Feb. 28, 2004
BOSTON - Gail Devers became the first American athlete in history to win the 60-meter dash and 60-meter hurdles Saturday at the 2004 USA Indoor Track & Field Championships.
The two-time Olympic 100m gold medalist and three-time world champion outdoors in the 100m hurdles, Devers first won the 60m hurdles in 7.81 seconds Saturday at the Reggie Lewis Center. Fifty minutes later, she took the dash in 7.12 seconds to provide the finale to an exciting day of competition.
With her successful double, the 37-year-old Devers - who set a Reggie Lewis Center record with a time of 7.11 in the semifinals of the 60m dash - matched a feat achieved previously only by Chi Cheng of Taipei. At the 1970 USA Indoor Championships, Cheng swept the women's sprint and hurdle races at a time when foreign athletes were allowed to compete at the meet.
Devers comfortably won the hurdles, converting her traditionally fast start into an easy win in 7.81 seconds, qualifying to defend her 2003 world indoor title in the event. Joanna Hayes, another Bruin great who during her UCLA career won the 1999 NCAA Outdoor 400m hurdles, placed second in 7.91. The top two finishers in each event at the USA Indoor Championships qualify to represent Team USA at the 2004 World Indoor Championships March 5-7 in Budapest, Hungary.
Devers' 60m race was another story. The American record holder and a two-time world indoor champion at the distance, Devers had to wait for a photo finish to determine that she had won the final over 2003 world indoor bronze medalist Torri Edwards. The two women finished with identical times of 7.12 seconds, providing second personal record of the day for Edwards, the 2003 world outdoor 100m silver medalist and 200m bronze medalist, who had tied her PR in the semifinals with a time of 7.17.
The 2004 USA Indoor Track & Field Championships continue Sunday and will be broadcast Sunday from 6-7 p.m. Eastern Time on ESPN2. For complete results, athlete quotes, and a daily photo gallery, visit www.usatf.org