Pompey sets new record at meet in Norway
By Michael DaSilva
June 15, 2004
Athens 2004 qualifier Aliann Pompey eclipsed her personal best and national women's 400-metre record recently when she clocked 51.09 seconds to place fourth at the Bergen Bislett Games in Norway.
According to the IAAF official results, Pompey was beaten by Tonique Williams of the Bahamas, who recorded 49.78 seconds which is the fastest time for the distance so far this year.
Second place went to another Bahamian, Christine Amertil (50.97) while Romanian Ionela Tirlea placed third in 51.05 seconds.
Pompey's 51.09 on June 11, erases the 51.11 she clocked at a Brazilian Grand Prix meet on May 23, when she placed second to US athlete Monique Hennagan (51.10).
The 51.11 had erased the 51.34 she returned in the semi-final of the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England.
On May 16 in Brazil also, Pompey returned 51.58 seconds to win from Hennagan who had clocked 51.67.
Speaking to Stabroek Sport by telephone yesterday, Pompey said she was very happy about erasing the record once more but really did not know what happened during the race.
The United States-based Guyanese who also holds the national 200-metre record said she felt much more confident and even excited leading up to the 2004 Olympics.
Pompey reminded Stabroek Sport that she is getting much faster with time and attributes this to the training programme her coach Joe Ryan has her going through.
On June 9, Pompey clocked 51.6 at a meet in Germany. One week earlier, she returned a disappointing 51.79, placing second to Senegal's Binto Fatou Fall (51.60) at the Grand Prix Regione Lombardia in Milan, Italy.
Fall placed eighth at the June 11 meet, and returning 53.26.
The Commonwealth Games' women's 400-metre gold medalist said she plans on competing in another four meets before the Olympics in August. These include one on June 27 in England or one in Italy on July 2.
Pompey said after the next four meets, she plans on staying in the US and do some fine-tuning before travelling to Athens.