As I am sucking down my first caffeine of the day on Saturday, July 5. I was updating our global news, when I got a call to head down to the trackside. I was just watching the first 200 heats when Tyson Gay, the fastest 100 meter runner in the world, went down in his heat. He was taken out by EMTs on a chair. We have no idea how hurt Tyson is, and will update as soon as we are updated.
US OLYMPIC TRIALS (Day 6): Abdirahman, Goucher wins, Greer must wait
EUGENE (USA, July 4): Abdi Abdirahman sprinted away from Galen Rupp over the last 500 metres of the men's 10 000 and captured the title with a 27:41.89 clocking. The Somalia-born Abdirahman had spent much of the time pushing the pace, with Rupp taking over the lead only for short periods. The 22-year-old Rupp, running on his university track and with great crowd support, finished second in 27:43.11. The lead group of Abdirahman, Rupp and Jorge Torres had split away midway through the sixth kilometre, and they continued without challenges from the others as Torres took the final team spot in 27:46.33. Edward Moran got the unlucky fourth spot in 27:52.10. In total seven runners went sub 28 minutes.
World medalist Kara Goucher, already with a team spot in the 10 000 metres, kicked hard over the last 200 metres and passed both Shalane Flanagan and Jen Rhines to win the women's 5000 metres title in 15:01.02. Rhines also finished fast to place second in 15:02.02, with Flanagan—the winner of the women's 10000 one week ago—ending third with 15:02.81. Fourth Sara Slattery way back in 15:18.88.
A.G. Kruger won the men's hammer final with 75.81, and as he is the only American with the A-standard of 78.50, he alone will represent the US in Beijing. Kevin McMahon (74.49) and Jake Freeman (73.59) took the next two places.
Chaunte Howard took the women's high jump title with 1.97 before failing three times at 2.00. Amy Acuff, the Athens fourth placer, made her fourth US Olympic team with a second-place performance of 1.93. The third spot went to Sharon Day at 1.91.
Gabe Jennings, the 2000 Olympic Trials champion in the men's 1500 metres, led all qualifiers in that event as Lopez Lomong (3:40.26) and NCAA champion Leonel Manzano (3:40.32) finished close behind. The other heat was won by world champion Bernard Lagat (3:43.83), as the scramble behind him included Rob Myers (3:43.98) and Alan Webb (3:44.23).
The women's 1500 was paced by Shannon Rowbury in 4:11.75, as Lindsey Gallo's 4:12.54 won the other heat. Of particular interest was the fifth-place heat finish of 16-year-old Jordan Hasay, whose 4:14.50 broke the existing US high school record of 4:16.42, held by Christine Babcock, who coincidentally was in the same race, finishing a non-qualifying ninth in 4:20.00. Hasay will depart for the World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, immediately after the final on Sunday.
Helsinki 2005 world triple jump champion (and Osaka bronze winner) Walter Davis bounded 16.84 to lead the qualifiers in that event, as Rafeeq Curry (16.71), Aarik Wilson (16.62), and Athens finalist Kenta Bell (16.60) had the next best marks.
The unusual schedule for both the men's and women's 200 metres positioned the opening round today, followed by two rounds on Saturday before Sunday's final. After several sprinters abandoned the men's competition, only two runners—none of significance—were eliminated in the five heats. Reigning Olympic champion Shawn Crawford's 20.18 in the first section was the best of the evening, but given the lack of competition, comparative times were rather meaningless. Tyson Gay stopped sprinting with at least 30 metres remaining in his heat and recorded a 20.43.
The women's competition was only slightly more competitive, with five of the thirty runners exiting after the first round. Shalonda Solomon's 22.51 in the final heat was the fastest of the evening, as other winners were Allyson Felix (22.68), Bianca Knight (22.74), Marshevet Hooker (22.87), and Carmelita Jeter (23.21).
The biggest casualty of the evening came in the men's javelin qualifying as Osaka bronze medallist Breaux Greer threw only 67.20 on his only legal attempt. Greer admitted afterwards that the shoulder injury which had given him problems in 2007 had returned. Tonight was his first competition of the season. Barry Krammes posted the best mark with 78.97, with Chris Hill (77.72), Brian Chaput (75.98), and Mike Hazle (75.57) as the others surpassing the 75-metre mark. But Greer still has the chance if not more than two other US throwers will have the A-standard.
