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Sun shines on impressive performances


Defending champions Sandie Richards (JAM), Maria Mutola (MOZ) and Japhet Kimutai (KEN) all delivered impressive performances on the second day of the Games athletics programme.

Scott Ferrier

Australian Scott Ferrier in decathlon action in Manchester

Richards was the fastest qualifier from the second round of the Womenís 400m with a winning time of 51.91.

In the absence of Kelly Holmes (ENG), who is concentrating on the 1,500m here, Mutola is strong favourite to retain the 800m title, having strolled through her opening race in a time of 2:01.87.

Kimutai also won his first race of the Menís 800m in 1:49.62, but he faces a strong challenge from team-mate Joseph Mutua, who has beaten some world-class fields in recent weeks.

There is also the prospect of an intriguing duel in the Womenís 400m Hurdles, between the 1996 Olympic Champion Deon Hemmings (JAM) and the 2000 World Junior Champion Jana Pittman (Aus), who has improved her personal best time by more than a second this season, and lowered it again when winning her semi-final in 54.14. Hemmings ran 55.78.

An interested spectator at the start of the decathlon was Dean Macey, who was a late withdrawal from the England team with a hamstring injury.

The early leader in the competition was Scott Ferrier (AUS), silver medallist at the Kuala Lumpur Games four years ago, followed by Barry Thomas (ENG) and Jamie Quarry (SCO).

Info News Service/sb/sm

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