MOSCOW -- Leonard Scott, who failed to make the Pittsburgh Steelers three years ago, ran the fastest time this year Friday to
complete a sweep of the 60-meter sprints for the United States at
the World Indoor Championship.
Me'Lisa Barber also ran the fastest time of the season to win
the women's 60 ahead of teammate Lauryn Williams.
"This is how the USA does it," Barber said.
With Reese Hoffa capturing the men's shot put, the Americans
took three of the four gold medals awarded on the opening day of
the three-day championship. The only non-American winner at the
Olympic Sports Complex was Lyudmila Blonska of Ukraine in the
Scott ran 6.50 seconds to win the gold medal after having
earlier won his semifinal in the same time.
Terrence Trammell failed in his attempt to sweep an
unprecedented sprint-hurdle double when he finished third in the
dash in 6.54. Primarily a hurdler, Trammell was edged for the
silver by Russia's Andrey Yepishin, who finished in 6.52.
Scott revived his sprinting career after he was unable to make
the final cut with the Steelers as a wide receiver. This was his
first major title.
"I had to step it up a notch," Scott said. "The start was OK.
I am not going to complain since I won. It was as hard as any
competition out there. Hard work pays off.
"From where I came from in football and coming back to track
and field and achieve the thing that I achieved is phenomenal,
awesome. When I go back and think about it, man. Three years ago, I
was sitting at home on the couch not knowing my next move. I
finally got back to track and look what this brought me.
Trammell was the Olympic silver medalist in the 110-meter
hurdles in 2000 and 2004 and runner-up at the world championships
in 2003. But his only major international title was at the 2001
indoor worlds in the 60-meter hurdles.
In 2003, the American returned for his first attempt at sweeping
the 60-meter dash and the 60-meter hurdles. But a hamstring injury
took him out of the event in Birmingham, England.
Barber clocked 7.01 seconds to edge world 100-meter outdoor
champion Williams, who was given the same time in the photo finish.
Kim Gevaert of Belgium was third in 7.11.
"Everything went so fast, but I saw Lauryn, though," Barber
said. "This is very important. I never won an individual title."
Hoffa won the shot with a season and personal best throw of 72
feet, 6½ inches -- the fourth longest indoor throw ever and the
longest indoor throw in 17 years. He wrapped himself in an American
flag while he ran a lap of honor.
Defending champion and teammate Christian Cantwell failed to
make the final with a 10th-place throw of 65-3½.
"I thought it was going to be good when it left my hand,"
Cantwell said. "It is a shame. The burden of error is on me. It
just didn't happen today."
Andrei Mikhnevich of Belarus took the silver at 70-1½, and
Joachim Olsen of Denmark won the bronze at 69-5¼.
Blonska won the pentathlon with a personal best score of 4,685
points. Karin Ruckstuhl of the Netherlands won the silver (4,607)
and Olga Levenkova of Russia the bronze (4,579).
Yelena Isinbayeva, potentially the biggest attraction of the
championship, made her opening appearance in front of the home
crowd in qualifying for the women's pole vault. She cleared 14-9
and advanced to Saturday's final. She is eying her 20th world