B. Williams denied Beijing bid

Track And Field

July 07, 2008|By Elliott Denman | Elliott Denman,Special to The Sun

EUGENE, Ore. -- Bernard Williams's run of Olympic success is over.

After collecting gold in the 400-meter relay at Sydney in 2000 and silver in the 200-meter dash at Athens in 2004, there will be no trip to Beijing for Williams next month.

Williams, 30, a Carver graduate and former University of Florida sprint star who suffered a string of leg injuries the past two seasons, finished seventh in the men's 200 final yesterday in the concluding session of the U.S. Olympic track and field trials at Hayward Field.

In the race in which Florida State's Walter Dix (19.852 seconds) and 2004 Olympic champion Shawn Crawford (19.857) ran a dead heat for first - their electronic times had to be examined to the thousandth of a second - Williams never got into position to claim a trip to Beijing.

Williams' time of 20.63 bore no resemblance to his career best of 20.01 in 2001.

"That's life," said Williams, who ran out of the tough Lane 2. "I've been [to the Olympics] twice. Now these other guys get to experience that.

"But I sure wish I'd have been fully healthy. I've had only two, maybe three, meets this year. I guess it showed."

Ex-Arkansas star Wallace Spearmon (19.90) grabbed the third 200 spot over Rodney Martin (19.99), leaving Charles Clark (fifth in 20.53), Rubin Williams (20.61) and Bernard Williams behind. Xavier "X Man" Carter, whose 2006 time of 20.63 ranks as third fastest in track history, was a late scratch with ankle trouble.

It wasn't Joel Brown's day, either.

The 28-year-old Woodlawn and Ohio State graduate, the 2005 national indoor champion in the 60-meter hurdles, bowed out in the semifinals of the 110 hurdles. He finished in 13.40 to place sixth, 0.07 of a second outside qualifying range.

Off the track

Tyson Gay -- The sprinter has a mild strain in a muscle in the back of his left leg, and he has been told to restrict himself to light physical activity for the next two weeks. Gay pulled up abruptly in the first 40 meters of his 200 qualifying race Saturday at the U.S. trials and had to be carted off the track. His injury was diagnosed as a severe cramp in his hamstring, and a magnetic resonance imaging revealed the strain. The defending world champion in the 100 and 200, Gay has already qualified for the Olympic 100. That competition begins Aug. 15.

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