Ben Johnson Loses Photo Finish in Fast 60 in Germany

From Associated Press

Ben Johnson was fast, simply not fast enough.

Joel Isassi of Cuba eked out a victory against the Canadian star as both were clocked in 6.54 seconds in the 60 meters at the Europahalle Sports Center Sunday.

Officials gave Isassi first place after studying photos of the race. The time was announced at 6.49, which would have been only .01 seconds off the indoor record set by American Leroy Burrell in Madrid last weekend.

But the accuracy of the clock used to time the race was questioned and officials revised the time to 6.54 after a long delay.


The time is Johnson’s best since coming off a two-year suspension for use of performance-enhancing drugs that cost him his Olympic gold medal and world record for 100 meters.

The quick race was surprising considering that Johnson last ran the 60 on Feb. 16 in Toronto in 6.65 seconds.

Johnson has run six races since coming off the two-year suspension after he tested positive for taking drugs at the Seoul Olympics. He has won half of them.

In another event before the sellout crowd Sunday, world record-holder Sergei Bubka of the Soviet Union easily won the pole vault, clearing 19 feet 1/2 inch.

Bubka set a world record of 19-11 1/4 in a meet two weeks ago in the Soviet Union.