Bolt, 9.79 in the rain, by Alfon Juck


More comments on the Areva Paris meet and the performances there.....



PARIS (FRA, July 17): Usain Bolt´s meet record and second fastest of the year 9.79 (-0.2) in rain was the highlight of fourth AF Golden League meeting, the AREVA event in Stade de France with nearly 50 000 spectators. He was again the second slowest out of the blocks but in cold evening could not do any better. „I‘m happy, it was a good race. The crowd supported me, it‘s great. I know people love me, so I try every time to be at my best. In these conditions, the time is great. But it was hard to put everything in place, from start to finish. My reaction time is poor, this is something I have to work on it in the next weeks before Berlin. But it‘s life, things don‘t ever happen the way you want. I had a good feeling on the track, it was like flying,” he was quoted in Flash-interview. But his training-mates showed great improvement. Daniel Bailey to Antiguan record 9.91 and Yohan Blake to 9.93 life-time best. Pity for Blake that he is not qualified for Berlin (Bolt, Powell, Frater). Best European on the paper Simeon Williamson was sixth (10.14). All four jackpot contenders remained in the race for 1 million. Yelena Isinbayeva had again only one jump to win (465) in starting rain, Sanya Richards clocked pretty fast concerning the conditions (49.34) and is now better than Marita Koch in all-time number of sub 50 races. Kerron Stewart also let her 10.99 look easy (+0.2). Kenenisa Bekele who was suppose to be in biggest danger did not give any chance to Bernard Lagat. He clocked in fast race second fastest in the world 7:28.64 at 3000 m (also his third career fastest). Lagat was rewarded by outdoor PB 7:33.15 as second. Third French Mourad Amdouni achieved European lead 7:37.50. No other meet record or world or european lead was registered due to difficult weather conditions. At the end in rain home hero Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad beat strong group of Africans headed by olympic 2004 winner and world leader Ezekiel Kemboi with 8:13.13 over 8:15.27. Third European champion 2006 Jukka Keskisalo of Finland improved his PB to 8:15.59. Another home win for Renaud Lavillenie in pole vault (570). Olympic winner Andreas Thorkildsen again beat world champion Tero Pitkamäki in javelin (88.03-86.68) with world leader Vadim Vasilevskis third (82.82). Clear wins for Jeremy Wariner at 400 m (45.28) and Ahmed Ismail of Sudan at 800 m (1:45.85). Dawn Harper won the 100 hurdles despite bad start with 12.68 (-0.3). In the same men event Dexter Faulk had excellent start (0.110) and clocked his second best ever 13.14 (-0.2) over improved Dwight Thomas (13.30) and home Garfield Darien (13.39). Blanka Vlasic did not jump again two metres but won with 199. Anna Jesien of Poland repeated her win from Rome in 54.37 at 400 m hurdles over strong field. Steeple runner Anna Willard showed great finish in winning the women 800 m in new PB 1:58.80 ahead of Italian Elisa Cusma (1:58.99) and nearly all runners clocked season bests. Olympic silver winner Philips Idowu won the triple jump (17.17).


KAUNAS (LTU, July 17): British sweep at 100 m was the highlight of second day at European U23 Championships. Former world junior champion Harry Aikines Aryeetey clocked 10.15 (+1.5) over Leevan Yearwood (10.26) and Rion Pierre (10.28). Another sweep for Russia at 400 m as Kseniya Ustalova achieved 51.74, Kseniya Zadorina 51.76 and Anna Sedova 52.58. One more Russian win on Friday as Natalya Popkova dominated the 10 000 m in 33:37.31. But long jump favorite Pavel Karavayev was only second (786) behind Latvian Janis Leitis (790). Home crowds celebrated Universiade winner Lina Grincikaite as the fastest woman in 11.37 (+0.2) at 100 m over Natalia Pogrebnyak of Ukraine (11.45), Poland´s Marika Popowicz (11.50) and Norway record holder Ezinne Okparaebo (11.53). Another British win for female discus thrower Eden Francis (57.29). Germany got the gold in women shot put as Denise Hinrichs was the clear winner (19.18). In triple jump two personal bests for top two. Greek Paraskevi Papahristou 14.34 (+0.3) in first attempt and Romanian Cristina Bujin 14.26 (-0.5) in last one. Great depth in men´s 400 m as top trio achieved life-time bests. French Yannick Fonsat 45.68, Briton Nigel Levine 45.78 and Poland´s Jan Ciepiela 45.81. Dutch Eelco Sintnicolaas won the decathlon and as only one score 8+ with 8112 PB. Fast semis in hurdles sprints. Christina Vukicevic of Norway posted 13.05 and French Dimitri Bascou 13.54 ahead of Briton Gianni Frankis (13.58).


RIED (AUT, July 17): The best result in the final fourth leg of Austrian series TOP 4 was achieved by US hurdler Jeff Porter who improved to 13.37 (-0.2) in heats. He confirmed that time with 13.48 (-0.5) in the final. British high jumper Samson Oni improved his season best to 225 to win. Canadian Kelsie Hendry was better on count-back in pole vault then US Jillian Schwartz (both 445). Croatian hammer thrower Andras Haklits registered 76.23. Australian triple jump champion Alwyn Jones won his event with 16.67 (+0.6) and Korean national record holder Soon Ok-Jung leaped to 646 (+0.9).


LONDON (GBR): World and olympic winner Christine Ohuruogu has withdrawn from next week‘s London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace, further raising doubts over whether she will be able to defend her World Championship 400m title in Berlin next month. A statement released by UK Athletics said: „Christine Ohuruogu has withdrawn from today‘s Golden League event in Paris and also next weekend‘s Aviva Grand Prix due to a low-grade hamstring injury picked up in training on Tuesday. The decision to miss London as well as Paris is a precautionary measure and Ohuruogu is hoping to be fit for the August World Championships in Berlin where she is due to defend her title.“

BOCHUM-WATTENSCHEID (GER): New names for the DAK Athletics Gala on August 2nd in Bochum-Wattenscheid have been announced: American Lolo Jones will challenge German hurdler Carolin Nytra. The men also get great competition: Mathias Buehler, Helge Schwarzer and Alexander John will face Czech Petr Svoboda and Ryan Wilson from the USA.

LEVERKUSEN (GER): German javelin thrower Annika Suthe, U23 Europan champion in 2005, will have surgery in a ligament in her shoulder for the second time. The 23-year-old plans a comeback for next year with main focus on the 2012 Olympics.

JEREZ (ESP): Spanish javelin thrower Mercedes Chilla, bronze medallist at the 2006 European championships, might not be able to take part in the World championships in Berlin due to pain in her shoulder and back. Spanish media report that she probably has to undergo surgery.

RETHYMNO (GRE): World and olympic winner Veronica Campbell-Brown will decide Saturday whether she will be able to run the 100 m next monday in Rethymno at Vardinoyannia EA Premium Meeting. She had a strong cramp after winning the 100 m last monday in Athens.

MONTE CARLO (MON): IAAF confirmed seven latest doping cases. All for 2 years of ineligibility. Main name is Nigerian 400 m and 400 m hurdles runner Gladys Stephens.

Special thanks to Alfons Juck, EME News.

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