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Marion Jones
(United States)
Vital statistics
Born: 12 October 1975
Birthplace: Los Angeles (California), United States
Height: 1.78m (5 feet, 10 inches)
Weight: 68kg (147 pounds)
Events: 100m, 200m, 4 x 100m, 4 x 400m, long jump
Marion Jones wants to go where no track athlete - man or woman - has ever gone. Her goal is to win an unprecedented five gold medals at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. And perhaps the only thing that can stop her is her own body.
Last year, Jones won Grand Prix and Golden League events leading into the World Championships at Seville, Spain, then successfully defended her 100m world championship. However, in the 200m semifinal, she suffered back spasms and cramps on the final turn and failed to finish. The injury ended her season.
It was not Jones' first major injury. The former point guard for the national champions in United States college basketball broke her left foot in 1995 and was sidelined until 1997. She returned in style, concentrating on track and winning her first 100m world championship that year. She added another gold with the 4 x 100m relay team and, by the end of the year, was ranked No. 1 in the world in 100m and 200m.
In 1998, Jones lost only once in 36 events, in her last long-jump event of the year at the World Cup. Now, changes in the athletics schedule at Sydney mean she can pursue all five of her specialties if the US team makes some allowances. With people like Michael Johnson believing she can reach her goal, she may well get the chance, body willing.