Burrell Eclipses 100-Meter Mark : Track and Field: Time of 9.85 seconds at Swiss meet surpasses Carl Lewis’ record of 9.86.
Leroy Burrell can only hope his latest world record in the 100 meters lasts longer than his previous one.
Burrell regained the record he held for only 2 1/2 months in 1991 by blazing to victory in 9.85 seconds Wednesday at the Athletissima IAAF Grand Prix meet.
“I knew it was going to be fast and I was very confident,” Burrell, 27, said. “I’m just happy to have broken the world record again.”
In 1991, Burrell lost his record to Carl Lewis, who shattered Burrell’s previous mark of 9.90 with a 9.86 clocking at the World Championships in Tokyo.
On Wednesday, with Santa Monica Track Club teammate Lewis not competing because of a disagreement over an appearance fee, Burrell led a pack of three runners who broke 10 seconds.
“It’s just one of those days when it all came together,” Burrell said. “I still feel I can run faster and my goal is to be ranked No. 1.”
Davidson Ezinwa of Nigeria edged Dennis Mitchell for second as both were timed in 9.99. Burrell was aided by a wind of 1.2 meters per second on a warm, humid evening.
Olympic and world champion Linford Christie also didn’t compete because of a disagreement over appearance fees. Lewis reportedly asked for $100,000.
“Carl is probably just as happy as can be because we’re good friends and we can work together,” Burrell said.
In 1990, Burrell won 19 of 22 finals and was unbeaten in 1991 until Lewis took the world record. He was one of the medal favorites in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics but finished a disappointing fifth. Burrell also was a member of four world-record teams in the 400-meter relay.
He failed to qualify for the U.S. 100-meter team in last year’s World Championships, but then Lewis moved aside to let him compete as anchor in the 400 relay. The American team won the gold.
The 1991 100 race in Tokyo was one of the most exciting sprints ever.
Lewis passed Burrell in the last five meters to avenge a loss two months earlier at the U.S. championships. Burrell was timed in 9.91 at Tokyo, a time that would have been a record, but Lewis finished ahead of him.
Wednesday’s meet, with a crowd of more than 13,000, boasted 15 Olympic champions and 20 world champions.
The competition was marred when American 400 hurdler Kim Batton was hit in the face by a cushion thrown from the crowd. Batton, who had clocked the world’s best time this season, lost her balance and finished well behind Britain’s Sally Gunnell, the world champion, who was clocked in 54.06.
Kareem Streete-Thompson, 21, won the long jump with a leap of 27 feet 11 inches. World record-holder Mike Powell was second at 27-6 1/2.
“I was jumping very well tonight but I was taking off too far behind the board,” Powell said.
“I am disappointed because people will think I’m not jumping well which is not true.”
Maicel Malone clocked the world’s fastest time this year in the women’s 400, 50.06.
Mark McKoy, a Canadian who was given clearance by the International Amateur Athletics Federation on Wednesday to compete for Austria, won the 100 hurdles in 13.19, a fraction ahead of Greg Foster.
Irina Privalova of Russia won the women’s 100 and 200.
100-Meter Record Progression
The progression of the men’s 100-meter world record, as recognized by the International Amateur Athletic Federation, track and field’s worldwide governing body, with time, holder, country and date:
Time Holder, Country Date 10.6 Donald Lippincott, U.S. July 6, 1912 10.4 Charles Paddock, U.S. April 23, 1921 10.3 Percy Williams, Canada Aug. 9, 1930 10.2 Jesse Owens, U.S. June 20, 1936 10.1 Willie Williams, U.S. Aug. 3, 1956 10.0 Armin Hary, W. Germany June 21, 1960 9.99 Jim Hines, U.S. June 20, 1968 9.95 Jim Hines, U.S. Oct. 14, 1968 9.93 Calvin Smith, U.S. July 3, 1983 9.92 Carl Lewis, U.S. Sept. 24, 1988 9.90 Leroy Burrell, U.S. June 14, 1991 9.86 Carl Lewis, U.S. Aug. 25, 1991 9.85 Leroy Burrell, U.S. July 6, 1994