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Devers has to pull out of Olympics


ATHENS, Greece -- Gail Devers, one of the greatest 100 meters hurdlers in the history of athletics, looks destined to end her long career without an Olympic medal in the event after pulling up in Sunday's first round with an injured calf.

Devers has won the world championship three times and finished second twice.

But she has always failed in the event at the Olympics, despite winning the Olympic 100 meters flat twice.

The 37-year-old American went out of the Athens 100 meters flat in the semi-finals on Saturday but lined up in the fifth heat of the hurdles as one of the favorites having recorded the second-fastest time of the year, 12.50 seconds.

However, within a couple of steps of leaving the blocks she pulled up sharply, grimacing with pain. As he tried to stop she ran into the first hurdle and crashed to the track.

She was given attention on the track and after a few minutes was helped away with an ice pack strapped to her left calf.

Devers injured her leg in training last week and had been training in Athens with it strapped.

The latest failure continues Devers's unfortunate Olympic hurdles experience.

In 1992 she was leading the final approaching the last barrier but hit it heavily and eventually stumbled over the line in fifth.

Four years later she went into the Olympic final on the back of a 16-final winning streak but finished fourth, missing a medal by one hundredth of a second.

In Sydney she pulled up with a hamstring problem in the semi-final -- the same stage she reached in the 1988 Games.

Canada takes floor gold

Kyle Shewfelt edged out Romania's Marian Dragulescu on a tiebreak to give Canada their first ever gymnastics gold medal in the Olympics men's floor exercise on Sunday.

Shewfelt executed his powerful tumbles to earn a score of 9.787, which was the same as Dragulescu, but was named champion once the tiebreak rules were applied by the judges.

Bulgaria's Jordan Jovtchev settled for his second successive Olympic bronze in the event.

Paul Hamm, who was awarded the all-round gold on Wednesday after a judging error denied South Korea's Yang Tae-young the title, was expected to take the title but he was clearly under pressure and finished fifth.


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