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Greene, Montgomery in showdown

By Gene Cherry
June 08, 2004 11:36 IST
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Olympic champion Maurice Greene will face world 100-metre record holder Tim Montgomery in a showdown of America's top Olympic hopefuls at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, on June 19, Greene's manager told Reuters on Monday.

The grand prix meeting's field also is expected to include U.S. champion Bernard Williams, world 200-metre gold medallist John Capel and former world indoor champions Justin Gatlin and Shawn Crawford.

"We are happy that Maurice will have a chance at the world record on U.S. soil before the trials," Greene's manager, Emanuel Hudson, told Reuters via e-mail from Europe.

"Prefontaine will be the perfect race for him, timewise and trackwise, as he prepares for the trials."

The meeting is the last major U.S. competition before the July 9-18 U.S. Olympic trials in Sacramento, California, that will determine the American team for Athens.

Greene has the fastest 100-metre time in the world this year, 10.02 seconds, and last month clocked a sizzling but wind-assisted 9.78 seconds to equal the second-fastest time ever run under any conditions.

Capel and Montgomery have the second and third fastest 100 metres of the year and both Crawford and Gatlin have wind- assisted times under 9.92 seconds.

It took some last-minute negotiations, though, to arrange a financial deal for Greene, who has a contract with Adidas, to run in the meeting, which is supported by rival company Nike.

"We think (Nike global marketing director for athletics) John Capriotti's gesture in making the deal to get Maurice in the meet shows a real interest in expanding the sport," Hudson said.

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Gene Cherry
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