World Champs, Day 3, Lagat, Webb move on, Russians go 1,2 in womens steeple!


Monday night was a great night of track and field for the third day of the 11th IAF World Championships, with the men's semis in the 1,500 meters, women's steeplechase final, the men's hammer final and the men's 10,000 meters. Here are the results of the men's 1,500 semis and the women's steeplechase!

Men's 1,500 meters semi finals

The key is getting through the rounds as easy as you can. That is not the case with the 1,500 meters. The semi-finals, as Craig Masback said earlier today, are like finals. The athletes must get through them, finishing in top four or next four fastest finishers. Here is how the two semi finals played out:

Semi final one:

The field dawdled on this one, with Asbel Kiprop of Kenya leading through the 400 meters in 62.94. Juan Carlos Higuero of Spain then took the lead through 800 meters, hit in 2:07.87 ( a 64.93), with the entire pack right on his shoulder. Hitting the 1,100 meters in a sleepy 2:50.5, the field still was bunched. Mekonnen Gebremehdin of Ethiopia took the lead at 1200 meters in 3:03.74 (a 56 lap).

In one of the most understated examples of a finishing kick, Bernard Lagat pulled into lane two, just like he did in the first round and ran the turn under control, as he gained the lead onto the last straightaway and he was home free, running 3:42.39, a 39 second last 300 meters! Tarek Boukensa of Algeria ran 3:42.88 for second, Asbel Kiprop of Kenya was third in 3:42.99. The battle for fourth was tough.

The rest of the field was not so easy--there was a pile up with about 40 meters to go. Our friend from France, Mehdi Baala, was being blocked by Mohamed Moustaqui, who he literally moved into another lane, and made an opening for himself, to which Baala ran into fourth place, running 3:42.01. Andrew Baddeley of Great Britian took fifth, the final qualifier from this semi, in 3:43;03.

This heat was very difficult, note that Nick Willis of New Zealand, the 2006 Commonwealth gold medalist, did not move on, having placed sixth here in 3:43.34!

Note-the 1,500 meter semi finals are under protest!

Semi final two: Ramzi runs 38.11 for last 300 meters!

Arturo Casada of Spain went to the lead, taking the field through 400 meters in 57.95, with the 800 meters covered in 2:01.73 and 1,200 meters in 3:02. 42. Bahrain's Rhashid Ramzi, the defending champion made little time of the field and the last 300 meters, covering it in a fine 38.11 to take semi final two in 3:40.53.

Antar Zerguelaine of Algeria finished second in 3:40.79, Arturo Casado of Spain, who had done all of the pacework, held on to third in 3:40. 83. Belal Mansoor Ali of Brunai ran 3:41.01 for fourth and Alan Webb of the U.S. who had sat in the back the entire race, moved up with 250 meters to go, and fought his way to fifth down the backstretch, running 3:41.08 to take the last qualifying place. Making the final in two nights as fastest finishers outside of top five are Sergio Gallardo of Spain, who took sixth in 3:41.14 and Shedrack Kibet Korir of Kenya, who ran 3:41.15!

Kevin Sullivan, Canadian record holder, did not advance. Juan Luis Barrios of Mexco did not advance.

Women's steeplechase final--Russia goes 1,2

How does one beat Eunice Jepkorir of Kenya? Well, the brilliant team tactics of The Russian trio of Yekaterina Volkova, Tatyana Petrova, and Guinara Samitova-Galkina.

Samitova Galkina took the lead, and taking them through a brisk pace of 3:00.35 for the first 1,000 meters, a nine flat or world record pace. Eunice Jepkorir was in tow, with Russians Yekaterina Volkova and Tatyana Petrova on her shoulder.

Just past the kilometer, like clockwork, Yekatarina Volkova started her unstoppable long drive to the finish. Hitting the 2,000 m mark in 6:05.46, Volkova was in control, and the rest of the field was running to hang on.

Volkova pushed the water jump, no one responded. Then she pushed the water jump, no one responded. After running the second kilometer in just over three minutes, two seconds, Volkova pushed and ran a sub three minute final kilometer!

She was so superior, as Volkova came off the last water jump and raised her arm in triumph, then hurdled the last barrier, with Tatyana Petrova right behind her, Yekaterina Volkova began her celebration, first raising her finger in the number one position as she ran the final fifty meters to the finish, hitting the line in 9:06.57, a new championship record! Tatyana Petrova of Russia finished second in 9:09.19, a personal best! Eunice Jepkorir of Kenya finished third in 9:20.09. Ruth Bisbori Nyangau of Kenay ran 9:25.5, a World Junior record for fourth place! Sophie Duarte of France, took fifth in a new French National record of 9:27.51. In sixth,
Cristina Casandra of Romania ran 9:29.63. Guinara Samitova-Galkina, the early leader, finished seventh. The Russian ran 9:30.24.

Wiolette Janowska, the Polish steeplechaser, did not finish. In the end, Galkina runs with such power and style that no one is coming near her for awhile. Her race was tough, her tactics were tougher, and her results were golden!

For related articles for August 27, 2007:

For the complete results of August 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:

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