World Champs, Day One-Hoffa, Nelson in Shot Put

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In a shot put that had the 2005 gold, silver and bronze medalists, Reese Hoffa showed them how to throw tonight, with his brilliant performances, and five superb throws, all over 21 meters, four that could have won the competition! Here is how he did it!

August 25, 2007
Day 1, 11th IAAF World
Championships in Athletics

Women's Heptathlon, Day 1
Men's 100 meters, round 2
Men's Shot Put Final


A day of surprises!


Women's Heptathlon

Event one, 100 m hurdles-Ennis explodes!

Great Britian's Jessica Ennis exploded out of the blocks this morning, hurdling a brilliant 12.97 for the 100 meter hurdles! This was a personal best for Ennis and gave her the lead with 1,129 points! In second place was Carolina Kluft of Sweden, the 2003 and 2005 World Champion, the 2004 Olympic champion, and the 2006 European champion. Kluft also ran a personal best of 13.15 for the 100 meter hurdles, putting her into second place with 1,102 points. Kelly Sotherton of Great Britian took third in this first heat, also running a personal best of 13.21 for 1093 points! The Ukraine's Lyudmila Blonska ran 13.25 for 1087 points in the 100 m hurdles.

On the U.S. team, Virginia Johnson hurdled 13.27 for fifth place and 1084 points, with Diana Picker in sixth in that heat with 13.34 for 1074, and Hyleas Fountain hurdling 13.87 for 1074 points.

Event two-High Jump, A battle of the wills...

Caroline Kluft is in the best shape of her life. No injuries, good winter training, good spring training, and she is ready to compete. The same can be said for Jessica Enn is and Kelly Sotherton. Ennis is the wunderkid of Great Britian, and she has surpassed Sotherton, the European silver medalist, and the World Indoor silver medalist, who was fifth in Helsinki.

In the high jump, Jessica Ennis scored 1093 points, breaking her personal best three times to clear 1.89 meters! Lyudmilla Blonska of the Ukraine, finished as the second best high jumper with a personal best, clearing 1.92 for 1132 points, while Kelly Sotherton, who also jumped a personal best of 1.86 m, for 1,054 points.

In the end, it was Carolina Kluft who gave the high jump seminar, clearing 1.95 meters, for 1171 points. Kluft was ecstatic with her jumping and tried 1.98, looking pretty good on her first two attempts, but it was not to be.

After two events, Carolina Kluft of Sweden leads with 2273, Jessica Ennis of Great Britian is in second with 2222, Lyudmila Blonska of the Ukraine is in third with 2219 and Kelly Sotherton is in fourth with 2147.

On the U.S. side, Diana Pickler is in fifteenth with a score of 1977, after a 1.74 m high jump, good for 903 points. Hyleas Fountain was sixteenth with 1968 points, after her high jump of 1.77m or 941 points. Virginia Johnson is in 34th place with 1,808 points, after her jump of 1.59m for 724 points.


Event 3-Shot put, Heptathlon--getting serious...

Austra Skuyte of Lithuania jumped into fourth with her massive throew of 16.96m, giving her fourth position overall. Nataliya Dobryskya of the Ukraine, a former shot putter, moved into fifth with her 949 points for her throw of 16.31m.

But, no one was stopping Carolina Kluft, who first hit 12.88m and was pretty disturbed. Kluft regrouped in the second throw and hit 14.81, and those 848 points gve her 3121, putting her in solid first place. Lyudmila Blonska of the Ukraine threw 14.44, and moved to second in 3042, with Kelly Sotherton in third in 2950, and set a pb in the shot with her throw of 14.14, giving her a good position to gain the bronze medal, four events from now!

Event-4

The last event of day one in the heptathlon is the 200 meters. Held a 9.30 pm local time, the temperature was about 90 degrees on the track, a nice drop in
temperature, but still quite hot.

Jessica Ennis ran 23.15 for 1065 points, ad the 2006 Under 23 Euro champ continued to impress. Kelly Sotherton was right behind in 23.40, for 1060 points, giving her 3989 for a solid third place at the end of day one.

Ennis got out slow, but flew around the turn and put a meter on Sotherton and another on Kluft.

Lyudmila Blonska had a scare with a false start in the 200 meters, and ran 24.09, for 972 points and a first day score of 4104, good for second.

148 points ahead of Blonska was Carolina Kluft, totally on, running a fine 23.38 for 1041 points, giving her a first day score of 4,162, putting her 101 points ahead of her European record pace of 2003 in St. Denis.

The medal race for silver through fifth place is seperated by 172 points-it will be a great second day.

In the understatement of the day, Carolina Kluft told the media, " I am very satisfied with todays' results, now for twelve hours of rest!"

The second day of the heptathlon starts with the long jump. All four in the top four are quite impressive long jumpers, with Kluft being the best. Our friends in the Swedish TV crew told us that Carolina is looking to increase her European record!


