World Indoor Champs, Day 3, Update 1

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The final day of a world championship is planned to be exciting and this was! One more update tonight from Valencia with the final events. This update will fill you in on the 1,500 meters from last night, the heptathlon and some of the best finals I have seen in any championships!

atf volume 11, number 5
March 9, 2008
Valencia, Spain
World Indoor Champs
Sunday afternoon
update 1

Men, 1,500 Meter Final-the real results

After an appeal, Deresse Mekonnen was added back into the final. It does not seem like New Zealand appealed for Nick Willis-they should have.

What resulted from that 3:44.50 minutes was one of the best middle distance races that I have ever witnessed. Nick Willis was in the thick of it, and neither Willis nor Mekonnen should have been disqualified. It was just a physical race.

So, here is how I saw it, with the official results:

In a very physical race, Daniel Kipchirchir Komen of Kenya took the race out in 27.88 for the first 200 meters. The pack, which consisted of Komen, Deresse Mekonnen and Nick Willis, were followed by both of the Spaniards, Arturo Casado and Juan Carlos Higuero. Rashid Ramzi, Helsinki double gold medalist and Osaka silver medalist, was menacing the pack.

The crowd was cheering as Mekonnen took over before four hundred meters, cruising that in 57.72, with Komen and Willis on his back. Komen took the lead back and lead through the six hundred meters in 1:28.71.

A strong pace, an honest pace, and the tension was building. As the pack hit 800 meters, another leader emerged, Youssef Baba of Morocco, who took the pack through in 1:59.10, and then dropped back in the pack.

Ethiopian Deresse Mekonnen moved back into the lead. The race was getting physical as Mekonnen lead through 1,000 meters in 2:29.34.

At one thousand meters, the pack was within one second of the leader and the runners were too close. Nick Willis was running, boxed in and pushed Mekonnen as Willis looked very close to going off the track, which, apparently he did for several steps.

The pack tightened, with Casado and Higuero, Komen, Ramzi right behind Mekonnen and Willis boxed.

Mekonnen hit the 1,200 meters in 2:58.06, after hitting the 1,100 meter mark in 2:44.5. Mekonnen was running well, as he increased the pace to just above 54 second pace.
Mekonnen hit the last lap in 3:11, running the last lap in 27.23, as Daniel Komen came flying down the straightaway, hoping to get Mekkonen.

But, Deresse Mekonnen of Ethiopia was too strong, and his 3:38.23 gave him the gold medal! Daniel Kipkichir Komen of Kenya, took the silver in 3:38.54, with Juan Carlos Higuero of Spain in third, in 3:38.82, Arturo Casado of Spain in fourth in 3:38.88, with Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain in fifth in 3:40.26.

Nick Willis finished fifth in the race, running in a boxed position most of the race, he was later disqualified due to rule 163.3. This blogger thinks that is ludicrous.

In the end, the fastest, 1500 meter final in a decade at a World Indoor, an honest early pace, and then a grinding, long push to the finish, kept the racing honest. The physical part of the race, where elbows are being exchanged, only added to the flavor of a championship. It was a classic, championship distance race,and Mr. Mekonnen won it, the old fashioned way-he ran the legs out of his competition!

400 Meters, Women, Final

Olesya Zykina took the race from the gun, hitting the 200 meters in 23.73 with Shareese Woods of the US and Natalya Nazarova of Russia in tow. Antonia Yefremova of the Ukraine, Angela Morasanu and Moushaumi Robinson were following in a second group.

Olesya Zykina had a tough time of it, fighting Natayla Nazarova to the finish, with Zykina getting the nod over Nazarova, 51.09 to 51.10.

Zykina set the world leader with her gold medal performance. Nazarova had a seasonal best. Shareese Woods, the bronze medalist, ran 51.41 for third and that was her personal best. Just behind Woods was Antonia Yeframova, of the Ukraine, who ran 51.53.

400 Meters, Men, Final-OOOOOOOHHHHH, Canada!

Tyler Christopher of Canada gave a clinic in running the boards this evening. Running in third for the first slap, behind Johan Wissman of Sweden and Chris Brown of the Bahamas, Wissman lead at 21.10, with Christopher close but just back. Coming off the first turn, it looked like Wissman and Brown were duking it out between themselves for the gold and that Christopher was a spectator.

Well, that sure did not last. At just about 300 meters, right before the last turn, Tyler Christopher stared to move, and coming up right behind Brown and Wissman, he pumped his arms and lifted those legs as he passed first Brown and then Johan Wissman with about fifty meters to go, came next to Wissman and moved past him to run a world leading 45.67. Johan Wissman of Sweden took the silver in 46.04, a personal best, and Chris Brown of the Bahamas took the bronze in 46.26, his seasonal best.

Nery Brenes of Costa Rica was fourth in 46.65, Maksim Dyldin of Russia was fifth in 46.79, and Sean Wroe of Australia finished sixth, in a personal best of 46.93.


Observations.....

In one of the more unusual events of the weekend, the awards ceremony for the 60m hurdle for men was repeated. Apparently, during the ceremony, the power went out and there was a problem with the anthem. The athletes good natured as they are, smiled through the recreation......