OTHER LATEST RESULTS
NAIROBI (KEN, July 4): Japan based Lucy Kabuu, 4th in the 10 000 m at the African championships in Addis-Ababa and recently second in Oslo Golden League's 5000m in 14:33.49, won the first big final of the Kenyan Trials, after a sprint finish with Peninah Arusei in the 10,000m, Kabuu clocking 32.18.6 while Arusei posted 32:19.3. Grace Momanyi (recovering from flu) finished third in 32:30.4. While Kabuu and Momanyi have the standards, this is not the case of Arusei. World junior CC champion Linet Masai (with standard) has not been able to train since Ostrava (plantar fasciitis). She was leading with 3 laps to go in a breakaway group of 5 runners but faded on the final lap to finish 6th (Ongori was dropped with 4 laps to go but had a strong last lap to finish 4th). US college star Sally Kipyego finished down the field. It remains to be seen whether Arusei can still have her luck in a European meet or if Athletics Kenya will select fourth placed Philes Ongori. 38 year old racewalker David Kimutai earned his spot for a third Olympic participation after Atlanta and Sydney, winning the 20km walk in 1:22:20. The men's 800m semi-finals unfolded quite differently with a fast pace in the first race, as Boaz Lalang just edged Wilfred Bungei on the line (1:45.32) to 1:45.33, while Ismael Kombich was third in 1:45.43. Tactics prevailed in the second heat won by reigning world champion Alfred Kirwa (1:48.27) ahead of Justus Koech (1:48.42) and Jackson Kivuva (1:48.49).
WINDSOR (CAN, July 4): Combined events specialists Jessica Zelinka and Massimo Bertocchi secured their spots for the Olympics with their performance of 6017 points and 8014 in the first two days of the Canadian trials held in Windsor this week-end. Despite a hamstring cramp that forced her to shorten her run-up to eight strides for a result of 5.30m well below her best of 6.19m, Zelinka went on to record the best performance in the javelin (41.30m) and win the 800m in 2:11.66. Her results from the first day were 13.17/+2, 1.71m, 13.91m, 23.92/+1.2. In second place with 4145 points after the first day, 22 year old Massimo Bertocchi, tenth in Gotzis earlier this year, managed to improve his PB by 51 points to break the 8000 points for the first time (his whole series 10.89/+3.3, 7.19m/+3.3, 14.11m, 1.97m, 48.40, 14.17/+1.2, 44.08m, 4.80m, 54.40m, 4:42.42). The 5000m titles went to Ryan Mckenzie in 13:42.14 and Megan Metcalfe in 15:33.35. In the 400m semi-finals, Tyler Christopher tested his speed, winning his heat in 45.59.
ALGER (ALG, July 4): Issam Nima jumped 7.78m to an easy victory on the second day of the Algerian Championships. Nahida Touhami won the 800m in 2:02.13 more than eight second ahead the second place. African silver medallist Abderahmane Hammadi claimed the 400m hurdles title in 51.94. In the men's 800m, Walid Meliani got the edge in a tactical race, clocking 1:48.60 for victory ahead of Kamel Boulahfane (1:49.15) and Nabil Madi (1:49.16) while Tarek Boukensa dominated Samir Kheddar in the 1500m, clocking 3:46.21 against 3:47.71. In one of her first appearances since two ankle surgeries in 2006, former world junior champion Baya Rahouli landed at 14.03m in the triple jump.
