The World Champs evening session had something for everyone! The men's hammer had the hearts and emotions of all of Japan supporting Koji Murofushi. The men's 1,500 meter semi finals were a perfect example of what it takes to compete at this level, and
the women's 100 meter semi finals, reported here, lived up to expectations!
World Champs, Day 3
August 27, 2008
Women's 100 meter semi-finals
In the first semi final, Torri Edwards, who had the best reaction time (.137) had a great start and lead from the very beginning, taking the semi in 11.02. Lauryn Williams continued to look good in these rounds, running a seasonal best in 11.09.
Kerron Stewart of Jamaca was third, running 11.12 and moving on to the final.
Also advancing to the final was Nigeria's Oludamola Osayomi in 11.18 for fourth place. Tezzhan Naimove of Bulgaria ran 11.18 for fifth, Chandra Sturrup of the Bahamas ran 11.22 for sixth, Laura Turner of Great Britian ran 11.32 for seventh and Sally McCellan of Australia ran 11.32 for eighth, the final four not advancing to the final.
In second semi final, Veronica Campbell of Jamaica lead the fastest heat, getting a great start (.144) and blasting a 10.99 to take first. Christine Arron of France, showing the talent and control that has not been part of her performances at the World Championship level, cemented herself as a medal contender with her seasonal best of 11.04. Kim Gevaert of Belgium ran 11.06, also her seasonal best, and looked good when she should-in the semis! Carmelite Jeter of the U.S. ran 11.08 for the fourth and final position for the final.
Mechelle Lews of the U.S. ran 11.16 for fifth, Yevgeniya Polyakova of Russia ran 11.16 for sixth, Sheri-Ann Brooks of Jamaica ran 11.21 and Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie of the Bahamas ran 11.25 and took eighth. The final four did not advance to the final in two hours.
Men's Hammer Throw Final
If there was real chance for the Japanese home team to win a gold medal, it laid with Koji Murofushi. Murofushi is the national record holder in the hammer throw, which is a kind of family tradition-his father had set the hammer throw back in 1970 for Japan!
Koji Murofushi won the bronze in Paris in 2003, and in 2004, took the Olympic title. In 2005, Koji was injured and he had kept pretty quiet this season, with mostly domestic competitions.
Primoz Kozmus of Slovenia started the battle for gold with his first round throw of 80.68 meters, with Szymon Zlolkowski of Poland throwing 79.81m and Marcus Esser of Germany in 78.67 m. Koji Murofushi opened with 76.94 meters for sixth position.
In round two, Libor Charfreitag of the Slovak Republic threw 80.93 meters, Vadim
Devyatovskiy of Belarus threw 80.95 meters, Krisitan Pars threw 79.49, and Koji Murofushi also improved to 79.46 meters. Szymon Zlolkowski of Poland threw 80.09, followed by Markus Esser in 79.66m, Olli-Pekka Karjalainen of Finland in 78.27m to end the second round.
Istvan Tskikan of Belarus had fouled in round 1 and 2 and got out a fair throw of 79.35 meters, which barely kept him in the compeitition, pushing Karjalainen out of the final eight. Also in round three, Primoz Kozmus uncorked a throw of 82.12 meters, putting him in first. Koji Murofushi improved to 80.38 meters, his seasonal best, which put him into fourth place!
In round four, Tsikan fouled, Kosmus fouled, Vadim Devyatovskiy threw a huge throw of 81.22 m, putting him into second place! Pars improved to 79.63 meters, Koji Murofushi, who was getting the cheers of all of Japan, threw 79.56 meters, and Zlokowski of Poland improved to 79.87 meters.
In round five, Tsikan hit 80.77 meters, which put him in the medal hunt. Kozmus fouled, Charfreitag threw 81.57 meters moving himself into silver, Devkatovskiy, who Charfreitag had moved out of the bronze medal contention, hit 81.57 meters, just .03 short of the bronze, to move him into fourth and Koji Murofushi threw 80.13 meters another seasonal best, but moving into fifth place.