800 meters, final, Women-OOOOh, so close

In her ninth and possibley final World indoor championships, Maria Mutola made it a memorable one. Mutola took the race out modestly, hitting the two hundred meters in 30.24, with Tetiana Petyluk of the Ukraine on her shoulder and Tamsyn Lewis right behind her. This did not change as Mutola lead through the four hundred meters at 63.11.

The pack was tight and Petyluk took over the lead, with Mutola and Lewis following. Ptyluk lead through six hundred meters, when Tamsyn Lewis, just after the first turn, pushed from the inside lane and took over the lead, passing Ptyluk and Mutola. Lewis and Pytluk were fighting it hard, and Martinez of Spain went by Mutola, but not for long.

Mutola started fighting for her life, and Martinez stayed on her shoulder, but Peytluk and Lewis were dueling down the final straights. This battle was nip and tuck. It was not until the last few meters that Tamsyn Lewis of Australia scored the gold. Lewis ran 2:02.56 to Petyluk's 2:02.66.

Mutola held off Martinez of Spain, 2:02.97 to 2:03.15. Jennifer Meadows of Great Britain finished 2:03.51 for fifth and Elisa Cusma Piccione of Italy took sixth in 2:03.76.

What a competitive race! The early pace allowed for long kicks and strong tactics. Lewis walked the track in shock after her win! It seemed as if she had never considered herself winning a medal, much less the gold medal.

Petyluk ran a smart, competitive race. It just so happened, it was not her perfect day. It was Lewis' perfect day.

Maria Mutola finished her ninth world indoor with seven golds, one silver and one bronze. That is some medal haul!

Long Jump, Women's final

Maurren Higa Maggi of Brazil took the lead in round 1, with her jump of 6.74 meters and held that for one round! In round 2, Naide Gomes of Portugal jumped 6.82 meters and took the party over!

Gomes fouled in round 1, jumped 6.82 in round 2, fouled in round 3, jumped 6.87 meters in round four to increase her margin and then, in round five, made sure all knew who would win, by jumping 7.00 meters, the world leader, to take the gold.

Maurren Maggi jumped 6.74m, 6.80m, 6.89m, fouled, 6.73m, fouled, and wound up with an Area Record and the silver.

The bronze medal was decided on the third. Concepcion Montaner of Spain had the third position through round three, then Irina Simagine of Russia, who had fouled his first three times, went 6.84 m, 6.85m and 6.88 meters to take the bronze.

The Heptathon

First, I did not get the news on the final event on the heptathlon on day one until day two, my apologies to our multi geeks!

At the end of day one, Bryan Clay was the leader with 3,736 points. He ran 6.71 for the 60m, long jumped 7.75m, threw the shot 16.21m and high jumped 2.09 for 887 points to reach 3,736 for the first day.

Roman Sebrle had staged a high jump extravaganza, where he jumped 2.12m, he also had run 7.16, long jumped 7.60m and threw the shot. At end of day one, Sebrle was in second in 3,572.

Andrei Krauchanka of Belarus had won the high jump in 2.15m, for 944 points. for 3373 after day one.

It looked to be a tough second day.

On day two, Roman Sebrle, citing an injury, could not finish the hurdles.

Bryan Clay went 7.86m for 1017, then pole vaulted 5.00 for 910 and finally ran the 1000 meters in 2:55.64, for a total of 6,371, the world leader and first place.

Andrei Krauchanka did not give up. The Belarussian hurdled 8.11 for 954 points, pole vaulted 5.30m for 1004 points and finsihed up with a fine 2:46.49 for the silver and a national record of 6,234!

Dmitriy Karpov, of Kazakstan, hurdled 8.15 for 944 points, pole vaulted 5.20m for 972 points, and ran 2:47.45 for the 1,000 meters, in 792 points, for a score of 6131 and the bronze medal.

The U.S. Donovan KIlmartin finished fifth in 5,894! He sprinted 6.95 for the 60m, long jumped 7.36m for 900 points, threw the shot 14.09m for 734 points, and high jumped 2.03m for 831 points for day 1. On Day 2, he hurdled 8.25, for 920 points, vaulted 5.10 for 941 points and ran 2:51.54.


Pole Vault Final, Men

Evgeniy Lukyaneko does not subscribe to the Isinbayeva school of vaulting-the fewer attempts the better. The Russian cleared 5.55m, 5.70m, 5.75m and 5.80 m on his first attempt. On his second he cleared 5.85 meters and on 5.90m,he took control of the gold with his first time clearance there. 5.90m won Lukyaneko took the gold. Lukyaneko has the world leader.

Defending champion Brad Walker came in at 5.70 meters and took two attempts to clear it. Then, he cleared 5.85 meters and was back in the lead. His missing at 5.95m three times put his in silver position. Walker set a personal best with his clearance of 5.85m.

Steven Hooker of Australia cleared 5.45m, 5.70m and 5.80m on his first attempts. He missed 5.85m and took his last two jumps at 5.90m, missing. Hooker jumped a seasonal best for third and the bronze. This was his seasonal best.

Jerome Clavier of France was fourth in 5.75m, Tim Lobinger of Germany was fifth in 5.70m, and Maksym Mazuryk of Ukraine cleared 5.70m also, finishing sixth. Alhaji Jeng of Sweden cleared 5.70m and finished seventh. The US vaulter Derek Miles cleared 5.60m and took eighth.


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