Two-time Olympic champion Roger Kingdom was the fastest qualifier in the first round of the 110 meters hurdles today as he chased his first world title.
Kingdom said that Thursday's disqualification of Gwen Torrence, who finished first in the 200 final but ran out of her lane, would spark the United States team into even greater efforts in the final three days of the World Championships.Torrence finished so far ahead of rivals Merlene Ottey and Irina Privalova in the 200 meters final, she was already savoring the glory of a double triumph when it was ruled she had run several steps on the lane line or out of her lane.
"It's a sad situation and I wish it hadn't happened to her," Kingdom said. "It was almost the race of her life.
"But this will motivate the American runners. We'll band together and support her. We've still got one of the best forces in the world in track and field and, when you take one of the best out, teams pull together."
In other developments today, defending champion Ioamnet Quintero of Cuba and 1991 champion Heike Henkel of Germany both were eliminated in the first round of the women's high jump. The championship record in the men's javelin was broken twice in the qualifying round, first by Germany's Boris Henry, then by world record-holder Jan Zelezny of the Czech Republic.
Henkel managed 6 feet, 4 inches for 16th overall while Quintero's best was 6-23/4, good for 20th. The top 12 made it to Sunday's final, including American jumper Amy Acuff, who cleared 6-4.
Henry threw the javelin 287 feet, 5 inches to beat the meet record of 282-1, set by defending champion Zelezny at last year's championships in Stuttgart. Zelezny, whose world record is 313-10, responded with a throw of 295-8.
Kingdom, who turns 33 in two weeks and is almost at full strength after recovering from two knee operations, clocked 13.35 to win his heat after four false starts had made him unusually nervous.
"It's aggravating. You get antsy in the blocks and your arms are shaking. I'm also suffering from tendinitis behind my right knee," Kingdom said after his first race since July 10 in Stockholm.
"But you can't think about that. These are the world championships."
Another American medal contender, Allen Johnson, moved into the second round winning his heat in 13.44, while Germany's Florian Schwarthoff won another heat in 13.45.
In the absence of injured defending champion and world record-holder Colin Jackson, Britain's hopes rest on 1993 silver medalist Tony Jarrett, who won his heat in 13.57.
Torrence's disqualification was just one incident in a seemingly crazy hour. Inessa Kravets, a Ukrainian, broke the triple jump world record by more than a foot; a Syrian heptathlete won her country's first gold medal and Chinese walker Zhao Yongsheng, well ahead in the 50-kilometer race, collapsed of dehydration in the street and was taken to a hospital.
Today's schedule also promised something spectacular as Michael Johnson, already owner of the 400-meter title, planned to add the 200 to his collection and become the first man to win both at one major international meet.
And Sergei Bubka was gunning for his fifth world title in a row in the pole vault.
There also was the women's 400 hurdles, the men's discus and the prospect of a Kenyan 1-2-3 in the steeplechase.
Torrence didn't consider her disqualification a defeat.
"I'm not going to let this ruin my 100 meter gold. I was clearly the victor," said the American, who also beat Ottey and Privalova in the 100.
"I don't believe anyone can really enjoy the medals knowing they were not winning for real. This is is the first time it's happened to me. Somebody said: `Gwen, you've been DQ'd.' Oh well, I clearly beat them."
Ottey smiled as she collected the gold medal from Prince Albert of Monaco.
"I don't care," said the 35-year-old Jamaican, who stretched her record medals total to 12 - three gold, three silver six bronze. "Mine is the gold medal.
"I saw on TV that she ran out of her lane. That was cheating.
"She ran about two meters shorter than anybody. She ran in somebody's lane, which she shouldn't do. It's like having two false starts.
"I don't know if she did it purposely. Sometimes when you run as short as possible, you run too close. I heard she did it in the semifinal, too."
Ottey, who lost the 100 title to another American runner, Gail Devers, after a photo-finish at Stuttgart two years ago, had anxious moments to wait until she knew she had her second 200 championship in a row.
"The U.S. is very powerful and very strong," she said in reference to the American team's appeal against the Torrence disqualification.
"Stuttgart was unfair to me," said Ottey, now the winner of three golds, three silvers and six bronze medals at the Championships. "I thought I won - even after the photo finish."
In other finals, Derrick Adkins maintained the United States stranglehold on the 400 meters hurdles by winning in 47.98 seconds, Ghada Shouaa gave Syria its first gold medal in a major international meet, taking the women's heptathlon with 6,651 points and Valentin Kononen of Finland won the men's 50-kilometer walk in 3:43:42.