In round six, Markus Esser of Germany, who was in eighth place, finished in eighth place, his second round throw of 79.66 meters being his best. He threw 79.46 meters in round six. In seventh was Szymon Zlolkowski of Poland, who threw 77.53 on his final throw, not improving on his 80.09 from round two.
In fifth place, Koji Murofushi, with the Japanese crowd wishing him on, went to the ring, took a deep breath and lifted his hammer wire to begin his throw. Murofushi began to spin, and with all of his heart, and the emotion of all Japan pushing him on, Koji Murofushi's herculean effort gave him another seasonal best! Would it be long enough? it was obviously past the 80 meter mark, but as the measurement was announced, 80.46 meters, Murofushi smiled to the crowd, and the Olympic champion knew that there would be no medal today for Japan.
Next thrower was Kristian Pars, who hit 80.93 meters, putting him in fourth, ahead of Ivan Tsikan, who was the next thrower.
Ivan Tsikan of Belarus had been outside of the medal hunt. On his last throw, Tsikan unleashed the big one, hitting 83.63 meters, and Tsikan, the 2005 champion, defended his title! Or did he? There were three more throwers! Tsikan
was ecstatic, as he had thrown the best throw in 2007!
First Pars threw, and his improvement to 80.93 moved him to fifth, pushing Murofushi to his final position, sixth place. Vadim Devykotovskiy of Belarus hit 81.20 m for his sixth throw, staying in fourth, with his 81.57 from round five being his best throw of the night.
I third, Libor Charfreitag of the Slovak Republic, hit 80.48 meters for his last throw, keeping his bronze.
The last thrower, Primoz Kozmus of Slovenia, who had lead much of the night's competition, had one chance to win, could he pull out a clutch peformance?
Primoz Kozmus went into the hammer ring, focused, took a deep breath and began his spin. As he released, he let out a loud yell, cajoling his sixteen pound ball of steel to get past 83 meters! The crowd was loud as Kozmus 's hammer hit the field, way past 80 meters!
In the end, Kozmus improved to 82.29 meters, good enough for the silver, good enough for his best throw of the day, but not enough to surpass the enormous throw of Ivan Tsikhan in round six.
After the throwing ended, it was inspiring to see Koji Murofushi, Ivan Tsikan and Primoz Kosmus laughing and talking as they circled the stadium, exhilerated from their performances in Nagai Stadium.
More on the 1,500 meters semi finals
This comment was from Bernard Lagat, winner of semi one:
" This is where I wanted to be. Watch out for us U.S. boys in the final! I wanted to run relaxed and smart. Nobody wanted to do the pace and in the end it got nasty. So I had to make sure that nobody got past me, running smart like this is what I have always wanted to do in the 1,500 meters. I do not have tactics for the final--you have to make it up in the race, see what happens."
Mehdi Baala, France
" Honestly, I thought the race would be faster. I regret not to have launched my surge earlier. By the time I wanted to do it, I was no longer in a good position. I was boxed. I made a tactical mistake, as I did not have to find myself here at that moment of the race. Then I just did my possible to stay in contention for the final. I do not know if I am going to be disqualified or not, I just cannot tell what is going to happen. It is a pity because I have the feeling that I did not run.
Rhazhid Ramzi, Bahrain
" I am improving form one race to another, so it is a good sign for the final. I am feeling better now than after the heat. I now hope a fast race in the final, because I can have a bigger impact. My only problem is the weather. "
For related articles for August 27, 2007: http://osaka2007.iaaf.org/news/kind=2/newsid=40789.html#osaka+2007+highlights+day
For the complete results of August 27, 2007: http://osaka2007.iaaf.org/results/bydate.html#racedate=08-27-2007
For complete coverage by American Track & Field magazine:
For the digital version of American Track & Fields' Resource Guide 2007, including
the 32 pp History of the World Championships, 1983-2005, please click on: http://www.flipseekllc.com/ATFguide.html