March 20, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) American Barbara Pierre didn't know where anyone else was at the finish line of the 60 meters. She just dipped her head over the line.

And then she waited.

The finish between Pierre and Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands was so close that officials had to review it to make sure. In the end, Pierre won her first title in the event at the world indoor track and field championships on Saturday night, crossing the finish in 7.02 seconds. Schippers was second in 7.04 and Elaine Thompson of Jamaica was third in 7.06.

''I didn't want to rejoice knowing I didn't know,'' Pierre said of the wait. ''So I just waited. At the line I didn't really feel anybody next to me, but I just wanted to be secure and make sure I had it.''

Pierre was coming off a victory in the 60 at the U.S. indoor track and field championships, which were also held at the Portland Convention Center the week before. She had a personal-best finish in 7 seconds flat in that race.

Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who was not competing in Portland, was the defending champion in the 2014 world indoors in Sopot. Because this is an Olympic year, many athletes skipped the indoor season to focus on preparation for the Rio Games.

Britain's Dina Asher-Smith withdrew from the final because of a hamstring injury.

On Saturday night, the finish was decided at the start. Schippers, who also had a 7.0 finish this season, struggled off the blocks while Pierre exploded.

''I do the indoor season because I must work on the start, and 60 meters it's very important for the 100 and 200 meters,'' said Schippers, who won the 200 meters at the outdoor world championships last year in Beijing.

Pierre said afterward her start wasn't perfect, even though it sure looked that way.

''I knew I had to get a great start, but I stumbled on my third step. I still recovered and I just stayed in my zone, and whaever happened happened. But I got the win so ...'' she said, trailing off with a big smile and a laugh.

Pierre is a native of Haiti and competed for that country in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but she grew up in Orlando and ran at Div. II St. Augustine. She won the U.S. indoor title in the 60 in 2013 and was the bronze medalist in the event in 2014.

Now with her career-best time in the 60, she turns her attention to earning a spot in the 100 meters at the Rio Games.

''I'm going to go back home and train but before that I'm gonna rest,'' she said. ''I need it. I'm tired.''

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