Torri Edwards left the U.S. Olympic trials in tears Sunday despite having finished third in the women's 200 final. With the finish, she claimed her second U.S. Olympic team spot, but both positions could be snatched away as early as Monday, when she attends the arbitration hearing that will decide her penalty for a positive test for a banned stimulant in April.
Edwards has said she intends to claim she consumed the stimulant inadvertently and should receive only a public warning, but she faces a possible two-year ban.
"It's been a tough last week for me, dealing with all this," said Edwards, who finished in 22.39 seconds and also qualified for the Olympic team in the 100. "If it wasn't for the support of my family, friends . . . I wouldn't have gotten through it. . . . I am innocent and I am going to go and fight my case."
As Edwards rushed out to catch her flight, track youngsters Allyson Felix, 18, and Muna Lee, 22, celebrated having secured places on their first Olympic teams. Unlike last year, when a phalanx of cameras followed Felix around the U.S. championships, she arrived here with less fanfare and, for that matter, less success behind her. After a senior season in high school in which she ran stunning times and broke Marion Jones's old records, Felix slowed down significantly.
On Sunday, however, she overtook Edwards over the last 20 meters to win the race in 22.28. Lee finished second in 22.36.
"It feels great just to have the hard work pay off," said Felix, who turned pro last summer but takes classes at Southern Cal. "I knew it would; I just had to hang in there . . . . I'm thrilled to be on my way. God willing, this is just the beginning."
LaShauntea Moore, who finished fourth in (22.64), could find herself with an Olympic team berth should Edwards be disqualified from the team.
Devers Makes Fifth Olympic Team
Gail Devers qualified for her fifth Olympic team by winning her 10th title in the 100 hurdles by the most narrow of margins: she outleaned Joanna Hayes by two-thousandths of a second (12.547 to 12.549).
With the achievement, Devers joined Hall of Famer Willye White as the only women to make five U.S. Olympic teams and nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis as the third American of either gender to make five.
Devers also is first in line to claim an Olympic team spot in the 100 should Edwards be forced to give up hers. Devers, who finished fourth in that event last weekend, said she hadn't decided whether she would accept the opening. Devers's decision is being watched with much curiosity because Marion Jones, the 100 gold medalist in Sydney, finished fifth in the 100 here, and would get the spot should Devers decline.
Devers, though, won the 100 gold medal in 1992 and 1996. She apparently isn't ready to close the door on another chance just yet.
"I've never made hasty decisions and I'm not going to start" now, she said.
Johnson Is Concerned
Never has a bronze medal winner looked so forlorn. Allen Johnson, the Olympic gold medalist in the 110 hurdles at the 1996 Summer Games, finished third in the event at these trials with his worst race of the season. He was clocked in 13.25 seconds.
Terrence Trammell (13.09) finished first and Duane Ross (13.21) was second.
"I'm a little bit concerned because I have no idea what happened," said Johnson, who was born in the District and attended Lake Braddock High. "I don't know why the race went so bad . . . I want to know what happened so I can stop that from happening next month." . . .
Just like in the 100, two of track coach Trevor Graham's pupils starred in the 200. Shawn Crawford finished first in the 200 in 19.99 seconds and Justin Gatlin, his training partner in Raleigh, N.C., finished second in 20.01. Bernard Williams finished third in 20.30.
Gatlin said he was happy with the result because he injured his right big toe in the semifinals.
"Last night, I had to do a lot of surgery, tape it up, put alcohol on it," he said. "There was a lot of competition out there, so I either had to cut off my toe and sew it back on after, or suck it up and do it." . . .
Though Suzy Favor Hamilton did not run in Sunday's 1,500 final, she could still represent the United States in the Summer Games in the event because none of the top three finishers in the final have the Olympic "A" qualifying standard.
Fifteen-year-old Tatyana McFadden, from Clarksville, Md., pulled off one of the day's biggest surprises, capturing the 800 wheelchair race in 1:56.22. McFadden, who will compete in the Paralympic Games in Athens in September, made her move in the final 200 meters to win gold over several of the sport's more experienced performers. "This is definitely one of the biggest wins I've ever had, especially with the crowd," McFadden said.