2011 FBK Hengelo Games: Live coverage, by Larry Eder

Fannie Blankers-Koen Stadium, photo by Bob Ramsak/IAAF.org

The 2011 Fannie Blankers-Koen Hengelo Games have been a fixture on the European circuit for the past 31 years. A combination of tremendous global compeitition and supporting Local athletes, the meet management (Meet Director Jan Arie Bijl) even controlled the weather as the sky cleared, and while a bit windy, the conditions are perfect.

RBR will be covering this meet LIVE, as we did the Compeed Rome Golden Gala. Special thanks to adidas for their support. Please check back for updates!

Men's 800 meters

While Sammy Tangui took the pace out, hitting 49.97 for the first 400 meters, Adam Kszcot of Poland hit the first lap in 55.15! Running just 50 seconds for his second lap, Kszcot moved through the field. On the final straight, Kszcot went past Mohammed Al-Azemi, who was in turn passed by Boaz Lalang.

Adam Kszcot, the 2010 European bronze medalist at 800 meters, and 2011 EuropeanIndoor champion, took the win in 1:45.11. Boaz Lalang of Kenya ran a seasonal best in 1:45.31, and Mohammed Al Azemi, who had lead at 600 meters (1:17.45), held on for third, in 1:45.35. (U.S. runner Duane Solomon finished 11th in 1:47.00).

I like this young man, Adam Kszcot, as he sure knows how to kick in tight spaces. 

Women's 1,500 meters

The women's 1,500 meters was about one thing, running fast, and fast they did. Hitting the first lap in 65.36 and the 800 meters in 2:09.1, a pack consisting of Kalkidan Gezehegne, Maryam Jamal, Irene Jelagat, Viola Kibiwot were up front.

The pace was relentless, and the battle came down to Kalkidan Gezehegne, Siham Hilali and Maryam Jamal. Jamal went from third past Gezehegne and Hilali to take the win in 4:00.33, adding to her victory at the Compeed Golden Gala in Roma, and giving the world a new World Leader. Kalkidan Gezehegne, the 2010 World Indoor Champ, held on for second, running 4:00.97, a new personal best. In third, Siham Hilali of Morocco kept third, improving herPB of 4:01.33. In fourth, Irene Jelegat of Kenya ran 4:02.59, a her personal best. In fifth, Viola Kibiwot ran 4:05.51.

Women's 100 meters

Schillionie Calvert of Jamaica took the 100 meters in 11.05, her seasonal best. Debbie Ferguson, who had lead early, finished second in 11.12, her seasonal best. In third, Ruddy Zang Milami of Gabon, ran 11.23. LaShaunte Moore took fourth in 11.27, and Stephanie Durst was fifth in 11.31.

Men's 1,500 meters

Vickson Polonet, the rabbit, took the field through 400 meters in 54.47, 800 meters in 1:52.08. Collins Cheboi had the lead at 1,200 meters, hit in 2:48.23! The field was running fast.

Mohammed Shaween, Haron Keitany, Mekonnen Gebremedhin and Caleb Ndiku all wanted to win this race. The man who wanted it most was Mohammed Shaween, who leant the best at the finish, winning in 3:31.82, a new national record for Saudi Arabia! In second, Haron Keitany of Kenya, a man who has run 3:30.20, ran 3:31.86 today, for second. In third, Mekonnen Gebremedhin ran 3:31.90, his seasonal best. In fourth, Caleb Ndiku just dipped under his personal best, with his fine 3:34.16. And in fifth, Brimin Kipruto of Kenya ran 3:35.52.

I have to mention my car mate from Amsterdam, Bartosz Nowicki of Poland, the European Indoor bronze medalist at 1,500 meters, who finished tenth in 3:38.65. Not bad for his first outdoor race of the year (a 1,000 on Tuesday and an 800m on Thursday-busy week).

Women's 100m hurdles

Danielle Carruthers was the winner in the women's 100m hurdles, but, it took a bit to recognize her, such was the tightness of the race.

LoLo Jones, who had hit the sixth hurdle and dropped out of Rome on Thursday, had a bad start here. However, Jones pushed and pushed, fighting her way into fourth, in 12.71. Dawn Harper, the 2008 Olympic champion, and the winner of last Thursday's race in Rome, finished third here in 12.71.