TABOR (CZE, July 4): Three national hurdles records highlighted the first day of 39th Czech National Championships. 23-years old Petr Svoboda in his heat flied to sensational 13.29 at 110 m hurdles (+0.6). It´s his fourth national record since Ostrava Grand Prix (13.48, 13.43, 13.41) and fastest time of the year by European hurdler. He then wanted too much to win the finals, started too fast and was disqualified. Stanislav Sajdok was the winner (13.70, +0.6) and former decathlon world champion Tomas Dvorak finished sixth (14.55). Olympic champion Roman Sebrle is not competing, but in preparation to defend his title from Athens 2004. Lucie Skrobakova (now divorced and back to her initial name, formerly Martincova) already in her heat improved the national record to 13.03 (+0.5, the previous mark 13.05 by Iveta Rudova since 1997). In the finals she was even faster and as first Czech ever clocked sub 13 seconds with 12.93 (+1.0). Sprinter Lukas Milo again improved at 100 m to fast 10.26 with ideal wind support (+1.9). Behind him Jan Veleba hugely bettered his best to 10.33 (previously 10.50). Javelin world champion Barbora Spotakova in first throw had huge throw close to 71 metres, but fouled by 10 cm. In her two valid throws she achieved 63.38 and 64.47. Second Jarmila Klimesova registered 60.69 and third top thrower Nikola Brejchova did not compete due to injury. Tomas Janku confirmed his shape with 230 in high jump and offered two tries at 235 cm. Jaroslav Baba and Svatoslav Ton as second and third had 224 and both tried at Olympic qualifier 230. Jan Kudlicka confirmed his number one position in the country in Pole Vault with 562 cm. Petr Stehlik won the Shot Put (19.59) and Vitezslav Vesely (coached by Jan Zelezny) got the javelin title (76.80). On the women side Katerina Cechova won in her first senior year the 100 m with 11.57 (+0.7), Denisa Scerbova was the best in Long Jump (652, +1.5) and junior Katerina Safrankova showed good shape before Bydgoszcz with her senior hammer title (67.47).
SZCZECIN (POL, July 4): Dariusz Kuc clocked good 10.27 (+1.7) to win the 100 m during first day of 84th Polish National Championships. Fast behind him Marcin Nowak (10.33) and Marcin Jedrusinski (10.35). Interesting Long Jump was won by Marcin Starzak with windy 820 (+2.3, legal 796 +1.3) ahead of Krzysztof Lewandowski (807+2.3, 786+0.7) and Tomasz Mateusiak who produced the only legal 8 metres mark with 800 (+2.1 and +1.4). Good quality shot put win (sixth title) for Tomasz Majewski (20.50). Steeple specialist Wioletta Frankiewicz won the 5000 m in 15:36.44 ahead of former world record holder in steeple Justyna Bak (15:57.26). Expected titles for High Jumper Kamila Stepaniuk (189) and Krystyna Zabawska in Shot Put (17.39, already 16th title). European Indoor 2007 bronze medalist Daria Korzcynska could not celebrate the PB of 11.29 after winning the 100 m because of too strong wind (+3.3).
BORDEAUX (FRA, July 4): Triple jump Olympic champion Francoise Mbango Etone is getting back to her top shape as she recorded the second best performance in the world this year, 14.93m/+1.5, Friday evening in a local meet in Bordeaux. The Cameroonian, who ranks behind world champion Yargelis Savigne (15.02m on June 27) and just ahead Greece's Devetzi Hrisopiyi (14.92m on June 15) made an excellent series with two other jumps at 14.80m/+2.3 and 14.85m/+1.8. Russia's Svetlana Ivanova achieved a new personal best of 9:37.88 in the 3000m steeplechase, battling with Elodie Olivares who finished second (9:40.41), Ghana's Vida Anim had an easy victory in the 200m, clocking 23.24 without being pushed. African silver medallist Lamia El Habz of Morocco had the edge over Russian Darya Korableva in the 400m hurdles (57.59 against 57.74). Stephanie Falzon threw the hammer at 70.17m. In the men's events, Stephane Diaz won the pole vault with a 5.42m clearance.
CALI (COL, July 4): Trinidad´s world class sprinter Darrel Brown won the 100 m during first day of 21st Central American and Caribbean Championships in Cali, Colombia (altitude 995 m) clocking 10.12 (+0.6). Silver for Antigua´s Daniel Bailey (10.18). Cuban Indira Terrero clocked her best 50.98 to win the 400 m ahead of Mexican Gabriela Medina (51.78, but 51.43 in heats). Bahamian meet record holder Chandra Sturrup (11.02 in 2005) won the 100 m for women with 11.20 (+1.2), but was quicker in heats with 11.14 (+1.3). Cuban triple jumper Mabel Gay registered new event best with 14.19 (-1.4). Trinidad´s other two wins for Renny Quow at 400 m (45.27 ahead of Bahamian Michel Mathieu 45.66) and Josanne Lucas at 400 m Hurdles (56.55). Jamaican Isa Phillips got the gold at 400 m Hurdles (49.98) and fresh Cuban pole Vault record holder Lazaro Borges won his event with 550 cm.