Men's Shot Put, Finals-Hoffa, Nelson go 1-2!


There are several ways to destroy the competition-in this event, the most brutal is the first long throw theory. In this one, the athlete puts the win out of bounds with his or her first throw. That is exactly what Reese Hoffa did tonight.

In round one, Reese threw 21.81 meters, to take the lead. Adam Nelson then threw 21.47m to go into second, Rutger Smith was in third with his 20.90.

In round two, Reese Hoffa threw 21.64 m, to which Adam Nelson threw 21.61m to cement himself into second. Andreai Mikhenevich of Belerus threw a 21.27 throw to push himself into third ahead of Smith, who had thrown 21.13 m.

In round three, Reese blew the event open, with his 22.04 m throw to make sure everyone knew Reese Hoffa wanted this gold medal. Adam Nelson fouled.

No one would come near either Hoffa or Nelson. In round five, Reese Hoffa threw a 21.92m throw, another winning throw!

In round six, Nelson fouled for the fourth time in a row, but he was the silver medalist.
Reese Hoffa looked like he was ready to throw a long one, but it looked to me like he clipped his toe on the front of the ring and did not follow through, resulting in the 21.58 meter throw.

In Helsinki, Adam Nelson took the gold in the shot, with Rutger Smith and Ralf Bartels behind him. In Osaka, Reese Hoffa has produced the goods, with his series of 21.81m, 21.64m, 22.04m, foul, 21.92m and 21.58m. He won gold the old fashioned way-Reese Hoffa showed who the best shot putter was today and that was none other than Reese Hoffa himself.

Reese had this to say in the mixed zone, after his competition:
" When I finally won, it was a huge relief that it was finally over. I know there is a lot of expectations on myself being the world No. 1, having the best throw in the world, and the huge expectations going 22 meters. I'm glad I could execute. Just being an American shot putter, there is a lot of pressure and expectations. That's because we have tons and tons of world champions coming out of the U.S. with John Godina and Adam Nelson. It's a lot of pressure to live up to those athletes. For me to finally win my first outdoor championship, I couldn't pick a better setting."

Adam Nelson, who has had some injury problems, showed that his form is returning with two straight non-foul throws, a record, I believe for this year. In third was Andrei Mikhenevich of Belerus, with his throw of 21.27 m. Nelson made these comments:" Hey, I got a silver. Have I done that before? It was a great competition. I went out and did a season's best, and given the year I have had, I'm very pleased with the performance. To be very honest, Reese flat out beat me. 22.04 in a major championship is an unbelievable accomplishment. He deserves this gold medal more than anybody else. We have three active shot putters in the U.S. that have won world titles."

Women's 800 meters, first round

Alice Schmidt went out with Svetlana Klyuka of Russia, hitting the 400 meters in 59.12 and Schmidt and Klyuka were together until about 500 meters, when Klyuka made a strong move, followed by three others and Alice Schmidt just walked out the back door, finishing fifth.

Hitting first lap in 61.8, Alysia Johnson lead through 600 meters in 1.28.4 and then, off the turn, they pounced, with the Russian, Olga Kotyarova taking the lead just at the finish. Her acceleration was poised, and she took the lead with less than 30 meters to go.

Hitting the 400 meters in 58.36, the fastest so far of the night, Brigita Langerholc holds off all until the final turn, where Maria Mutola of Mozambique goes by, with Jennifer Meadows of Great Britian, going one and two in their heats.

Hazel Clark was the only American to move through, placing fifth in her heat , numero five, in 2:00.61.

Men's Triple Jump Qualifying

World Champion Walter Davis did it the right way, qualifying automatically for the final on his first jump! He hit 17.10 m or 56-1.25. Arik Wilson jumped 17.06-55-11.75 and moved on to the final, Kenta Bell and Lawrence Willis did not move on.

Men's 100 meters, round 2

Asafa Powell moved through his heat, in 10.03. Tyson Gay, in a seperate heat, moved through his heat in 10.06. Add Kim Collins and Craig Pickering, mix in Marion Devonish for a little more interest, and you have my final picks for the 100 meters.

Men's Hammer Qualifying

Koji Murofushi, the Japanese hammer thrower, opened with a 73.11 to the oohing and ahhhing of the Japanese crowd. In his second throw, the star of Japanese track and field hit 77.25m to make the final. Best qualifying throw was Libor Charfreitag of Slovakia with a throw of 80.61m in group A. In group B, surprise of suprises, was lead by Slovakian Milanosov Konopka, with a throw of 79.83m.

Men's 400m hurdle qualifying

Felix Sanchex,, past his injuries, looked good in the qualifying, as did Bershawn Jackson, the 2005 Helsinki champion, James Carter, the Helsinki silver medalist, and Kerron Clement, the fourth placer in Helsinki.

For complete results from today, please check:
http://osaka2007.iaaf.org/results/bydate.html#racedate=08-25-2007

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