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By Bob Ramsak. (c) 2008 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.

LINZ, Austria -- A solid front-running victory by Briton James Brewer was the key middle distance performance at the inaugural Gugl.Indoor meeting in Linz, Austria tonight.

Running from the front and just a stride behind the pacesetter throughout, Brewer, still just 19, romped home with 3:41.89 win, his second personal best in two days in Austria. In Vienna on Tuesday, he finished fourth in a competitive race, clocking 3:43.21.

James McIlroy, a stronger 800m man, closed strong to take second in 3:42.01, his fastest indoor performance and just shy of his outdoor best of 3:42.00.

After a pair of sluggish opening legs just under 2:08, and just under 2:09-- the assault on the women's 4x800m relay world record of 8:18.54 never materialized. Instead, the highly favoured Russian quartet of Tatiana Firova, Natalya Pantelyeva, Yevgeniya Zinurova and Natalia Yevdokimova had a race on their hands against an inspired squad from Ukraine. Exchanging the lead during virtually every leg, the Russians held on for an 8:30.66 victory, with Ukrainian anchor Zoya Gladun reaching the line in 8:31.00. The relay almost took a tragically comic turn between legs two and three when Pantelyeva nearly handed off to Ukrainian Tamara Tverdostup; the two were wearing identical tops.

There were also a pair of 800m contests on the program, and both were kicker's affairs. Kenyan Richard Kiplagat took the lead for good just\ after the bell and came home in 1:49.31, leading a Kenyan sweep ahead of John Litei (1:49.90) and Timothy Kiptanui (1:49.95). In the women's race, American Sasha Spencer, who often works as a pacesetter, took the lead with 100m remaining and held off Czech Lenka Masna, 2:03.82 to 2:03.93.

A crowd of about 1000 turned out at the first international meet at the Intersport Arena. Motown legend The Temptations were the featured musical guests, but only a few dozen spectators stayed for the second of two sets.


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