The British high jumper boosted his confidence on his way to the Olympic games, and so did Belgium's Kim Gevaert after winning the 100-meter race in 11.28 seconds. Gevaert regained confidence after recently suffering a slight setback due to injury problems.

Mason excited about qualifying for the Olympics

Mason was left alone early in the high jump competition after Ukrainian Dmytro Demyanyuk failed to clear the 2.24-meter bar. The Briton looked very concentrated, cleared 2.30 meters and ended the competition with two close failures at 2.34 meters.

"I was very relaxed today after I secured my Olympic qualification at the British trials last weekend. I feel very excited because these will be my first Olympic games. I will do my best and I hope to be in the battle when things matter. I feel very confident in my training after I changed some things technically. My run-up is a lot faster now and that allows me to jump higher."

Home star on the mend

The painful Achilles tendons of Kim Gevaert fill the pages of Belgian newspapers these days. This has led to the European champion canceling competitions and medical treatment, but her Olympic ambitions were never really in danger. In Li?ge, Gevaert came back on the international scene by winning the 100-meter race in 11.28 seconds against Ghana's Vida Anim and Stephanie Durst of the United States.

"Winning was the most important thing today," said Gevaert. "I felt good and relaxed, but there are still a few things that I have to work on. I'm getting more confident now, the pain is getting less intense and I'm trying to focus entirely on my Olympic preparation. Next Sunday I compete at the KBC Night of Athletics in Heusden-Zolder, and I hope to be a bit faster then."

The chilly conditions in Li?ge were not favorable for excellent performances. Still Gevaert inspired her teammates from the successful 4x100 team that won the bronze medal at the world championships in Osaka in 2007. Hanna Mari?n ran an 11.49 and Olivia Borl?e set a seasonal best of 11.57 seconds.

Nevin Yanit won a great duel against Canadian Priscilla Lopes-Schliep in the 100-meter hurdles. Both were clocked at 12.77 seconds. The 22-year-old from Turkey is confident that she can reach the Olympic final. "My form is getting better and better," said Yanit.

German pole vaulting once more proved its health with freshman Malte Mohr imposing himself in a strong field with 5.70 meters. Aubrey Herring won the 110-meter hurdles in 13.53 seconds while fellow American and Olympic 1,500-meter qualifier Erin Donohue easily won the 800 meters with a time of 2:01.19.

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