Marion Jones returns in triumphant fashion

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New York, NY (Sports Network) - World sprint queen Marion Jones returned to the track with a bang Friday night, winning the 60-meter dash in 7.21 seconds at the Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden. The 28-year-old Jones, who won three golds and two silver medals in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, participated in her first race since 2002. Jones had been on maternity leave, as she gave birth to a son in June 2003. Friday night also marked her first indoor competition since 1998 and her first Millrose Games appearance ever.

"After four steps, I looked like a woman who's been on pregnancy leave," Jones said following the race in front of 14,154 fans. "Then I kind of switched gears and said, 'I'm Olympic champion and I better be out here dominating this race.' To make my debut at the Millrose Games and get beaten, that's not how I wanted to start my season. I'm happy to be back in the swing of things."

Jones, who edged Angela Daigle by 0.03 seconds, has been spectacular during her last six years of competition. Jones has been ranked No. 1 in the world in the 100 meters, 200 meters and long jump a total of 13 times. Jones, who had her son with U.S. track star and boyfriend Tim Montgomery, has her sights set on possibly five more medals at this year's Athens Olympics.

"It was challenging to me prior to the race," Jones said. "My biggest fear coming in was would I be able to click on that intense focus I have. I was able to do that with no problem. It must be like riding a bike. One of the reasons of coming to Millrose was to see where I was in training. I felt like I had to prove something to myself tonight."

Allen Johnson and Gail Devers broke meet records in winning their events. Johnson was named the meet's Outstanding Performer award after winning the men's 60-meter hurdles in 7.43 seconds. Devers, who last year set a U.S. women's 60-meter hurdles record of 7.78 seconds, posted a world-leading time of 7.76 seconds, just .02 seconds off her American record.

"I knew I would run at least that fast," Johnson said. "It seems like every year at this meet, something happens...I get bumped or I'm injured or something. This year, I told myself that this year there wouldn't be any excuses. I'm happy with everything today."

The 37-year-old Devers, a two-time 100-meter Olympic champion, is holding out hope she'll qualify for the Athens Games.

"I could tell you I'm going to the Olympic Games, but I can't tell you that right now," Devers said. "I came back because I had so many fans who wanted me to come back."

Jearl Miles-Clark pulled away from Sandie Richards to win her eighth Millrose title of her career of any distance by taking the women’s 500 meters in a time of one minute, 3.68 seconds. Clark, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was joined as a winner by her sister-in-law, Hazel Clark, who captured the women's 800 meters with a time of two minutes, 5.79 seconds.

Olympic gold medalist and American indoor/outdoor record holder Stacy Dragila won another Millrose crown in the women’s pole vault with a clearance of 4.64 meters.

"I'm really happy with the results," Dragila said. "I feel very confident on the runway right now."

Elsewhere, Christian Cantwell won the men's shot put and Tisha Waller won her eighth career Millrose Games title in the women's high jump. Berhanu Alemu of Ethiopia won the men's 800 meters. Germaine Mason of won the men's high jump, while Joey Woody finished first in the 600-yard dash. Carmen Douma of won the women's 1500 meters and 's Hudson de Souza won the men's mile in 4 minutes, 2.93 seconds.

Asafa Powell, the Jamaican national champion, ran away to a win in the men's 60 meters with a time of 6.56 seconds. American John Capel was second in 6.65 seconds.

Toby Stevenson won the men's pole vault, while John Nunn captured the men's one-mile walk.

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