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Campbell has no excuses after back-to-back defeats

9 May 2006

by Gary Smith

Jamaican Olympic 200 metre champion Veronica Campbell says she has no excuses after suffering her second defeat to countrywoman Sherone Simpson at the Jamaica International Invitational track and field meeting at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica on Saturday.

Olympic champion has no excuses

Campbell, a former World Junior sprint double champion, who clocked 22.51 seconds, was again no match for Simpson's world-leading 22.14sec clocking in the half-lap race, but she said she was not disappointed with the defeat.

"I have no excuses," Campbell told reporters after the race. "I lost and I take my loss like a champion. I am not disappointed.... I am quite happy with how I performed here.

"I'm happy for Sherone (Simpson), she is running really well."

Campbell's second place effort was a season's best for her and despite the back-to-to loss she said she has no doubt in her mind that she's still a great 200m runner.

Concentrating on the next two-years

With no major championships crown to battle for this season, the Olympic double gold medallist from 2004 said this is the year to have fun and get ready for the 2007 and 2008 seasons.

"I am just having fun this season, I am just getting ready for 07, 08," said Campbell, who will be graduating from Arkansas this May.

"It's has just been a stressful season.... this is my last semester in school and I have a lot of work to do and I find it very hard to balance (training and schoolwork).

"I have to be running to training, to class, and that stuff, but I finish with school next week."

Gay's plan fails as Bolt defends title with meet record

In the men's race, World Junior record holder Usain Bolt registered his second victory on Caribbean soil when he flashed to another impressive time of 20.10sec to defeat American Tyson Gay (20.12sec) and Trinidadian Aaron Armstrong (20.53).

Gay, a finallist in the event at the World Championships in Helsinki, last summer and an excellent curve runner, was hoping to open up a big lead and put pressure on the defending champion from the get go, but the plan never materialised as Bolt went on to eclipse his own meet record.

"My injury is gone," said Bolt, who turns 20 this year. "I've been doing a lot of exercise now ... so I'm just looking forward to a good season.

"I was kind of little nervous because of Tyson Gay and I didn't run my race. But I won and I think I did pretty well, I didn't tie-up too much so I think I am on the way right now.

"I know I'm better on the straight so all I expected to do was come close to him on the straight and I knew I would get him."

Richards and Merritt defend one-lap titles

Americans LeShawn Merritt and Sanya Richards easily defended their titles with two impressive runs in the men's and women's 400m dash respectively.

Richards, a Jamaican-born World 400m silver medallist, set a meet record of 49.89 to defeat team mate Monique Henderson, who clocked 50.83 and World Indoor medallist Novlene Williams (JAM) 51.04.

"I wanted to run the first 100, make the others work the backstretch, and then push," said Richards after posting a world-leading time in the event.

"Christine Amertil and Williams ran great races, Monique Henderson as well, so I just wanted to win and I did."

Like Richards, Merritt used the first half of the one lap race to set up his victory. Merritt took the race in 44.67 and held off two strong finishes from fellow American Andrew Rock, who crossed the line at 44.89 and Jamaican Germaine Gonzales, who ran 44.90.

In other results Bahamas' Debbie Ferguson clocked 11.28 to take the women's 100m dash ahead of American Muna Lee, 11.32 and Commonwealth Games champion Sheri-Ann Brooks (JAM) 11.37.

Jamaican Kenia Sinclair ran a meet record of 2:00.02 to win the women's 800m over Hazel Clark (USA) 2:00.24 and Treniere Clement (USA) 2:01.77.

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