Marion Jones is still perfect this year, even if her starts aren't.
Jones won her ninth consecutive 100-meter race of the season - to go along with her 4-for-4 record in the 200 and 6-for-6 in the long jump - Sunday night in the Goodwill Games.Even though Jones was timed under 11 seconds for the eighth straight time - 10.90 - it was her second-slowest race of the year.
"I had to be a little careful," Jones said after being called for a rare false start, "but I think I had a good start on the second attempt.".
Jones shook off the mistake, smiled, settled back into the starting blocks and still easily beat the fastest field ever assembled - the other seven sprinters all had broken 11 seconds.
"I got a good start after the false start," Jones said. "I thought I was held too long the first time."
In addition to being cautious, Jones was slowed by a headwind of nearly 2 mph.
Still, she extended her record of breaking 11 seconds in one year. No one else has done it more than six.
"Marion was unbeatable," Jamaica's Merlene Ottey, the No. 3 performer in the 100 behind Jones and world record-holder Florence Griffith Joyner, said after finishing fourth in 11.21.
Jones will go for a sprint sweep Monday night in the 200.
Dan O'Brien, the world record-holder, Olympic gold medalist and three-time world champion in the decathlon, also has some unfinished business Monday.
O'Brien will be trying to complete his first decathlon since winning in the 1996 Atlanta Games. Going into the final five events - the 110 hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1,500 - O'Brien is in second place with 4,575 points, 45 behind U.S. champion and 1998 world leader Chris Huffins.
O'Brien was ahead of his gold medal pace after four events, before fading down the stretch - from lack of competition - and finishing third in Sunday's final event, the 400.
John Godina, the U.S. champion in the shot put and discus, also had mixed emotions. He won the shot put at 70 feet, 41/2 inches, after finishing third in the discus at 206-2.
"I was happy with the shot, but not with my performance in the discus," he said.
Bryan Bronson had no difficulty in running through the strong winds on the backstretch in the 400 hurdles, blasting past the field, and winning in an impressive 47.15, the seventh-fastest ever.
Ato Boldon, the world 200 champion from Trinidad and Tobago, also turned in a solid performance in winning in 20.15 while running into a headwind.
Other notable winners Sunday were Shana Williams in the women's long jump at 22-9; Mozambique's Maria Mutola in the women's 800 at 1:58.83; Jamaica's Deon Hemmings in the women's 400 hurdles at 54.20; Russia's Irina Korzhanenko in the women's shot put at 65-51/2, and Russia's Yelena Belyakova in the women's pole vault at 14-41/2.
The competition began with basketball, and the U.S. team of college players quickly found out there's a difference at the international level.
Puerto Rico, cheered on by the majority of the 8,700 fans at Madison Square Garden, rallied from a 19-point deficit to beat the United States 84-76.
Eddie Casiano scored 31 points for the winners, while Duke's Elton Brand led the United States with 24.
Australia, behind 17 points from Andrew Gaze, beat Argentina 84-72. In the other games, Lithuania beat Russia 79-72, and Brazil beat China 75-60.
In gymnastics, Dominique Moceanu, the youngest member of the "Magnificent Seven" gold-medal gymnastics team in Atlanta, won the women's all-around title. She finished with a score of 38.662, well in front of Maria Olaru of Romania with 37.975.