The race came down to Kellie Wells and Danielle Carruthers. Carruthers leant better at the line, hurdling well the entire race, and yet, she was not recognized as the winner at first. Kellie Wells was, but then, was gracious enough to give Danielle the flowers for the winner.

Danielle Carruthers mastered a tough field, in a tight race, and ran 12.64, a new meet record, to best Kellie Wells, who ran 12.65.

Women's 800 meters

Well, I am impressed.

At the European Indoors this past March, I begged Jenny Meadows, through my column, to stop leading all of the time in championships, as I hated seeing her get silvers and bronzes, when she should be fighting for gold meadows.

Jenny Meadows won this race today, even with some pushing and shoving at 500 meters. So this is how I saw it:

Juannea Cilliers took the field through 27.9 at 200 meters and 57.09 for the 400 meters. Cilliers tried to get off at 500 meters, but Lenka Masna, eager to lead, nudged Ms. Cilliers a bit. Meadows stayed tucked into third, and moved into the second lane, and avoided any real action.

Running in sixth was Emma Jackson, also of Great Britain, staying out of trouble, and running quite well.

Well, Jenny Meadows came off the turn, about 700 meters, like a proverbial bat out of hell (Great Album by Meatloaf), and just churned up the track, winning in 1:59.76, a seasonal best. And low and behold, Emma Jackson, who was moving through the field, emerges in front of Annet Negesa and Russia's Yuliana Rusanova, and as she strides out, her long legs (she has to be a bit over six feet (1.88 m for you metric buffs), just kept moving as she took over second in a personal best of 2:00.46. Annet Negesa ran a national record in third, 2:02.27, for her country, Uganda.

Men's Discus

Robert Harting, 2009 World Champion at the discus, is rounding into form for 2011. With a series of throws, 63.22m, foul, 68.23m, 66.13m, foul, foul, Hartings' third round throw of 68.23m held up.

Erik Cadee opened with 63.23, then a second round of 66.16m, followed by fouls in the next four rounds, kept him in second (66.16m).

Piotry Malachowski of Poland had one good throw, in round one, 65.65m and that was all he had-five fouls followed. Malachowski, the European champion in 2010, was third here.

Men's 110m hurdles

Dayron Robles, the 2008 Olympic champ and 2010 World Indoor champ, is fit and he showed it today, running a fine 13.07, clearly ahead of the competition. Robles, who is a real treat to watch hurdle, is clean and elegant over the . There is no wasted motion with Robles, which is
amazing to watch with someone so damn tall!

Dwight Thomas ran 13.18, his seasonal best, in second and Terrance Trammell was third in 13.31.

Women's 200 meters

In the women's 200 meters, with wind reading of a +1.1 m/s, Debbie Dunn just muscled her way to the front, running tough and winning in 23.24. In second, Abi Oyepitan of Great Britain ran 23.33. In third, Joice Maduaka ran 23.41. Jamile Samuel of the Netherlands ran her seasonal best of 23.47 for fourth and Marika Popowicz of Poland was fifth in 23.49.

Men's pole vault

Well, the old guys sometimes do win, still. In a field where the average age was 30, two 39 year olds go 1 and 2?

"I think the only reason that Derek stayed in was because of Tim Lobinger!" chuckled Karen Locke, agent of many of the vault community.

Lobinger, a thirty-nine year old German pole vaulter, cleared 5.20m on his first attempt, took two to clear 5.20m and three to clear 5.50m. Then, Lobinger showed that cunning, guile and a huge amount of luck can do, and passed at 5.57m, cleared 5.62m on his third an passed at 5.67m, missing three times a 5.72m. It was the clearance at 5.62m, but really the clearance of 5.20m on his first attempt that gave him the win!

Afterwards, as he was packing up his poles for a long ride to the next meeting, Lobinger, all smiles, when asked what this should tell other guys over 30, 40, heck, even 50! " Yes, even the old guys can win! " noted Tim Lobinger, laughing.

