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30 Jul 2002 00:00
As a top class sprinter, Frankie Fredericks got tired of the seconds ticking away.
Second in both the Olympic 100 and 200 metres at Barcelona, 1992. Second in the same two finals four years later.
Second over 200 at the Worlds in ‘91, ‘95, ‘97.
You could say the same about the two years he spent away from the track in 2000 and 2001 after major Achilles tendon problems.
But the 34-year-old Namibian, who at least won the 1993 world title, made up plenty of ground physically and psychologically on Monday when he powered to an impressive 200 meter victory at the Commonwealth Games to regain a title he won eight years ago.
“I missed 2000 and I missed 2001,” Fredericks said. “This is an emotional time for me.
“I went through a lot of (injury) trouble. I thought that my career was finished,” he said in reference his long layoff because of injury.
“But now I have come back to a world class stage and beat a lot of young guys who have been doing well. It’s something special and probably one of the gold medals I will never forget.”
Fredericks ran 20,06, leaving England’s Marlon Devonish and European 100 meter champion Darren Campbell at least two meters behind.
To maintain the theme of someone who continually finishes second, where was South Africa’s Hezekiel Sepeng when his countryman, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, ran clear to win his country’s first 800 meter title at the games?
Sepeng, Olympic ‘96 and 1999 World Championship silver medallist, also had finished runner up at the last two Commonwealths at Victoria, British Columbia, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He mysteriously failed to show up for these, reportedly citing an injury. While he faces possible disciplinary action from his federation, Mulaudzi showed him how to win.
Maria Mutola (29) stayed well ahead of her field to win the 800 meters for the second games in a row.
The Olympic and world champion from Mozambique powered away from the field to win by 10 metres in 1 minute 57,37 and keep all her titles intact. - Sapa
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