Cathartic Win for Edwards
Saturday, June 23, 2007
INDIANAPOLIS, June 22 -- Torri Edwards always seemed a bit misplaced in the midst of her boisterous, boastful, effervescent training mates in the Los Angeles-based track club HSI. She was so reserved, serious and soft-spoken, her management team felt compelled to remind her to smile after her victories, look happy. Celebrate a little.
She needed no such instruction Friday night.
Edwards, who missed the 2004 Summer Games and 15 months of competition because of a doping violation that even arbitrators agreed was unintentional, thrust her fist into the air before breaking the finishing tape in the 100-meter final at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, then let out a primal scream as she raised her arms in triumph.
Her coach, John Smith, was not surprised to see her finish in 11.02 seconds, ahead of defending world champion Lauryn Williams (11.16) and Carmelita Jeter (11.17).
But he was surprised to see the celebration. That, he said later, was a first.
"I just wanted it so bad," the 30-year-old Edwards said. "I saw I was clear for the win. I was overjoyed. [The display] just came out."
Smith had seen very different emotions while Edwards served part of a two-year ban for a positive test for the stimulant Nikethamide (the suspension was reduced after the substance was downgraded to require no more than a one-year ban). Edwards's physical therapist had given her sugar pills laced with the substance at a minor meet in Martinique.
"There were times we cried when we walked out to the track, and that was the workout," Smith said. "That's why there was a little celebration there. At long last, she can finally put it behind her. That's the beauty of it. It's behind her now. Now she can go forward."
Speaking of going forward, Tyson Gay ran away with his second straight men's 100 title with a blazing finish in 9.84 seconds, then predicted he would surpass the world record of 9.77 seconds at the August world championships in Osaka, Japan.
LSU sprinter Trindon Holliday finished second in 10.07 and Florida State phenom Walter Dix was third in 10.09, giving Gay the largest margin of victory in the race at the U.S. championships since electronic timing was introduced in 1975.
"I feel like if I rest up a little more and work on my training, I can go faster," Gay said.
His time into a .5 meters per second headwind was the second-fastest in history, trailing only Maurice Greene's 9.82 (-0.2) at the 2001 world championships in Edmonton.