Carl Lewis hoped to make a triumphant return to Rome after a seven-year absence, only to be outshined by teammate Leroy Burrell.
Burrell, the former world record holder, won the 100-meter dash at the IAAF Mobil Grand Prix Golden Gala Wednesday night with a time of 10.06 seconds. Lewis, overwhelmingly the crowd favorite, placed second in 10.14."I'm very happy to have won. This is the first time in Rome," said Burrell after running his best time of the year.
The 27-year-old American held the world record in the 100 until Lewis took it away from him in the 1991 World Championships, setting the present mark of 9.86.
Lewis, who won four Olympic golds in 1984, was last in Rome for the 1987 World Championships, where he suffered what seemed at the time like a humiliating defeat to Canadian Ben Johnson. But Johnson was stripped of his medal after testing positive for steroids at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
"I'm really happy that I returned to Rome after seven years," said Lewis. "The Roman public loves track."
Wednesday's 100-meters was run in two separate heats. Burrell and Lewis didn't race head to head, but against the clock.
"It's unfortunate that we couldn't run together," said Burrell. "I'm looking forward to a good race against Carl at the Goodwill Games in Russia."
The games are to be held at the end of July in St. Petersburg.
Lewis and Burrell, along with Santa Monica Track Club teammates Mike Marsh and Floyd Heard, won the 4x100-meter relay at Olympic Stadium, but they were unable to run under 37 seconds, as Lewis had hoped.