Mary Decker Slaney regained the world record for the women's mile today, defeating Olympic rivals Maricica Puica and Zola Budd in a thrilling race at the Weltklasse IAAF Grand Prix track meet.
Slaney was timed in 4 minutes 16.71 seconds at the Letzigrund Stadium to beat the record of 4:17.44 set by Puica in 1982. Puica had broken Slaney's record of 4:18.08.
The Soviet Union's Natalya Artemova was timed in 4:15.8 in a meet last year, but that was not recognized by the International Amateur Athletic Federation, the world governing body for track and field, because there was no drug testing at the meet.
In the men's mile, Said Aouita of Morocco, who broke the 5,000-meter world record in Oslo July 27, ran 3:46.92, the second-fastest time in history. Aouita, who ran the final lap by himself, missed Steve Cram's world record by just 61 hundredths of a second.
Puica, the 1984 Olympic gold medalist at 3,000 meters -- the race in which Slaney was injured in her celebrated collision with Britain's Budd -- finished second today in 4:17.33 -- setting Romanian and European records. Budd, running barefoot as usual, was third in 4:17.52 for a British record. It was the first time the three had raced since the Los Angeles Games.
American Delisa Walton-Floyd took the field around the first two laps in 2:10.17, which was slightly outside a record pace, but Slaney picked up the tempo after Walton-Floyd dropped out.
With Budd, Puica and Ulrike Bruns of East Germany pushing Slaney all the way, the runners hit the three-quarter-mile mark at 3:15.25. Puica kicked as they came out of the final turn, but Slaney accelerated, too, and went on to win.
Slaney said she hopes to make an attempt to break the 1,500-meter record in Brussels Sunday. And she is scheduled to run the 3,000 at a Grand Prix meet in West Berlin Friday if she does not have pain in the left ankle she twisted slightly three weeks ago.
Ben Johnson of Canada and triple Olympic champion Valerie Brisco-Hooks of the United States won the men's and women's 100-meter dashes.
Johnson, the Olympic bronze medalist, ran 10.18 to edge world record holder Calvin Smith of the United States by one-hundredth of a second.
Carl Lewis, the quadruple Olympic gold medalist, finished fourth in his 1985 European debut. Lewis, who injured his right hamstring muscle while finishing fourth in his 100 semifinal at the U.S. outdoor championships June 15 in Indianapolis, was timed in 10.31.
Cram, who broke three world records within 20 days, won the 800 meters in 1:42.88, the fastest time of the year.
But it was more than a second off fellow Briton Sebastian Coe's world record of 1:41.73.
Joaquim Cruz of Brazil, the Olympic champion, led coming into the last turn, but, as has been the case all season, Cram's kick was too strong.
Cruz's time was 1:43.23, second fastest of the year. Johnny Gray, the American record holder, was third in 1:43.43. His pending U.S. record is 1:42.96.
A major upset came in the men's 1,500 when Coe was beaten by Pierre Deleze of Switzerland. Deleze finished in 3:31.75 and Coe in 3:32.13.
The meet, which attracted 36 Olympic champions, world champions and world record holders, was the single most expensive track meet ever staged, costing $700,000. Transportation expenses for the more than 300 athletes from 39 countries amounted to more than $440,000