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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Joyner-Kersee Grabs Gold in Heptathlon

ST. PETERSBURG -- On a day when the weather turned cooler and the breezes continued to swirl in Petrovsky Stadium, Jackie Joyner-Kersee emerged with a hard-earned prize -- and then pulled out of the long jump competition.


Joyner-Kersee struggled to her third straight Goodwill Games heptathlon title Tuesday, while Mike Powell and Noureddine Morceli won their events.


Joyner-Kersee, the world record-holder, overcame a bad case of asthma to win the heptathlon with 6,606 points -- her lowest total since 1984.


She had trouble breathing as she completed the final event, the 800 meters. As soon as she crossed the finish line, she doubled over and tried to catch her breath. Her coach and husband, Bob Kersee, rushed over and pounded her on the back to help her breathe.


"When the weather got cooler, it kicked up some pollen and dust," Joyner-Kersee said later. "In the home stretch, I was feeling so hot I wanted to pull my top down. I couldn't breathe. I'm glad it's over."


Joyner-Kersee had built a 109-point lead after Monday's first four events. After Tuesday's long jump, javelin and 800 meters, she finished 114 points ahead of runner-up Larisa Turchinskaya of Russia. Ghada Shouaa of Syria was third.


Joyner-Kersee withdrew from Thursday's long jump competition. Her husband said she would be too physically spent after the heptathlon to compete in the long jump.


Powell, the world record-holder, won the long jump on his sixth and final attempt with a leap of 8.45 meters (27 feet, 8 3/4 inches).


He fouled three times and appeared to be suffering from a hamstring injury, but came through when he needed to. Fellow American Erick Walder was second in 8.39 (27 ft. 6 1/2 in.).


Carl Lewis did not compete in the long jump, having pulled out after losing the 100 meters Monday.


World record-holder Morceli of Algeria pulled away on the last lap to win the mile in 3:48.67, the fastest time of the year. After crossing the finish line, he dropped to his knees on the track, spread out his arms and made the victory sign with both hands.


Derrick Adkins won the men's 400 meters hurdles ahead of 1991 world champion Samuel Matete of Zambia while world champion Jearl Miles won the women's 400 meters from fellow American Maicel Malone in a photo finish. Both women clocked 50.60 seconds.


Wednesday is an off-day for the track and field events.


(AP, Reuters)