Beijing Updates, August 22, 2008-Steve Hooker, Man of the Third Attempts, Tirunesh Dibaba Double Gold and Jamaica Men go 37.10! by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder

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Steve Hooker's joyous run across the track to his coach, when he cleared 5.90m on his third attempt, which won his event! Here, Alfons Juck gives you his impressions of Friday night at the Birds' Nest.

EME NEWS (AUG 22, 2008)

EVENING SESSION

4x400m relay women heats:

All relays advanced with season's bests and none was disqualified or did not finish the race like yesterday. In heat one team Russia qualified as expected (3:23,71min) before Cuba (3:25,46min) and Great Britain (3:25,48min). In heat two the defending Olympic champion and world leader, the US-relay recorded 3:22,45min in front of Jamaica (3:22,60min) and Belarus (3:22,78min). The relays from Germany (3:25,55min) and Nigeria (3:24,10min) advanced because of their times.

4x400m relay men heats:

Heat one was an incredibly fast race as the relays were very close on the home straight and fighting for the qualifying places. The relay from the USA, defending Olympic champion and world leader, won unchallenged with 2:59,98min. Behind them, Russia (3:00,14min) and Belgium (3:00,67min) achieved new national records. And the qualifiers by time, Australia and Poland also clocked season's bests. Heat two was won by a strong relay from Great Britain (2:59,33min world leader). Behind them Bahamas (2:59,88min = SB) and Jamaica (3:00,09min), who led most of the time, advanced to tomorrow's final.

5000m women final:

After two slow first kilometers (first extremely slow 3:39), the race began. But neither the Kenyans, nor the Americans or the Russians were really in the fight for the medals. World record holder Tirunesh Dibaba from Ethiopia was able to make the historic double: After her gold medal in the 10.000 race, she also won gold in today's 5.000m final keeping Elvan Abeylegesse from Turkey and her teammate, 2004 Olympic champion Meseret Defar at a distance thanks to her strong final sprint. They recorded 15:41,40min, 15:42,74min and 15:44,12min respectively. Last lap under 60 seconds.

Long jump women final:

Maurren Higa Maggi from Brazil shocked her opponents already in her first attempt where she jumped a new season's best of 7,04m. After her 6,97m from the first attempt, Olympic and world champion, Russian Tatyana Lebedeva was able to get closer to Higa Maggi in her last jump of 7,03m, also a season's best. But one centimetre decided between gold and silver! The surprising bronze medallist is Nigeria's Blessing Akagbare who improved her personal best by five centimetres to 6,91m. Sweden's Carolina Klueft came 9th with 6,49m - so there is still enough challenge for her in the long jump! Coach Moura won another gold after Saladino in this event.

4x100m women final:

If only the relay changes had worked....then Jamaica would have achieved another gold medal. But this is how the story about relays goes - full of surprises, ups and downs...

Sherone Simpson was not able to deliver the batton to Kerron Stewart and so the Jamaican sprinters were out! As the baton exchange of Great Britain's relay did also not work, the chance was there for Russia. And they seized it winning Olympic gold with 42,31s. Behind them, Belgium's sprinters clocked a new national record of 42,54s. Great final summer championships race for Kim Gevaert. Nigeria's relay women were jumping from joy as they crossed the finish line as third recording 43,04s (SB).

Decathlon javelin throw:

World leader Brian Clay from the USA assured his leading position (8.269 points) thanks to a new season's best in the javelin of 70,97m. Andrei Krauchanka from Belarus was able to maintain his silver medal position (7.790 points) despite a weak result of 60,23m. And no changes on rank three neither: Aleksandr Pogorelov from Russia sticked to his position (7.777 points) after his 64,01m. But Oleksiy Kasyanov from the Ukraine (7.386 points) lost a lot of points because of his poor javelin result of 51,98m (for his still a season's best!) and fell from rank four to ten. Cuba's Leonel Suarez (7.777 points) took his place due to strong 73,98m (PB).

Decathlon 1.500m:

He was last in his race but his gold medal was never in danger! Brian Clay from the USA could afford 5:06,59min in the final 1.500m race - he still achieved 8.791 points and won Olympic gold. Andrei Krauchanka from Belarus made sure that the silver medal stayed his (8.551 points) recording strong 4:27,47min, a new season's best for him. Young Leonel Suarez from Cuba was rewarded with the bronze medal for his courageous pace which led to a result of 4:29,17min. His 8.527 points are a new national record for Cuba. Aleksandr Pogorelov from Russia lost his bronze position due to slow 5:01,56min (8.328 points). 2004 Olympic champion Roman Sebrle from the Czech Republic finished as sixth.

4x100m men final:

Wow! Third gold medal and third world record for Usain Bolt from Jamaica! This has never happened before! Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell showed good nerves and made no mistake, so it was obvious that the gold medal was theirs. But they also ran a phantastic time - they clocked 37,10s, a new world record! One second behind them, the relay of Trinidad and Tobago crossed the finish line as second after 38,06s. And Japan's relay recorded a new season's best of 38,15s for the bronze medal.

Pole vault men final:

Steven Hooker from Australia is the man of the third attempt. He jumped 13 times today! 5,60m was the only height that he cleared in his first attempt. But then he always tried three times to clear 5,80m, 5,85m, the winning height of 5,90m and the Olympic record of 5,96m! Top favorite, Russia's Evgeniy Lukyanenko was leading until 5,85m having cleared 5,70m and 5,80m in the first jump. For 5,85m he also needed three attempts but then he failed to clear 5,90m. Ukrainian Denys Yurchenko won the bronze medal with 5,70m thanks to clearing in the first jump. Fourth and fifth Derek Miles from the USA and Dmitry Starodubtsev from Russia needed two jumps and sixth Danny Ecker from Germany three attempts to clear 5,70m.

Used with permission of Alfons Juck, EME News.

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