St. Peterburg City Champs
ST. PETERBURG (RUS, July 3-4): At St. Peterburg City Championships world indoor silver medalist Yuliya Fomenko returned to action with fourth fastest time of the year 4:01.65 at 1500 m. She only competed briefly at May Qatar Grand Prix in Doha and appeared only by now in right time as the Russian Championships (Olympic Trials) are approaching. In other good marks Aleksey Dmitrik cleared 221 in High Jump, Aleksandr Borichevskiy registered 64.65 in discus, Yekaterina Kostestkaya clocked 2:01.43 at 800 m. Tatyana Ter-Mesrobyan is the best masters Long Jumper, as 40 years old she achieved 656 cm, the masters world record. As per official website of WMA the previous mark of another Russian Vera Olenchenko in category 40+ was 641 from 2000.
LUGANO (SUI, July 4): At 7th Lugano International Meeting four meeting records were registered. Norway´s Christina Vukicevic clocked 13.08 at 100 m Hurdles (+0.6), Italian record holder Libania Grenot achieved 51.32 at 400 m (second Briton Lee McConnell 51.49). On the men side South African Offentse Mogawane got 45.89 at 400 m and Latvian Eriks Rags bettered his own meet record in javelin to 79.03 m. Italian sprinter Fabio Cerutti improved his PB to 10.25 (+0.5) to win ahead of US sprinter Chris Lawson (10.31, equalled his best). Lithuanian Audra Dagelyte also equalled her PB to win the women 100 m in 11.38 (+0.1). Latvian national record holder Dmitrijs Milkevics won the 800 m in 1:47.42 and Poland´s Andrzej Krawczyk the discus (62.35). Ethiopian Lelisa Feyisa achieved 13:34.80 at 5000 m and Russian Irina Gordeyeva 190 in High Jump.
METZ (FRA, July 4): French steeplechaser Bouabdellah Tahri recorded 3:36.46 in the 1500m in a local meet in his hometown on Friday evening.
MARSEILLE (FRA, July 4): Some of the French leaders are struggling with just a few weeks left before the Olympic Games. Friday night, in a local meet in Marseille, 2005 world champion Ladji Doucouré couldn't do better than 14.20 in the 110m hurdles, after a big mistake on the sixth barrier. 2003 long jump champion Eunice Barber won, but her 6.27m remain very far of the 6.78m standard. Sprinter Ronald Pognon didn't manage to book his place either with performances of 10.32 and 20.72 in the 100m and 200m.
KYIV (UKR, July 4): During last day of Ukrainian National Championships only relays were held. The best time by men squad at 4x400 m 3:08.15.
TEL AVIV (ISR, July 3): Russian former European Indoor Champion Igor Pavlov cleared 560 to win the Pole Vault during final day of 72nd Israeli National Championships. Javelin thrower Vadim Bavikin got his 14th title (67.15 this time). Russian Yuliya Kondakova clocked 13.11 (+0.9) at 100 m Hurdles to achieve the best female result. The home favorite Irina Lenskiy did not finish the race.
Bolt vs. Powell confirmed
STOCKHOLM (SWE): The second duel of the year between two fastest men in the world Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell at 100 m was confirmed for DN Galan meet (IAAF Super Grand Prix) in Stockholm on July 22. In their first clash at National Championships Bolt got 9.85 and Powell 9.97. The meet record 9.86 of Powell from 2006 will be clearly in danger. Powell runs before Stockholm the Rome Golden Gala and Bolt Tsiklitiria in Athens, but here the 200 m. It will be their only 100 m clash before Olympic Games.
Cantwell not in Madrid
MADRID (ESP): US Shot Put World Indoor champion Christian Cantwell will not be throwing in Madrid today evening at the IAAF Grand Prix meeting. He didn't come from his home in Missouri and emailed organisers to say he was unwell.
Sdiri out of Rome
PARIS (FRA): Long jumper Salim Sdiri pulled out of the Rome Golden League because of a knee inflammation. He still plans to take part to a local meet in Reims this Sunday, but doesn't want to compete too much. That means he will not return to the place where he was spiked by javelin in an unlucky accident last year.
Konopka banned for life
NITRA (SVK): The disciplinary commission of Slovak Athletics Federation confirmed on Saturday the life-time ban for reigning European Indoor Champion in Shot Put Mikulas Konopka. The athlete himself did not appear for the hearing before the commission and also did not send anything in writing. The ban covers all activities in the athletics including coaching or officiating. He still can appeal to Slovak Athletics Federation council. Konopka had positive out-of-competition test on May 13, and also the analysis of B-sample on June 9 confirmed traces of metandienon. His first ban was in 2002-04 after he was tested positive at European Indoor Championships in Vienna 2002 and was forced to return the bronze medal.
