Weekly Performance Reviews, by Bob Ramsak


Bob Ramsak provides us an overview of the best global performances in our sport from the past week...



By Bob Ramsak
(c) 2008 TRACK PROFILE Report, all rights reserved

Up front: Solid 800m Victory for Rudisha in Nairobi - MID & LONG DISTANCES

It wasn’t particularly surprising that many major names stayed away from last weekend’s Kenyan trials for the upcoming African Championships, set to go on April 30 in Addis Ababa. Nor was it astonishing that a number of significant performances resulted anyway at the meet at Nairobi’s Nyayo Stadium, topped by the men’s 800m, undoubtedly the race of the week.

Fifth at the bell, 2006 world junior champion David Rudisha kicked away from Asbel Kiprop, the fourth place finisher in the 1500m at last year's world championships, en route to a world-leading 1:44.38 victory, a phenomenal performance considering that Nairobi is at high altitude.

Rudisha, still 19 (DOB 17-Dec-1988), wasn’t on the Kenyan squad for last summer’s world championships, but made a notable late-season splash with high profile victories at both the Zurich and Brussels legs of the Golden League series. At the latter he lowered his career best to 1:44.15. In all, Rudisha lost just one race in 11 outings in 2007.

For his part, Kiprop too nabbed a career best of 1:44.99, boding well for his 1500m campaign this season.

Another name to emerge --and to watch-- was that of Pamela Jelimo, the African junior 400m champion and national junior 200m record holder, who won the 800 by more than three seconds with a solid 2:01.02.

The best 5000m race of the week also came in Nairobi, with Isaac Songok beating back Joseph Kiplimo, 13:28.4 to 13:28.8.

Another world lead came in the men’s 3000m steeplechase, won handily by Richard Matelong, last year’s worlds bronze medallist in 8:16.7 from Michael Kipyego (8:18.5).

While it didn’t produce the same headlines of one year ago, the Mt. SAC Relays delivered a few solid races. Australian Collis Birmingham knocked eight seconds from his PB to win the 5000 in 13:21.09. In a largely solo run, 2004 U.S. Trials runner-up Anthony Famiglietti won the steeplechase in 8:26.94. On the women’s side, NCAA standout Sally Kipyego of Texas Tech (via Kenya) lowered her career best to 15:11.88, topping Lauren Fleshman (15:12.55).

Current world leads:
800m: 1:44.38, David Rudisha (KEN), Nairobi,Havana, 19-Apr
1500m: 3:37.63, Brad Woods (AUS), Sydney, 16-Feb
3000m: 7:48.26, Craig Mottram (AUS), Brisbane, 28-Feb
5000m: 13:11.99, Craig Mottram (AUS), Melbourne, 21-Feb
10,000m: 27:47.75, Selim Bayrak (TUR), Istanbul, 12-Apr
3000m Steeplechase: 8:16.7h, Richard Matelong (KEN), Nairobi, 18-Apr

800m: 1:59.59, Tamsyn Lewis (AUS), Sydney, 16-Feb
1500m: 4:09.83, Rene Kalmer (RSA), Melbourne, 21-Feb
3000m: 9:01.26, Yuriko Kobayashi (JPN), Wakayama, 20-Apr
5000m: 15:07.37, Yuriko Kobayashi (JPN), Kumamoto, JPN, 5-Apr
10,000m: 31:36.33, Elvan Abeylegesse (TUR), Istanbul, 12-Apr
3000m Steeplechase: 9:29.93, Donna MacFarlane (AUS), Melbourne, 21 Feb

SPRINTS – World Leads for Wariner and Richards

Sanya Richards and Jeremy Wariner produced world-leading 400m performances at the Michael Johnson Invitational in Waco, Texas.

In what was essentially a time trial, Richards, the two-time ÅF Golden League Jackpot winner, won her race in 50.47, in her first contest over the distance this season. Richards, 23, opened her outdoor campaign last month with an outing in the 200m, clocking 22.56.

Running a cautious race to protect a sore hamstring, Wariner, the reigning world and Olympic champion, clocked 44.56 in his second outing over the distance this year, and his first since late February.

The sprint highlight at Mt. SAC was the 200m debut of reigning Olympic 200m champion and reigning world 100m champion Veronica Campbell-Brown. The Jamaican ran away with the 22.66 win, well ahead of American Carmelita Jeter (22.86), last year’s 100m world bronze medallist.

Elsewhere, Jamaican Kaliese Spencer, the 2006 world junior champion in the 400m hurdles, lowered her PB in the flat 400 to 50.55 at the Azusa Pacific Invite on Friday.

Current world leads:

100m: 10.00, Richard Thompsan (TRI), Austin, Tex., 05-Apr, and Churandy Martina, AHO, El Paso, 12-Apr
200m: 20.17A, Churandy Martina, AHO, El Paso, 12-Apr
400m: 44.56, Jeremy Wariner (USA), Waco, 19-Apr

100m: 11.06, Kelly-Ann Baptiste (TRI), Austin, 5 Apr
200m: 22.35, Kerron Stewart (JAM), Tempe, 12-Apr
400m: 50.47, Sanya Richards (USA), Waco, 19-Apr

HURDLES – World Leads for Oliver and Jackson

Bershawn Jackson’s world-leading 48.32 victory in the 400m Hurdles was the key highlight at the 81st Kansas Relays in Lawrence on Saturday. It was the fifth victory in the last six years for the 24-year-old former World champion and more significantly, the quickest season opener in his specialty. [See TPR #748]

David Oliver cruised to a 13.08 victory at the International Friendship and Freedom Games in Greensboro, North Carolina, also on Saturday. The 25-year-old, a semi-finalist at last month’s World Indoor Championships, knocked a hefty 0.06 seconds from his previous career best of 13.14 set in 2006. [See TPR #749]

Recently-minted world indoor 60m hurdles champion Lolo Jones made her outdoor debut a useful one, equaling the 12.72 world lead at Saturday’s Alumni Gold meet in Baton Rouge. Nichole Denby also had a solid opener, winning at the Kansas Relays in 12.78.

