YOKOHAMA — After a 12-hour flight from Paris, Maurice Greene couldn’t get to sleep until the early hours of Monday morning. And during warmups for the 100-meter race at the Super Track and Field Meet 2002 on Monday, the body of the world’s second fastest man didn’t react quite like normal.
That’s when he realized disaster was looming. But finishing fifth out of nine runners in a season-ending, second-class meet didn’t seem to bother him — he kept a huge smile on his face.
“Tired. Felt like my body was asleep,” said Greene, who finished in 10.56 seconds, .35 seconds slower than first-place American compatriot Bernard Williams at a drizzling International Stadium Yokohama.
“My body was just tired. It didn’t do what I wanted it to do.”
Williams, a bronze medalist at the World Championships last year, entertained the 27,000-plus crowd after a surprise finish in first. He laughed and made faces at the stadium screen and flexed his muscles like a fierce body builder.
There was a method to the ridicule, though.
“I just wanted to (beat) Maurice to get some attention,” said Williams, who ran 10.21, which was .07 ahead of Japan’s Nobuharu Asahara and .12 ahead of American Darvis Patton. “I wish I could’ve run better up until now and this makes me hungrier for next year.”
In Saturday’s 18 events (not counting the two relays because they didn’t include any overseas squads), Dai Tamesue finished with the only gold medal for Japan in the 400 hurdles. The host country gathered four silver and seven bronze medals.
The baby-face bronze medalist at last year’s World Championships held off American Joey Woody to cross the line first in 48.69 seconds.
“I’m feeling better and better heading into the Asian Games,” said the 24-year-old Tamesue of the meet which starts later this month.
Shingo Suetsugu, Japan’s second-fastest record holder in the 200, thought he might get cramps during the race but managed to finish in 20.55. He was .26 behind Patton.
“I only ran about 70 percent of what I have,” Suetsugu said. “I’m not tired at all.”
Men’s hammer thrower Koji Murofushi retired after two throws, but still managed to come in third.
In the men’s 4×100 meter relay, the Japanese men’s national team got a nice rehearsal for the Asian Games by coming first and breaking the meet record by .09 seconds at 39.09.
The men’s 110-meter hurdle race came down to the wire between Allen Johnson, the gold medalist at last year’s World Championships and Anier Garcia. Johnson won in 13.28 with Garcia second and Colin Jackson third.
Staffan Strand of Sweden took the day’s first gold medal in the men’s high jump. He beat Russia’s Sergey Klyugin and Japan’s Takahiro Uchida for first with a jump of 2.20 meters.
Greene wants it back
YOKOHAMA — Maurice Greene immediately after finishing a disappointing fifth in the 100-meter race at the Super Track and Field Meet 2002 in Yokohama on Monday, claimed that his old 100-meter world record, which was broken by Tim Montgomery on Saturday in Paris, still should be his.
“It belongs to me,” said Greene of Montgomery’s record of 9.78 seconds, a mere one-hundredth of a second faster than his own fastest time. “Just because the world record is gone, it doesn’t really mean anything.
“World records are made to be broken. I knew it wasn’t going to stand there forever. It’s nothing to me . . . Well, it is something. But you have to realize when you step on the track, anything can happen.”
Greene said he’ll take a short vacation in L.A. and contends he can run the 100 in 9.76. His coach says Greene can break into the 9.6’s next season.
“It’ll come back home,” Greene said.
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