ATHENS, Greece – Gail Devers (search), the most talented yet star-crossed hurdler of her generation, failed once again in the Olympics as she was unable to complete even one hurdle.
Devers, 37, who has three world championships in the 100-meter hurdles (search), pulled up short and screamed as she slid under the first hurdle. She sat on the track for about two minutes, rubbing her left leg and grimacing.
Devers hurt her leg in practice a week ago and wore a heavy bandage during three rounds of the 100 meters on Friday and Saturday before being eliminated in the semifinals. She has refused to discuss the injury in detail.
Sunday's shocking development may lead to second guessing about Devers' decision to run in the 100. She took the third U.S. spot in that event when Torri Edwards (search) was suspended for two years for accidentally ingesting a banned stimulant.
Devers could have turned down the spot, allowing Marion Jones (search) to try to defend her Olympic title.
Devers won hurdles world championships in 1993, 1995 and 1999, and holds the U.S. record of 12.37 seconds.
But she slammed into the last hurdle while leading the 1992 Olympic final, crawling to the finish line and finishing fifth. In 1996, she missed an Olympic medal by a hundredth of a second. In 2000, she injured her hamstring in the semifinal and pulled up after five hurdles.