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Crawford focusing on 2008 Olympics

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By Robert Howey

Indian Land’s Shawn Crawford is focused on returning to the Olympics this summer in Beijing and hopefully earning another gold medal. Crawford, a Van Wyck native, is the reigning Olympic gold medalist in the 200-meter sprint. He was also a member of the U.S. 400-meter relay team that took the silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics.Crawford was sidelined much of last year due to a foot injury and surgery, but recently ran in a couple of meets in preparation for the upcoming Olympic Trials.Crawford secondCrawford finished second behind Pan-Am Games gold medalist Brandan Christian of Antigua in the Meeting du Conseil General de la Martinique at Fort de France on May 8. Christian posted the best male result with a new national record of 20.12 seconds, but Crawford’s 20.36 was a decent season opener. According to a European Athletics article posted May 9 looking at where the 2004 Olympic track and field champions are today: “Shawn Crawford (USA) has struggled to maintain his 2004 form... however the 30-year-old sprinter, who finished seventh at last year’s U.S. Championships, is reportedly trying to qualify for the Games, so there could yet be a title defense against Jamaican race favorite Usaine Bolt.”Fifth at Adidas meetCrawford had a fifth-place finish in the 100-meter sprint at the Adidas Track Classic in Carson, Calif., on May 18.World 100- and 200-meter champion Tyson Gay (U.S.) swept both sprint events at the meet, posting times of 10.05 and 20.08, respectively. In the 100-meter, Gay was followed by Darvis Patton (U.S.) 10.06. 3, Derrick Atkins (Bahamas) 10.16. 4,  Leroy Dixon (U.S.) 10.20. 5, and Crawford, 10.21. 6.Upcoming racesCrawford’s upcoming races are Reebok in New York City on June 1 and the Prefontaine in Eugene, Ore., on June 8. He then heads to the Olympic trials, where he hopes to compete in the 100m and 200m in July. Crawford has already qualified for the 200-meter as defending Olympic champion. “He’s really focused on his training with his new coach (Bob Kersee),” said Crawford’s sports agent, Kimberly Holland. “He’s feeling very optimistic that he’ll do well at the (Olympic) trials.”Former coach on trialCrawford’s former coach Trevor Graham is on trial now in San Francisco after pleading not guilty to three charges of lying to federal agents about his relationship with Texas drug distributor Angel “Memo” Heredia, who says he provided Graham with performance-enhancing drugs.  The trial is part of the federal BALCO doping investigation. Graham helped unmask the BALCO doping scandal in 2003 by sending the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency a used syringe containing the previously undetectable steroid THG.