Current world leads:
110m Hurdles: 13.08, David Oliver (USA), Greensboro, NC, 18-Apr
400m Hurdles: 48.32, Bershawn Jackson (USA), Lawrence, KS, 19-Apr

100m Hurdles: 12.72, Sally McLellan (AUS), Canberra, 26-Jan, and Lolo Jones (USA), Baton Rouge, 19-Apr
400m Hurdles: 54.97, Tiffany Williams (USA), Coral Gables, 12-Apr

JUMPS –Reese Threatening 7m Territory

Mississippi junior Brittney Reese continues to edge closer to the 7m/22-11 ¾ mark. The 21-year-old Osaka finalist leaped a world-leading 6.93m/22-9 at the Alumni Gold meet in Baton Rouge, supplanting her previous career best of 6.83m/22-5 from the qualifying round in Osaka last August.

Noteworthy too is Ruky Abdulai’s 6.72m22-0 ¾ leap at the Azusa Pacific invite, a new Canadian record. A native of Ghana, Abdulai, a senior at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, gained Canadian citizenship in January.

Elsewhere, Olympic long jump champion Dwight Phillips improved his season’s best to 8.24m/27-0 ½ at the Mt. SAC Relays.

According to unconfirmed results, Mohamed Salman Al Khuwaildi leaped 8.37m/27-5 ½ at the Saudi Arabian Interclub Championships last week, to win over Hussein Taher Al-Sabee (8.31m/27-3 ¼). If confirmed, Al Khuwaildi’s mark would be the farthest of the year.

Current world leads:
HJ: 2.33m/7-7 ¾ , Andra Manson (USA), Austin, 5-Apr
PV: 6.00m/19-8 ¼ , Steve Hooker (AUS), Perth, 27-Jan
LJ: 8.25m/27- ¾ , Godfrey Mokoena (RSA), Stellenbosch,14-Mar
TJ: 17.50/57-5, David Giralt (CUB), Havana, 15-Feb

HJ: 1.95m/6-4 ¾, Chaunte Howard (USA), Lake Buena Vista, Fla., 22-Mar
PV: 4.63m/15-2 ¼ , April Steiner (USA), Norman, Okla., 12-Apr
LJ: 6.93m/22-9, Brittney Reese (USA), Baton Rouge, 19-Apr
TJ: 14.03m/46- ½ , Mabel Gay (CUB), Havana, 7-Mar
14.28m/46-10 ¼ , Gisele de Oliveira (BRA), Sao Paulo, 16-Apr

THROWS – Little to Report

Recently-minted World indoor shot put champion Christian Cantwell made his outdoor debut as well, winning with a first round 20.58m/67-6¼ effort.

The 27-year-old two-time World indoor champion produced just two legal throws in his series, but even his 20.53m/67-4¼ toss in the fifth round would have sufficed to beat back the challenge of runner-up Dorian Scott of Jamaica. Scott, the early-season world leader (21.45m/70-4 ½ NR) reached 20.19m/66-3 in the fourth round

2007 U.S. hammer throw champion Amber Campbell joined the season’s 70m/229-8 ranks with her 70.19m/230-3 effort at Mt. SAC. The mark was just shy of the 26-year-old’s 70.33m/230-9 career best from last year.

Current world leads:
SP: 21.45m/70-4 ½, Dorian Scott (JAM), Tallahassee, 28-Mar
DT: 65.25m/214-1, Gerd Kanter (EST), Split, CRO, 15-Mar
66.81m/219-2, Frank Casanas (CUB), Quinta de Anjo, POR, 09-Mar
HT: 78.84m/258-8, Libor Charfreitag (SVK), Dallas, 28-Mar
JT: 89.02m/292-1, Jarrod Bannister (AUS), Brisbane, 29-Feb

SP: 20.13m/66- ½, Valerie Vili (NZL), Waitakere, NZL, 19-Feb
DT: 65.02m/213-4, Yania Ferrales (CUB), Havana, 15-Feb
HT: 75.00m/246-1, Yipsi Moreno (CUB), Las Tunas, CUB, 6-Mar
JT: 63.65m/208-10, Goldie Sayers (GBR), Split, CRO, 15-Mar

MULTIS – Abdur-Rahim Breaks Through 8000pts

In the only performance of note last weekend, Mustafa Abdur-Rahim, the 2005 NCAA runner-up for Dartmouth, broke through the 8000-point barrier with an 8106 tally in Alamosa, Colo. The 25-year-old, currently an assistant coach at Adams State University, had a previous career best of 7937 from the 2004 NCAA championships, where he finished third.

Current world leads:
Men – Decathlon: 8371, Trey Hardee (USA), Austin, 2-3-Apr
Women – Heptathlon: 6143, Jackie Johnson (USA), Tucson, 3-4-Apr


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The TRACK PROFILE REPORT is a news and feature service published by the Track Profile News Service. In addition to regularly dispatched news, profile and interview features, subscribers also receive exclusive on-site updates from major national and international competitions, usually within 24 hours. Copyright (c) 2008 by Bob Ramsak and TRACK PROFILE. All rights reserved. Reproduction, republication, reposting and retransmission in ANY form is strictly prohibited without express permission from the editor. Small portions may be reproduced ONLY if accompanied by source citation and *ADVANCE* notice in writing to Track Profile. Please contact the editor at [email protected] for reprint permission. [ Visit www.trackprofile.com for more. ]
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END – TPR #750 - 24-Apr-2008

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