Athletics, and the first day of the 15th USSR-USA meet with Russian sprinter Valery Borzov again showing a return to form.
Athletics, and the first day of the 15th USSR-USA meet with Russian sprinter Valery Borzov again showing a return to form. Borzov, who could only attain a bronze medal at the Montreal Olympics in the 100 metres sprint, held off a strong American challenge in the 4 x 100 metres relay.
SYNOPSIS: For the first time in fifteen years of competition of women's 400 metres hurdles was included in the programme. Although keenly contested, it finally went to the Soviet's Tatiana Storozheva in a world record time of 56.50 seconds with the American, Mary Ayers, three tenths of a second behind.
One of the first day's glamour events was the men's 4 x 100 metres relay. It was a neck and neck battle won by the USSR with Olympian Valery Borzov fighting off a strong American challenge. The Russians won in 38.83 seconds, a victory all that sweeter because Borzov was showing the form that could take him to the Moscow Olympics in 1980. Last year a disappointed Borzov only won a bronze in the one hundred metres event at Montreal.
The men's 1500 metres was a tough race. Once regarded as a middle distance event, the 1500 metres is tending to be run at a faster pace. This time it was the Americans who took the honours. First was Mike Slack in a time of 3 minutes 40.9 seconds; second was the Soviet champion, Anatoli Mamontov.
Next the men's 800 metres. This too was another event in which the lead changed from time to time. Only in the closing stages of the race did the enthusiastic crowd know who was their champion. The laurels went to the Soviet, Anatoli Reshetnyak, who overhauled the American, James Robinson, in the home straight for a winning time of one minute 46.8 seconds.