Gail Devers' chances of winning the sprint-hurdle double began to look much less encouraging Monday after the 100-meter champion was defeated soundly by Sweden's Ludmila Enquist in the first and second rounds of the women's 100 hurdles.
Devers led the race in 1992, only to fall over the last hurdle. This time, she may find it difficult to pull ahead of Enquist, who ran the fastest time in the world this year in today's second round, 12.47 seconds. Devers ran 12.73 in the first round but slowed to 12.83 in the second to qualify 10th.
Enquist, the 1991 world champion, is returning after serving a four-year suspension for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
Michelle Freeman of Jamaica qualified second in 12.57.
Tonja Buford-Bailey of the United States will be seeded second in the 400 hurdles today. Her time of 53.38 was eclipsed by Deon Hemmings of Jamaica, who ran an Olympic-record 52.99 in the same semifinal heat. Former Florida State sprinter Kim Batten qualified third.
"With Deon running that fast and Tonya (Buford-Bailey) and me back in the race, I think a world record is definitely in the making," Batten said.
The United States sent three men's 400 hurdlers into today's semifinals. Derrick Adkins (48.46), Calvin Davis (48.94) and Bryan Bronson (49.06) all won their heats.
Adkins, the 1995 world champion who starred at Georgia Tech, said he ran faster than he wanted for an opening round.
"I'd have like to have run about 49-flat, have a heat like Bryan Bronson," said Adkins, who finished second in the U.S. trials behind Bronson. "I'm think I'm in shape to run three 47s in a row."
In the men's 800 semifinals, Norberto Tellez had the fastest qualifying time in 1:43.79. Johnny Gray, 36, of Los Angeles, the 1992 Olympic bronze medalist, qualified fourth in 1:43.96, as the first five runners ran under 1:44.
Paul McMullen was the only American who advanced from the first round of the men's 1,500. Laban Rotich of Kenya posted the fastest qualifying time of 3:35.88.
John Godina, silver medalist in the shot put, was not as fortunate in the discus _ he failed to advance. Americans Anthony Washington and Adam Setliff reached the final.
_ TIMES WIRES