Aviva London Grand Prix, Day 2: LaShinda Demus runs 53.55, World leader! by Larry Eder

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LaShina Demus broke the all comers record and stadium record today at the Aviva London Grand Prix with her fine 53.66 run over the 400 meter hurdles. Demus ran the race as if no one else was there, with some fine hurdling and great form through the finish!

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LaShinda Demus, US Champs, June 2009, photo by PhotoRun.net

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Here were Demus's observations: "It was all part of the plot to go fast from the start. I knew this was a fast track, I had a chance to run on it last year and I wanted to come back as I did not do well last year. I have got another race in Monaco and then I will go back to the States for a few weeks and then off to Berlin. "

When asked who her main competitors are in Berlin? " I never say everybody is a danger, I never know. Everybody on the track with me is a competitor."

LaShinda Demus' 53.65, beat Beijing Olympic champ Melaine Walker of Jamaica, who ran 54.55, and Sheena Tosta of the U.S. in 55.31.

In the men's pole vault, Steve Hooker of Australia won the pole vault in 5.70m over Derek Miles due to less misses at the 5.70m height. Hooker, the Olympic gold medalist, all the way from Australia, spoke to the media afterwards and commented:
" I was hoping to jump higher today, at my earlier heights I was well clear. At 5.55m and 5.70m, I was getting good clearances, I just couldn't put it together at 5.84m. I have got a few things to work on before Berlin and hopefully I will be alrigth by then. My confidence is growing."

Hooker is being smart this season, controlling his competitions. He has had the habit of competing so much that the natural burnout of a season hits him at the big ones. We will be watching him in Berlin.

In the women's javelin, Steffi Nerius of Germany, at the age of 37, won the women's javelin in 64.64. Steffi has been a world class competitor for the best of two decades. Goldie Sayers, of the UK, finished in second, in 59.82, her seasonal best. Kim Mickle of Australia was third in 59.67m. In ninth place, Kara Patterson, from Purdue, in her first professional competition threw 54.18m for the javelin.

Steffi Nerius told the media that she had just come back from a training camp for the World Champs: " So, it took me a little time to get going. I hope to throw further. The last throw was good but the series as a whole was not as good as I would have liked. I won so I am pleased with that, but I hope and think there is more to come. "

In the men's high jump, Jaroslav Baba of the Czech Republic cleared his seasonal best of 2.33m for first. Germaine Mason, the Osaka silver medalist, cleared his seasonal best of 2.31m for second. In third, was Jesse Williams, who cleared 2.31m.

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