Derek Miles the American vaulter who knows a thing or two about being the Methuselah of the pole vault, cleared 5.20m on his third attempt, then 5.40m on his first, then 5.50m on his third, passed at 5.57m, took three to clear 5.62m and passed at 5.67m and missed three times at 5.72m. Same as Tim Lobinger, except the German Lobinger cleared 5.20m on his first attempt, not his third.

Raphel Holzdeppe of Germany, all of 22, was third, as he cleared 5.40m on his third and 5.50 on his third, with one attempt at 5.62m.

Women's 5,000 meters

This was to be a fast race, and it was a fast race. Just not the world leader!

Tamara Tverdostup of the Ukraine took the field through the 1,000 meter mark in 2:54.68. Lubov Puliaeva of Russia took the pack through 2,000 meter sin 5:51.72 (2:56). All this time, Meseret Defar was floating in fifth to sixth place, biding her time.

Sentayehu Ejigu, 2010 World Indoor Bronze medalist, took over the pacing duties, taking the field through the 3,000 meters in 8:53.72!

The race was on, and Ejigu did not let up, taking the field through 11:54.38 (slowest kilometer of the race, in 3:01), as Meseret continued to prepare herself for the big kick.

Running the fastest kilometer of the race, 2:49, and the fastest lap of the race, 61, Meseret Defar waited, and waited, until the last 200 meters came and that was that. Meseret Defar is a force to be reckoned with, and as the queen of the kickers, Meseret Defar won the race, in a fine 14:45.48.

Sentayehu Ejigu finished second in 14:46.12. Sule Utura of Ethiopia ran and took third, 14:46.36. Genzebe Dibaba broke her pb with a fine run of 14:46.55. In ninth, Jenn Rhines, of the USA, ran her seasonal best of 15:12.15.

Men's 5,000 meters

The men's 5,000 meters was fast, but also very tactical. Abdeleslam Kennouche of France took the pack through the first kilometer in 2:33.04. Bethwell Birgen took the field through the 2,000 meter mark in 5:07.11 (2:34). Yenew Alamirew threw in a surge, but Vincent Chepkok took the lead through 3,000 meters, hit in 7:48.51 (2:41). Alamirew threw in another surge, but the pack caught up with him and Jacob Cheshari lead at the 4 kilometer mark, hit in 10:25.62.

Alamirew is new to the 5,000 meters. He seemed to be running like he was in a three kilometer race. At the bell, Edwin Soi, Vincent Chepkok, Jacob Cheshari, Yenew Alamirew and Eliud Kipchoge were together. For a new 5,000 meter runner, it does not get more scary than that! The bell was hit in 12:00.7

Running 58 seconds for the last lap, Edwin Soi, the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist showed his stuff, and won in 12:59.15. Vincent Chepkok took second in 12:59.28. Jacob Cheshari was third in 13:01.03. And Yenew Alamirew, the Doha 3,000m winner, ran his personal best today at 5,000 meters, in 13:02.71. Eliud Kipchoge, the 2003 World Champion, 5,000m, the 2004 Olympic bronze medalist, the 2007 WC silver medalist and 2008 Olympic silver medalist, finished fifth in 13:05.00.

Men's 100 meters

I really like Kim Collins, the 2003 World Champion, and 2005 World indoor bronze medalist. He is just a fun guy to talk to and he, like the pole vaulters, does not know how to retire. So today, he runs 10.13 for his qualifying round and puts together a superb race, running 10.05 for the win tonight! What a fitting end to a great meet! The crowd loved it!

So, I am heading to dinner now. I wanted to thank you all for reading about my trip to Europe and the meets! I also wanted to thank Ellen Van Langham, Yvonne van Hoperen, Jos Hermans and meet director Jan Arie Bijl for being so kind to me and helpful as I made the last minute decision to attend their meeting!

The 2011 FBK Hengelo Games is a tremendous meet. Well organized, great performances, wonderful weather and a superb facility make for a tremendous meeting. But, in fact, as it is with all great meets, the support of sponsors, the vision of the management and the support of the agents, athletes, federations and yes,  footwear companies that make this sport a success. 

Sorry, I did not get to see my friend, Spencer Nels, here, but he would be quite happy with Kim Collins performance!







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