Beijing Updates, August 24, 2008-Kenya Gets first Olympic Gold in Marathon, by Alfons Juck, Notes by Larry Eder

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More on the marathon, my best moments, etc on Monday night!

Marathon

21 year old Samuel Kamau Wanjiru has become the first Kenyan ever to win the Olympic Games marathon producing a spectacular race despite weather conditions which rose from 24 at start to 30 degrees at the end. His time of 2:06:32 lowered by almost three minutes the previous Olympic record of 2:09:21 set by Portuguese Carlos Lopes in 1984. 2003 and 2005 world champion Jaouad Gharib of Morocco claimed silver in 2:07:16. 2008 Paris marathon winner Tsegay Kebede of Ethiopia caught his fellow countryman Deriba Merga in the last 200m to take the bronze in 2:10:00. London marathon winner Martin Lel was fifth in 2:10:24. Osaka bronze medallist Viktor Röthlin of Switzerland was the first European, finishing 6th in 2:10:35, while 9th placed Dathan Ritzenheim was first American home in 2:11:59. Defending champion Stefano Baldini, whose participation was put in doubt during the week was 12th in 2:13:25. The fast pace close to world record pace at halfway (1:02:34) took its toll on leading figures like Moroccan Abderrahim Goumri, 20th in 2:15:00, South African Hendrick Ramaala 44th in 2:22:43 while 2007 world champion Luke Kibet of Kenya, Brazil's Marilson dos Santos, Qatar's Mubarak Shami did not finish.

Final figures

5 world records (last time more in 1980 6)

12 olympic records (plus 5 wr) in total 17

2 world junior records

11 area records (wr not counting)

80+ national records

World leading marks in 8 men events and 13 women events

5 succesfull title defenders (Bekele, Campbell-Brown, Isinbayeva, Mbango, Thorkildsen) and one 2000 winner (A. Taylor) out of 26 gold medalists from 2004 and 8 winners from 2000

9 Osaka gold medalists won also here (Kipruto, Saladino, Kanter, Ohuruogu, T. Dibaba, Isinbayeva, Vili, Spotakova, Kaniskina) out of 35 competing

Winning marks comparison:

Beijing 2008 - Athens 2004 15:8 (men with HJ the same), 11:11 (women, steeple not held in 2004)

Beijing 2008 - Osaka 2007 18:6 (men), 15:7 (women with HJ the same)

Multiple medalists (18):

Bolt 3-0-0, Merritt, Bekele, Dibaba, Taylor 2-0-0, Gushchina, Felix, Wariner, Clement 1-1-0, Richards, Neville 1-0-1, Thompson, Abeylegesse, Lebedeva 0-2-0, S. Williams, K. Stewart, Tallent 0-1-1, Dix 0-0-2

Best 4x400 m splits in finals

Men: 43.18 Wariner, 43.56 Alekseyev, 43.62 J. Borlee

Women: 48.55 Felix, 48.93 Richards, 49.18 Litvinova

Medals: 1. USA 7-9-7, 2. RUS 6-5-7, 3. JAM 6-3-2, 4- KEN 5-5-4, 5. ETH 4-1-2, 42 countries medals

(in 2004: 1. USA 8-12-5, 2. RUS 6-7-7, 3. GBR 3-0-1, 4. SWE 3-0-0, 5. ETH 2-3-2, 40 countries medals, in 2007: 1. USA 14-4-8, 2. RUS 4-9-3, 3. KEN 5-3-5, 4. JAM 1-6-3, 5. GER 2-2-3, 43 countries medals)

Points: 1. USA 207, 2. RUS 200, 3. KEN 123, 4. JAM 121, 5. GBR 71 (in 2004: 1. USA 238.5, 2. RUS 188.5, 3. JAM 79, 4. ETH 72, 5. GBR 59, in 2007: 1. USA 249, 2. RUS 191, 3. KEN 123, 4. GER 84)

Track and Field News predictions (on Aug 8) saw 11 men and 8 women (or relays) rightly picked for first place. On the other hand one male winner (Borchin/20 km) and four women winners were not picked in the top 10 at all (N.Lagat/1500 m, Dita/marathon, Brown-Trafton/DT and Dobrynska/Hep).

Best results according to IAAF scoring tables:

Men/overall: 1. 1338 (19.30 Bolt), 2. 1332 (9.69 Bolt), 3. 1300 (37.10 JAM)

Wom/overall: 1. 1286 (71.42 Spotakova), 2. 1277 (505 Isinbayeva), 3. 1275 (70.78 Abakumova)

By group of events

Men/sprints: 1338 (19.30 Bolt)

Men/middle: 1204 (3:32.89 Ramzi)

Men/long: 1224 (27.01.17 Bekele)

Men/road: 1254 (2:06:32 Wanjiru)

Men/jumps: 1244 (596 Hooker)

Men/throws: 1230 (90.57 Thorkildsen)

Wom/sprints: 1251 (21.74 VCB)

Wom/middle: 1246 (1:54.87 Jelimo)

Wom/long: 1252 (29:54.66 Dibaba)

Wom/road: 1205 (1:26:31 Kaniskina)

Wom/jumps: 1277 (505 Isinbayeva)

Wom/throws: 1286 (71.42 Spotakova)

World records: 1338 (19.30 Bolt) - 1332 (9.69 Bolt) - 1300 (37.10 JAM) - 1277 (505 Isinbayeva) - 1237 (8:58.81 Samitova-Galkina)

The list of best world records - men: 1346 (98.48 Zelezny) - 1338 (19.30 Bolt) - 1332 (9.69 Bolt)

Used with permission of Alfons Juck.

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