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Tuesday, September 7, 1999 Published at 21:56 GMT 22:56 UK


Million split as record falls

Gabriela Szabo: "It's a fantastic feeling"

Romania's Gabriela Szabo and Denmark's Wilson Kipketer shared the Golden League jackpot of $1m after winning their respective events at the Berlin Golden League meeting.

The BBC's Athletics correspondent John Rawling: "Another incredible display from Hicham El Guerrouj"
But their thunder was stolen by Morroco's Hicham El Guerrouj, who broke the 2000m world record.

The Morroccan sliced three seconds off the infrequently-run 2000m record previously held by Algeria's Noureddine Morceli.

[ image: Hicham El Guerrouj: Now holds three world records]
Hicham El Guerrouj: Now holds three world records
The new mark of four minutes 44.79 seconds came four years after Morceli's time was set in Paris.

The 1500m world champion now holds the mile, 1500m and 2000m world records.

Szabo delight

Szabo and Kipketer were the only two athletes unbeaten coming into the final event of the seven-round Golden League series.

The organisers had promised to share a million dollars between any athletes who could win all seven races.

Szabo faced a battle with close friend and rival Zahra Quaziz of Morocco, who she beat at the World Championships in Seville.

The 23-year-old Romanian sprinted away from a pack of four runners on the final curve of the women's 5000m.

[ image: Paula Radcliffe: Finished eighth]
Paula Radcliffe: Finished eighth
With only Quaziz to beat, the world champion held on to win in a year's best of 14 minutes, 40.61.

Britain's Paula Radcliffe finished eighth in a time of 14:59.65 secs.

"Its something special for me its a fantastic feeling," said Szabo after the win.

"It was a hard race for me tonight but I am strong and I trained hard for this.

"For me its like winning seven world championships this season.

"I'm pretty tired now and I can't wait to go on holiday next week."

[ image: Wilson Kipketer: No chance for the rest of the field]
Wilson Kipketer: No chance for the rest of the field
Kenyan-born Kipketer faced a tougher task against South Africa's Hezekiel Sepeng and Japhet Kimutai in the men's 800m.

The Danish world champion and world record-holder, followed pacemaker Frederick Onyancha for the first 500 metres.

When he made his kick for home only the Kenyan Kimutai managed to stay with Kipketer, who stormed to victory in one minute 44.03 seconds.

US sprinter Marion Jones and Kenyan Bernard Barmasi had both been in contention for a share of the jackpot prior to the Berlin leg.

But Jones suffered a back injury in Seville and Barmasi was ruled inelligible by the IAAF.

He had asked compatriot Christopher Koskei to let him win the 3,000m steeplechase in Zurich last month, and the governing body took a dim view of suc an arrangement.

The Berlin meeting also saw men's 100m record-holder Maurice Greene take the 200m in 20:21 seconds ahead of second-placed Brazilian Claudinei Da Silva and Bruny Surin of Canada.

Seville silver-medallist Surin won the 100m in 10:07 seconds.

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