Another world record by Sergei Bubka overshadowed the long-expected long jump showdown between Mike Powell and Carl Lewis.
Bubka won a $130,000 Ferrari after setting the 35th world mark of his career, clearing 20 feet, 13/4 inches Sunday in the pole vault.It was a half-inch better than his previous world record set in Tokyo in 1992. He made just three jumps in this Italian Alpine resort, clearing 18-81/4, 19-41/4 and finally 20-13/4 - all on the first attempt.
Powell and Lewis also produced outstanding distances in the long jump - their first confrontation since the Barcelona Olympics in 1990.
Powell, the defending world champion, beat the Olympic gold medalist with a wind-aided leap of 29-41/2 - his only valid jump out of six. Although it matched Powell's world record, it does not go in the record book because of the winds.
Lewis, who deserted the long jump event in the Goodwill Games at St. Petersburg, had a better series but could only finish second with 28-71/2, also wind-aided.
His only jump in regular wind condition was 28-5 and earned him the best world performance of the year. The Olympic champion said he was happy with his performance, despite defeat.
"The good point is that I set the best measure for the year, and that I'm no longer troubled by back pains," Lewis said before rushing to a nearby airport.
He had arrived in Sestriere from St. Petersburg on Saturday night, hours before the start of the meet which is held early in the day to take advantage of weather conditions that are usually better during morning hours.
Actually, though, Sunday's conditions were less than favorable with wind blowing up to 11 miles per hour, a temperature of only 59 degrees and 70 percent humidity.
Powell, who won a consolation prize of a $13,000 Lancia Delta car, said he was glad that Bubka won the Ferrari.
The luxury car, the prize for any athlete setting a world record at Sestriere, had been unclaimed in the five previous editions of the meet.
"He's the man who deserved it," said Powell, whose wind-aided leap equaled the world record he set in Tokyo in 1991.
Powell said he made a good jump "although I'm not 100 percent fit. I'm nursing hamstring and heel problems."
He said he was impressed by Lewis' good runs and jumps.
"He jumped very well. His comeback to top levels (in long jump) is good to me, and to athletics. It gives me more motivation," Powell said.
Another American long jumper, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, had an impressive performance in the women's event, reaching 24 feet, 7 inches without wind aid.
While beating her German rival Heike Drechsel by four inches, Joyner-Kersee fell 11/4 inches short of the 1988 world record of Galina Chistiakova.
Other U.S. wins in Sunday's meet were scored by sprinter Leroy Burrell in the 100 meters (10.00), Kevin Toth in the shot put (66-111/4), Derrik Adkins in the 400-meter hurdles (48.20) and Derek Mills in the 400 meters (44.59).
British teammates Colin Jackson and John Regis dominated the 110-meter hurdles and 200 meters, Regis winning the 200 in 19.87. Namibia's Frank Fredericks, former BYU student, finished second in 19.97. Jackson won the hurdles in a wind-aided 12.94.
Bubka, who made a parade lap in his newly-won Ferrari at the end of the meet, said he planned to take several weeks off to rest mentally after consecutive years of tough competitions.
He said the Ukrainian Federation agreed on his plan to skip the European Athletic Championships in August to better prepare for the 1995 World competitions and the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
Bubka said he would compete in an invitational track meet at Sapporo, Japan, in September.