Day one of the World Championships was one great day of track and field. Here I give you the highlights of the three finals for the day. We will follow up with the details on the second session and tell you about my dinner with a Swedish TV crew!
For further reading on the WC Marathon, try: For reference, WC History:http://www.flipseekllc.com/ATFguide.html
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Making the gamble of taking an early lead in oppresive conditions, Luke Kibet took the lead in the 11th World Championships in Athletics Men's marathon at 25 kilometers. Building a lead from eight seconds to one minute,nineteen seconds, Kibet, the 2007 winner of the Vienna Marathon, took the gold medal in 2 hours, 15 minutes and 59 seconds. In second was Mubarek Hassam Shami of Qatar, the 2005 winner of the Vienna Marathon, who joined Kibet in the breakaway at 25 kilometers, running 2:17;25 for the silver medal. In third, after the a most competitive battle for the bronze, which involved eight runners at one time and saw the medal shift places at least five times over the last three kilometers, was Viktor Rutlin of Switzerland, the 2006 silver medalist at the European marathon championships. Rutlin told the media afterwards, that just like the European championships, Rutlin had a dream before the race, that he would win the bronze i Osaka! The marathon was notable for two other reasons today: it was the first time in 20 years that a Kenyan had won the World Champs title-the last being Douglas Wakihiru in 1987 in Rome, and also for the hottest finish temperatures of a World Championship marathon. The temperatures reached nearly 90 degrees with a dewpoint of 70 percent. One third of the 94 starters dropped out. To put the weather in perspective, if the dewpoint had reached 70 in Chicago, there would have been a health alert called!
In the team competition, the 12th World Cup Marathon was won by Japan with a time of 6;54.23, Korea second, Kenya third and the U.S. in fourth place.
Men's Shot Put Final
With the precision of a surgeon, Reese Hoffa decimated the field of world class shot putters, with a series of throws that had five fair throws, four of which could have won the competition. Hoffa's series, 21.81m, 21.64, 22.04m, a foul, then 21.92m and a final 21.58 m showed an athlete who had timed his best performances of the year with perfection. Hoffa took the gold. Hoffa's best throw of 22.04 equates to a 72-2.5 throw.
Adam Nelson, who threw 21.47 m for his first throw, 21.61 for his second, and then fouled four staight times, took the silver. The 21.61m was a seasonal best for Nelson. In 2005, Nelson had been the gold medalist. He was the only shot medalist form 2005 to gain a medal in this competition. Andrei Mikhenevich of Belarus trhew a seasonal best of 21.27 m to take the bronze. Nelson's throw of 21.61m equates to a 70-10.25 and Mkehenovich equates to a 69-10.5.
Women's 10,000 meters Final
In a race reminiscent of the 1972 Olympic 10,000 meters , where Lasse Viren fell down, recovered and won the gold medal, Tirunesh Dibaba, winner of the 2004 Olympic 10,000, the 2005 World 10,000 defended her title even with a bout of stomach distress that put her, at its worst, 50-80 meters off the back of the field. Running a very conservative race, the front pace hit the 5,000 meters in 16:29.58, by which time Tirunsesh Dibaba had fallen off the pace, clutching her stomach. She was somehow involved in the fall with her teammate Tufa, who retired from the race, after placing her shoe back on her foot. It took Dibaba about one kilometer to return to the lead. The pace was so pedestrian that Dibaba caught back up around 20 minutes and moved through the pack, moving behind Elvan Abeylegesse of Turkey, who took the lead at 7 kilometers and lead through 9.6 k. Dibaba then went from standing nearly still to a final lap of 60 seconds, to defend her gold in 31:55, with Abeylegesse in second in 31:59.4.
Then the race got interesting. In a pack of Kim Smith of New Zealand, Joanne Pavey of Great Britian and Keri Goucher of the U.S., the third place changed several times., with Deena Kastor not far behind. Over the last lap, Keri Goucher made a move with 300 meters to go and continued to build daylight between Goucher and Pavey, with Smith behind Pavey. Keri Goucher went on to take the bronze, and made history as the first American to ever win a medal at 10,000 meters for women. Her third place, in 32:02 bettered the best finish by an American women at 10,000 meters, which was the fifth place by Lynn Jennings in 1993. Kim Joanne Pavey of Great Britian was fourth, Kim Smith of New Zealand was fifth and Deena Kastor of the U.S. was sixth.