GOTEBORG (SWE): Swedish high jumper Staffan Strand (32) announced his retirement. His last competition was on Wednesday in Göteborg at the team championships where he won with 212. It was his 10th straight victory in this event at the national team championships. He achieved outdoors 232 in 2000 and 235 indoors 2002. In his retirement letter he wrote: "After a 25-year long journey of high jumping with 10 years at the very top level, it is now time to retire from elite sports and hang up the high jump shoes. My training worked well during the winter and the spring, and as late as in May I still had the goal set on a full competition season with the Olympics in Beijing as the highlight. However, when I switched over to more competition specific training in the late spring, the ankle could not cope with the increased load. This makes it impossible to execute the type of training that is necessary for jumping at the highest level, and since it is a pattern that has repeated itself during the last few years I now feel that further attempts are futile. I am now looking forward to a life as a "senior citizen of sports" where I instead of trying to raise the bar on the high jump standards will devote my time to be a better husband, family member, friend, manager, and in the future also a parent."
De Croock out of the season
BRUSSELS (BEL): Belgian steeplechaser Stephanie De Croock (9:41.79 PB in 2007) recently underwent surgery for a tear to her achilles tendon and is out of competition for the rest of the season, Women's Steeplechase Report informs.
Chambers new petition
LONDON (GBR): A new petition has been set up on the Downing Street website to keep convicted drugs cheat Dwain Chambers (pictured) out of the Olympics. It follows the news that the 30-year-old Londoner, the original face of the 2012 Olympic bid, had served legal papers on the British Olympic Association to try to get his ban from competing in Beijing and the 2012 Games overturned. Informs the insidethegames.com. Nearly 200 people already signed it. Chambers himself informed that he will not compete again until the Olympic trials in Birmingham next weekend. He was planning to run at a British League meeting in Windsor at the weekend but now believes he is fully prepared to clinch a Beijing place at the Alexander Stadium where his heats begin on Friday.
PARIS (FRA): The French Athletics Federation named 24 women and 28 men for the IAAF World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz. The role of 2005 World champion Ladji Doucouré, who won the World Youth 110m Hurdles title in Bydgoszcz back in 1999, will be now played with sprinter Christophe Lemaitre who finished an excellent fourth at the 100m and fifth at 200m in last year's World Youth Championships in Ostrava. He will compete at 200 m with a PB sub 21sec (20.94). The next good performances are expected from the long jumpers Olivier Huet (PB 7.83m) and Guillaume Victorin (PB 7.74m), triple jumper Teddy Tamgho (PB 16.94m), and also from the Pole Vaulters Mickael Gullaume (5.15m) and Noel Ost (5.10m). In Decathlon there will be one competitor as Eric Lankocz is on the start list with a PB of 7217. Among French women we can wait solid results from Long jumper Daniella Sacama Isidore as she already achieved 6.42m, and also from Pole Vaulter Hortense Lecuyot with a PB of 4.20m. 100mH should be the event of Aisseta Diawara (PB 13.62) and Keshia Wellix could be a hope for better attempt in Triple jump with a PB 13.29.
OTTAWA (CAN): 15 men and 18 women will compete in the Canadian colours at the World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz 2008. The country, which will be the host of 2010 World Junior Championships in Moncton, New Brunswick, hopes for at least one medal. From the competitors we can mention 10K Race Walker, Evan Dunfee with a PB 43:09 (2008), 400m runner Natalie Geiger - 5th from the IAAF World Youth Championships 2007 in Ostrava, ( PB 54.82), and Tyrone Halstead (PB 10.46 at men's 100m). Kimberly Hyacinthe will be sprinting women's 200m (PB 23.65) and Julie Labonté will fight in the women's Shot Put (PB 15.30m).
PATRA (GRE): Carole Fuchs corrects that the sprinter Ahmed Bongo is the son of Gabon's president not the grandson. His mother is indeed from Mauritius.
LONDON (GBR): Here's the latest Track Chat of Tony Ward dealing with the current state of coaching and debating who is the world's fastest man. http://tonyward-trackchat.blogspot.com/