03 MAR 1998 General News

Bailey & Greene: a golden stand-off

Bailey & Greene: a golden standoff
Athletics enthusiasts will be able to look forward to an excitement filled season this year. With the announcement of the IAAF's Golden League of major Grand Prix meets, they will be treated to a limited series of six meets - Berlin, Brussels, Monaco, Oslo, Rome and Zurich and the grand climax of the Grand Prix and Golden League Final in Moscow on 5 September, with a million dollar jackpot to be shared between athletes successfully contesting their events in each of the meetings and the Final.
We can expect to see at least two individual contest throughout the Golden League series, with the record chasing - and beating - duo of Haile Gebrselassie (ETH) and Daniel Komen (KEN) continuing their rivalry and the battle for supremacy in the blue riband 100m event between Canada's Donovan Bailey and America's Maurice Greene. Bailey has owned the world 100m record of 9.84 since the Atlanta Olympics, and Greene is determined to make the mark his.
Since taking possession of André Casson's 60m indoor record in Madrid on 3 February, Greene has declared that he will not be happy until he has made athletics' most coveted record his own. Buoyed up by his victory in the World Championships in Athens last August and by his defeat of Bailey in the inaugural IAAF Grand Prix II meet of the year, in Melbourne on 25 February, 23-year old Greene has said that the Canadian's record could fall at any time. Strangely enough, Bailey is not totally in agreement with this theory: "My intention is to go out and do what I do and stay number one. That's what my plans are", he said in a telephone conference on Monday. Asked about Greene's prediction that he will lower the 100m mark this season, Bailey said: "All that I have to do is stay healthy to break the world record." (He didn't compete against Greene in Sydney last Saturday after suffering from a bruised heel in the Melbourne Grand Prix).
"You can never know when you're going to break the record. Maybe Maurice knows something that no other sprinter knows." Only time will tell which of the two is right, but there is sure to be some exciting competition in the million dollar Golden League.