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Danvers-Smith third in Ostrava
31 May 2006 10:51

Commonwealth 400 metres silver medallist Natasha Danvers-Smith finished third behind Lashinda Demus at the IAAF Super Grand Prix Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava.

Danvers-Smith now re-establishing herself as a world class performer after the birth of her son in December 2004, was beaten by the US pair of Lashinda Demus and Sheena Johnson.

Demus last summer's World Championships runner-up and winner ahead of the British number one in Hengelo on Sunday, clocked a time of 54.62seconds.

Johnson fourth in the Olympic final two years ago, finished in a season's best 54.97sec, with Danvers-Smith clocking an excellent 55.40sec.

That time was a solid improvement on the 56.29sec she achieved 48 hours earlier, and closed on her year's fastest of 55.17sec, set at the Commonwealth Games.

Her  performance in Melbourne came in mid-March and now, the USA-based athlete, the summer season underway in earnest, will have been delighted with her latest showing.
She also was first European finisher defeating Poland's Anna Jesien who claimed fourth position in last August's World Championships.

Commonwealth javelin champion Nick Nieland was a disappointing sixth when expecting to produce a much better showing.

Nieland a surprise winner of the Games title in Melbourne, showed excellent form over the weekend in Riga where he finished second with a solid throw of 84.70metres.

That suggested the 34-year-old Shaftesbury Barnet athlete, might given the opposition in Ostrava, approach his six-year-old personal best of 85.09m at the Czech Republic venue.

But Nieland never got things right on a cold night and never made an impact, managing only one valid throw of 80.31m in the opening round.

Russia's Sergey Makarov retained his title with a winning effort of 88.49m ahead of Latvia's Ainars Kovals who threw a personal best 85.74m. 

World record-holder Jan Zelezny who will be 40 next month, bowed out in front of his own home fans at his favourite venue, finishing third with a mark of 83.52m.

British Number One Emma Ania was fifth in her 100m encounter with a season's fastest of 11.42sec.

The sprint was won by the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth champion Debbie Ferguson of the Bahama's, in 11.14sec.

Helen Clitheroe stepping up to 3000m, was eighth over 3000m in 8:58.64, while Jermaine Mays finished 10th in his 3000m steepelchase race, also with a season's fastest of 8:43.74.

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