American sprinter Bart Williams pulled a leg muscle while leading the 400-meter hurdles race in the Spartakiade Games today and limped away in pain. His coach criticized the Soviet organizers for making atheletes wait 30 minutes between warm-ups and their events.
"It's not the proper procedure, even for the conduct of a meet this size," said Coach Jimmy Carnes of Florida State. "They feel they need to sit the people down in a particular area and have them ready on the dot so they can run on that minute."
Carnes said he intended to complain to Soviet officials and to the International Amateur Atheletic Federation. "We're going to try to get it changed for the Olympics next year," he said.
The Soviet Union's seventh Spartakiade Games are being run exactly a year before the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics. Some 2, 500 foreign atheletes, including about 100 Americans, were invited to participated as an Olympics warm-up.
Williams had the lead when he pulled the hamstring muscle and still was neck and neck with Vasily Arkhipenko of the Soviet Union when he stopped suddenly as if he had been shot, bent over a hurdle and cried. He limped away, holding his right leg in pain as photographs swarmed around him.
"I felt it go at the sixth hurdle but I wanted to keep going," said the dejected California. "By the seventh hurdle the others were passing me, and by the eight I knew I couldn't go on."
Arkhipenki coasted to an easy victory in 49.11 seconds.
Karen Hawkin of St. Louis, who was nipped at the wire in the women's 100 meters today by Ludmila Kondrateva of the Soviet Union, echoed Carnnes' feeling about the wait. $ henry Marsh, another AAU champion, won his semifinal of the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 8:40.1 and made Wednesday's finals.
The Americans suffered a stunning setback when Duncan Atwood of Seattle, also an AAU champion, failed to qualify in the men's javelin.He did no better than 242 feet 5 3/4 inches, far under his season best of 277-0.
The Australian water polo team, accausing the Soviet referee of "definite cheating," threatened to pull out of the Spartakiade in the first controversial match against the Soviet Republic of Kazastan -- one of the 15 Soviet republics which compete in the Spartakiade. Tom Hoad, Australian team coach, angry at the way the referee handled the match, told the organizers today that his team would not take to the water unless a neutral referee was found for its final match against Byelorussia.
After a 15-minute argument, the organizers replaced the referee and Australia went on to wn the match, 7-2, to finish 11th in the tournament.