Beijing Updates, Global News, Defar May Run 5,000 meters, by Alfons Juck, Notes by Larry Eder

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It is early on Tuesday morning in Beijing, and the ground crew is cleaning the grass field. I am one of the last bozos in the National Stadium and am read to head to a) dinner b) sleepy place. Great night four of track & field. Should be a good day tomorrow! See you soon!

EME NEWS (AUG 18, 2008) OLYMPICS DAY FOUR EVENING

Dibaba to run the 5000m
Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba will attempt an Olympic 5000m double after all. The 23-year old had opted to wait until Monday to make the final decision and will battle against Meseret Defar. She could be the first female to achieve this at Olympic Games.

Gebrselassie wants to run 10 more years
Ethiopian running legend said after his 10 000 m race in Beijing that he plans to run ten more years. He aims to run Marathon at London Olympic Games in 2012. His next race is the Berlin Marathon on September 28.

EVENING SESSION: Third world record, it is 156th world record in the Olympic history in athletics

100m hurldes women semi-final:

World indoors champion and world leading Lolo Jones from the USA impressed in the first semi-final with a new personal best, world lead and fastest Olympic semi ever 12,43s winning far ahead of Jamaica's Delloreen Ennis-London (12,67s). Her countrywomen Damu Cherry was the first to cross the finish line of the second semi-final after 12,62s before the third US-hurdler Dawn Harper (12,66s). Great Britain's Sarah Claxton (12,84s) will be the only European representative in the final as neither Josepine Onyia from Spain nor Sweden's Susanna Kallur (felt at first hurdle) made it to the final.

200m men quarter-final:

As in the heats, Brian Dzingai from Zimbabwe clocked the fastest time of the quarter-finals: 20,23s. Usain Bolt from Jamaica ran easy 20,29s to advance to the semi-finals with Shawn Crawford as second and 13 hundreths of a second behind. Quarter-final number four saw a European cross the finish line as first runner - Paul Hession from Ireland won in 20,32s.

Discus women final:

This discus final was quite an open one with neither Franka Dietzsch from Germany (world champion), nor Russia's Natalya Sadova (2004 Olympic champion) or Darya Pishalchnikova (2008 world leader) competing. Next on the world leading list Nicoleta Grasu placed only 12th with one valid attempt of 58,63m. The surprising winner is Stephanie Brown-Trafton from the USA who was as strong again as in the qualification with a winning throw of 64,74m of her first attempt. Cuba's Yarelis Barrios won the silver medal with 63,64m from her second attempt. Olena Antonova from the Ukraine managed to gain the bronze medal back from China's Almin Song (62,20m) in her fifth attempt of 62,59m which is a season's best for her. It is only second US medal in women discus at Olympics, first was achieved back in 1932. Also registered is the fact that it is the worst winning mark since 1968.

400m hurdles women semi-final:

World leader Melaine Walker from Jamaica who is unbeaten since February crossed the finish line as first in the second semi-final as expected in 54,20s. But it was Sheena Tosta from the USA who clocked the fastest time of the semi-finals (54,07s). Behind her, Tasha Denvers from Great Britain achieved a new season's best of 54,31s and Poland's Anna Jesien also qualified for the final with strong 54,36s.

Pole vault women final:

The big question of this final was not 'Who will win the gold medal?' but rather 'With which height will she win, will it be a new world record?' Russia´s Yelena Isinbayeva, defending Olympic champion, world leader with a world record of 5,04m and world champion, started her competition with 4,70m and won it with 4,85m. Then, she needed three attempts to clear the new Olympic record of 4,95m. After this, shelet the bar climb to 5,05m which is the new world record. She cleared 5,05m in her third attempt and offered these Olympic games another world record! Before that, Jennifer Stucynski from the USA had won the silver medal with 4,80m and Svetlana Feofanova from Russia the bronze with 4,75m. Isinbayeva needed 8 jumps to get her 24th world record (14 outdoors, 10 indoors).

Long jump men final:

First ever Panamian athletics Olympic gold medal for Irving Saladino! The world champion from Osaka and world leader needed 'only' 8,34m (fourth attempt) to make it possible. South Africa's Godfrey Khotso Mokoena celebrated a silver medal due to his 8,24m from attempt number four. And Cuban Ibrahim Camejo was very happy with the bronze medal which he took from Ngonidzashe Makusha from Zimbabwe (8,19m) with his very last jump of 8,20m. It is the worst winning mark since 1972 (Randy Williams, USA, 824).

3.000m steeplechase men final:

A French steeplechaser spoiled another triple triumph for Kenya like last year in Osaka: Mahiedine Mekhisse-Benabbad 'stole' the silver medal with a new personal best of 8:10,49min. But Brimin Kiprop Kipruto from Kenya assured again a gold medal like in 2007 and improved from an Olympic silver in 2004 to gold in 2008. In the final sprint he was 15 hundredths of a second faster than the Frenchman and clocked a new season's best of 8:10,34min. His teammate Richard Kimpkemboi Mateelong grasped the bronze medal (8:11,01min).

800m women final:

Pamela Jelimo from Kenya did what everybody expected her to do in this final: Take the lead, make the pace and win the gold medal. So no surprises here - apart from this, the 18-year-old runner also clocked a new world junior record of 1:54,87min, her third this year. Behind her, her countrywomen and world champion from last year in Osaka Janeth
Jepkosgei found in time the shape of 2007 and won the silver medal with a new season's best of 1:56,07min. After her silver medal in Athens Morocco's Hasna Benhassi now got the bronze with a 1:56,73min - also a new season's best for her. Legendary Maria Mutola was in her fifth Olympic final at sixth Olympics, what a special achievement.

400m hurdles men final:

Danny McFarlane (48,30s = fourth and world best for 35+ age group) from Jamaica could not impeach the clean sweep of the USA: After 2000, Angelo Taylor won again Olympic gold in a new personal best of 47,25s (world lead and fourth in Olympic all-time lists). World leader and 2007 world champion Kerron Clement crossed the finish line only as second in 47,98s. And Bershawn Jackson clocked 48,06s to get the bronze medal.

OTHER NEWS

MIEDZYZDROJE (POL, Aug 16-17): Dominik Zielinski won with 19.67 m the Wladyslaw Komar memorial. In Tadeusz Slusarski memorial in Pole Vault the German Tobias Scherbarth with 561 was the best. In Long Jump Teresa Dobija leaped to 662 cm (+0.9).

GDANSK (POL, Aug 15): Jaroslaw Janicki won the 14th Solidarity marathon with 2:20:59. Adam Dobrzynski as second got 2:21:29. Arleta Meloch was the best woman (2:40:06).

ALPNACH (SUI): In Alpnach (a nice village) a special evening is prepared when their hero Viktor Rothlin will run the Olympic marathon. The world bronze holder is a special and popular person here. At 1.30 the transmission at big screen will start from Beijing. Special food (also Chinese) will be served.

Used with permission of Alfons Juck, Publisher of EME News.

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