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Crawford Wins Gold In 200 Meters

Crawford Wins Gold In 200 Meters

Aug. 26, 2004

AP Photo Gallery | Shawn Crawford Collegiate Photos

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By ROB GLOSTER AP Sports Writer

ATHENS, Greece – Shawn Crawford led an American medals sweep of the 200 meters Thursday, overcoming teammates Bernard Williams and Justin Gatlin — and a hostile crowd — to win in the fastest time in the world this year.

Crawford’s personal best of 19.79 seconds was just good enough to edge Williams, who tied his personal best of 20.01 seconds for silver. Gatlin, the 100 champion, was third in 20.03.

The start of the race was delayed four minutes because spectators were booing, whistling in derision and chanting “Hellas, Hellas” — the word for Greece in Greek. The whistles were loudest when the three U.S. sprinters were announced.

The Olympic Stadium was packed Thursday, in large part because Greeks thought they would be watching national hero Kostas Kenteris try to defend his 200 title on home soil. But Kenteris withdrew from the Athens Games after missing a drug test.

The victory by Crawford, who was unusually subdued after the finish before donning a laurel wreath for his victory lap, gave controversial coach Trevor Graham a sweep of the men’s short sprints.

Crawford and Gatlin are training partners under Graham, who acknowledged on the night of Gatlin’s victory that he was the coach who sent a syringe of a mystery steroid to anti-doping authorities last year — fueling the drug scandal that has swept the sport.