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Saturday, August 21, 1999 Published at 21:48 GMT 22:48 UK

Sprinters cruise as CJ stars

Oh yes! CJ Hunter wins gold and wants everyone to know

The world's top sprinters, and Britain's trio of challengers, cruised into the semi-finals of the 100m as day one of men's competition in Seville was dominated by a giant American.

John Rawling rounds up day one in Seville
Until Saturday night CJ Hunter was best known outside athletics circles for his marriage to superwoman Marion Jones.

She is chasing four gold medals in Seville, but her husband just wanted one - in the shot put.

He got it by producing a life best of 21.79m with his final throw, and bellowed his delight at his achievement.

The shot putter uses CJ because he does not like the name Cottrell.

The initials have stuck, perhaps because few are brave enough to call the big man a name he does not like.

Proud Mrs Hunter

Afterwards a tearful Jones joined him in the Olympic Stadium to tell her partner she was proud of him.

The 30-year-old was just relieved to finally beat German Sven Oliver Buder with his last shot.

"I had never trained seven days a week before and I saw all that sacrifice going to waste," he said.

"I didn't really know what to do after my final throw but all I know is that this medal means everything to me."


[ image: Jason Gardener: Leading Britain's three-pronged challenge]
Jason Gardener: Leading Britain's three-pronged challenge
Earlier British sprint stars Jason Gardener and Dwain Chambers stayed on course to reach the 100m final with good performances in qualifying.

The pair are through to semi-finals after shattering personal bests.

Gardener posted 10.04 seconds while Chambers was a four-hundredths slower.

They are joined in the semi-finals by last summer's European champion Darren Campbell, who clocked his fastest time of the season, 10.12.

[ image: Greene: Man they have to beat]
Greene: Man they have to beat
None of the three are likely to beat Greene, who coasted to victory in 9.91 in his heat, his fifth fastest time of the season.

But Gardener and Chambers showed in their quarter finals they have peaked perfectly for these championships.

Gardener beat Brian Lewis, this year's US champion following the suspension of Dennis Mitchell, while Chambers beat another American, Tim Harden.

Smith doubtful

British record holder Steve Smith faces a race against time to be fit for Monday's high jump final after pulling out of tonight's competition with a foot injury.

The pre-event favourite pulled up attempting to clear the automatic qualifying height of 2.29metres.

But his clean sheet after two attempts gave him the last final place on countback, and if fit he will be able to compete on Monday.

European under-23 gold medallist Ben Challenger never reached the standard which won him that title in Gothenburg, clearing only 2.23m and being eliminated.

John Mayock sneaked into the 1500metres semi-final by the skin of his teeth after coming sixth in 3:37.29 in his heat.

Morocco's world mile record-breaker Hicham El Guerrouj was totally untroubled in 3:35.63.

Walking back to happiness

The first final of the championships was won by Russian Ily Markov, who took the 20km walk in a time of 1:23.34.

Ecuador's Jefferson Perez and Daniel Garcia of Mexico took silver and bronze.

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In this section

Athletics saves face

Brits sprint to relay silver

Injury wrecks Backley medal bid

Wembley to host athletics showpiece

Red leader powers Korean runner to gold

Seville winners: Final day

Red-faced relay runners crash out

Devers wins, but Engqvist earns plaudits

Anton is home hero

Greene flies to historic double

Miller makes it gold

Johnson smashes 400m record

Radcliffe wins silver in 10,000 metres

Heat is on in Seville

Michael Johnson: Life in the fast lane

Jackson hurdles to gold

Magnificent Macey snatches silver

Devastated Edwards gets bronze

A sprint too far for Jones

Colin Jackson: Britain's golden boy

Dean Macey: The great unknown

El Guerrouj stuns Seville

Hansen flops in triple jump

Two disqualified over drugs

May quits after medals row

Injury wrecks Smith's medal dream

Jones fails in four-gold attempt

Lewis takes heptathlon silver