SHERBROOKE, Quebec -- Chip Jenkins set an American record in his first 600-meter race, and Canadian sprinting star Ben Johnson captured the 60-meter dash Sunday to highlight the seventh annual Sherbrooke International Track Meet.
Jenkins, a Philadelphia resident representing the Atlantic Coast Club, covered the distance in 1:15:80 -- just 3-100ths of a second shy of the world record set Feb. 4, 1986 in Genoa, Italy, by Italian Donata Sabia.
The previous American mark was 1:16:18. It was set at Sherbrooke last year by Marcus Sanders, also of the Atlantic Coast Club.
'It's the first time I ever ran (600 meters in competition) in my life,' said Jenkins, who normally competes in the 500 meters. 'I wasn't looking for any record. I just wanted to win.'
Jenkins said his coach entered him in the 400 meters, but that he wanted to try the longer distance.
Johnson, the world's No. 1 ranked sprinter, raced the 60 meters in 6.67 seconds -- well off his world record of 6.44, set in Osaka, Japan, on Jan. 15, but still good enough to make him an easy winner.
He blamed his slow time on fatigue.
'It's impossible to run two fast times two nights in a row,' said Johnson, who set a world record of 5.55 seconds in the 50 meters in a meet in Ottawa Saturday night.
That time broke by 6-100ths of a second the standard set in 1973 by East German Manfred Kohot.
Last winter, Johnson ran 15 races. This year, he said, he plans to run just six or seven times because he only performs really well when he is sufficiently rested.
In another featured event, Canadian Angela Taylor-Issajenko easily won her 60-meter heat, finishing in 7.15 seconds. Her closest competitor was the world record holder in the event, Nellie Cooman-Fiere of the Netherlands, who finished in 7.21. Cooman-Fiere's time was far from her world best of exactly seven seconds.
Like Johnson, Taylor-Issajenko said she did not do as well as she could have because of her performance at the Ottawa Saturday night. She too set a world record in the 50-meter dash with a time of 6:06 seconds - 5-100ths of a second better than the old mark.
'I thought I could beat the world record for the 60-meters, but after last night I got too sore,' she said. 'I knew it wasn't possible tonight when I was warming up. I just wanted to win the race.'