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Monday, August 23, 1999 Published at 22:06 GMT 23:06 UK

Jones fails in four-gold attempt

Not enough: Marion Jones may have to settle for just three golds

Marion Jones saw her challenge for an unprecedented four gold medals come to an end in a controversial World Championship long jump final.

Seville 99
The American failed in her second title bid, as Spain's Niurka Montalvo claimed a surprise success in the long jump in front of a passionate Seville crowd.

Jones, who had already claimed the 100m title and is also going for glory in the 200m and the sprint relay, could only finish third.

Marion Jones: "It's quite disappointing"
English-born Fiona May - now competing for Italy - was expected to be Jones' main rival.

But she was beaten into second in bizarre fashion by Montalvo.

Official protest

The stadium erupted in the last round of the final as Montalvo jumped a Spanish national record to steal the gold medal from both favourites.

[ image: A disbelieving Niurka Montalvo claims long jump gold]
A disbelieving Niurka Montalvo claims long jump gold
Montalvo, who won a silver medal for Cuba four years and only became a Spanish citizen in May this year, caused the biggest upset so far of the championships.

The 31-year-old registered a jump of 7.06m, to the astonishmen of May, second with 6.94m, and Jones, third with 6.83m.

But the Italian team launched an immediate protest, after television replays appeared to show that the Spaniard's jumping foot had clearly crossed the line.

However, after 20 minutes of discussions, the appeal was rejected by the championship organisers.

There was good news for Britain, though, as Coventry's Jo Wise exceeded her hopes by finishing fifth.

Last year's Commonwealth Games champion made the final jump-off for the best eight competitors by clearing 6.75m - which remained her longest effort of the night.

Merry happy

Katharine Merry's impressive step-up to the 400m continued as she comfortably qualified for Tuesday's semi-final with second place in her heat in 50.86secs.

BBC Sports Correspondent Harry Peart reports on the evening's winners
But team-mate Donna Fraser bowed out - sixth in 52.01 - as did Ireland's Karen Shinkins after finishing seventh in her race (52.08).

And Sinead Dudgeon's 400m hurdles challenge ended at the semi-final stage in the Olympic Stadium as she finished sixth in 55.69secs.

The British team revealed that Paula Radcliffe, one of the favourites for the 10,000m, had suffered a "niggle" in her leg while training in Portugal last week.

However, she is still expected to compete in Thursday's final.

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A sprint too far for Jones

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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