2011 Rome Compeed Gala: Live Coverage, 26 May 2011, by Larry Eder

Usain Bolt, 24 May 2011, photo by PhotoRun.net

The 2011 Rome Compeed Golden Gala is six hours from now. As part of your entertainment, I have attached the info on the schedule and starting lists:


We will begin posting info in about one hour. First, with my predictions on the meet, and final notes, and then, event by event.

Bolt_UsainPC1a-RomeDL11.jpgUsain Bolt & the Media, 24 May 2011, photo by PhotoRun.net

Update 1, 26 May, 2011, 12:30 Local Time

The 2011 Compeed Golden Gala Meeting is going to be a strong third meet on the Samsung Series. Here is a quick comment on how I see it going:

1. Men's 100 meters

Strong field, with Usain Bolt, Richard Thompson, Asafa Powell, Lerone Clarke, Kim Collins and Christophe Lemaitre as key players. Bolt should win, running 9.88, with Kim Collins, the 2003 World Champion, surprising for third, with Asafa Powell in third.

2. Men's 800 meters

Alfred Yego is my man to beat here. While Yego has run only 1:45.17 so far this year, I think he can take on Asbel Kiprop, the 2009 WC at 1,500 meters, who ran 1:44.74 so far this year.

3. 5,000 Meters, Men

This could be a race where ten guys break 13 minutes, but it may be too early. Watch Sileshi Sihine, Dejen Gebremeskel, Moses Kipsoro and Imane Merga break away and fight to the finish.

4. Men's 400m hurdles

LJ Van Zyl has the world leader at 47.66. Kerron Clement has run 48.74 and Angelo Taylor, 2000 and 2008 Olympic champ is in the house. Watch a 47.8 to win and Taylor making Van Zyl pay for all real estate. This is way early for Kerron to be hurdling well.

5. Pole Vault Men

Malte Mohr of Germany won in Doha, but Renaud Lavillenie of France will not let that happen again. Derek Miles of US told us last night he had a nice jump at 5.72m and is hoping to jump well.

6. Men Triple Jump

Philips Idowu is jumping, and Christian Olsson is in shape. Fabrizio Donata of Italy is in front of his home crowd, watch this one, could be a highlight of the meet!

7. Men's Shot Put

Cantwell, Hoffa, Nelson, Armstrong, Majewski, Martin and Whiting-arguably, next to the 100 meters for men, the best field of the meeting! Christian and Adam both said they are fit and ready to throw!

8. Men's 200 meters

Shawn Crawford, Leon Baptiste, and Italy's Andrew Howe make this an interesting race!

9. 400 meters Men

Greg Nixon, Jonathan Borlee, David Neville, Jermaine Gonzales, and a fit Martyn Rooney should make it an nice battle for a sub 45  in this race.

10. Women, 200 meters

Allyson Felix and Sanya Richards-Ross, will battle with Bianca Knight and Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie over 200 meters. This race is stacked!

11. Women, 400 meters

Coming back in the 400 meters, can Allyson Felix and Sanya Richards-Ross take on Debbie Dunn, and Shericka Williams?

Mishcenko_AnnaFV-Doha11.jpgAnna Mischchenko is the world leader, photo by PhotoRun.net

12. Women, 1,500 meters

May be best field on women's side. Kalikidan Gezahegne, 2010 World Indoor champ, Anna Mishchenko of the Ukraine, world leader, with Gelete Burka, Nancy Langat, Maryam Jamal, Lisa Dobriskey and Christin Wurth-Thomas. Very, very fast!

13. Women, 300m Steeplechase

Milcah Cheiywa has already run 9:16.44 and Lydia Rotich has run 9:19.20. If Bridget Franek keeps her cool and runs just off the second pack, she can get into 9:24 territory.

14. 100m hurdles

Lolo Jones, Danielle Carruthers, Perdita Felician, Kellie Wells, Ginnie Powell-Crawford, and Dawn Harper, all here, all ready to race!

15. High Jump Women

Blanka Vlasic should clear 2.00 today to give the world a real mark. Svetlana Shkolina is jumping as well. On the injured side, Ariane Freiderich was bitten by a cat recently, and had to spend some time getting sewn up.

16. Long Jump Women

Britney Reese, newly graduated, Funmi Jicoh, recent winner, and Ineta Radoveca are all in this top notch field.

17. Discus Women

Yangfend LI of China leads at 66.18, with Nadine Muller of Germany at 66.05. Throw in Yarella Barrios of Cuba and Aretha Thurmond of USA, and you have a well balanced field.

18. Javelin Women

Spotakova, Obergfol and Abakumova all have Pbs over 70 meters. Martina Ratej is throwing as is Kara Patterson. Could be some tough throws!

Update 2, 26 May 2011, Local time; 7:00 PM

Well, I am seated at my media seat, in Row Five, at the fifty meter line of the Stadio Olympico. What a magnificent facility!

I was pretty confused (what is new), trying to find the media entrance. Then, I noticed Franco Fava (27:51 10,000m), one of the great sports writers of our age, who whisked me through the line, walked me to the media center, all the while, accepting hugs and kisses from athletes, and friends who know one of our sports most elegant writers. On the way in, he saw Fiona May, the 1995 World Champion, who lives now in Florence, they exchanged a few words, a hug and we were off!

Franco was one of Italy's great distance runners, and he carried that knowledge into writing about sports. His newspaper is a meet sponsor.

The weather is perfect, a bit overcast, but a nice cool breeze is cooling down the Stadio Olympico.

Armstrong_DylanR-Doha11.jpgDylan Armstrong, 2011 Doha DL, photo by PhotoRun.net

Men's Shot Put

In round 1, Reese Hoffa took command, throwing 21.00 meters, with Dylan Armstrong at 20.81m, Christian Cantwell at 20.60.

In round two. Dylan Armstrong threw 21.11m, then Tomas Majewski threw 21.16m, and now Hoffa is in third in 21.00m!  Hoffa fouled, as did Cantwell in round 2.

In round 3, Ryan Whiting improved from 20.12m to 20.88m. Cory Martin fouled, Pavel Lyzhyn threw 19.83m, Ralf Bartels threw 19.71m, Majewski hit 20.41m, Dylan Armstrong hit 21.02m, Hoffa fouled, and Christian Cantwell thew 20.88m, for an improvement.

In round 4, Reese Hoffa thew 20.73m, Tomasz Majewski threw 20.08m, Dylan Armstrong threw 21.10, and Christian Cantwell threw 20.21m. Ralf Bartels threw 19.71m.

In round 5, Adam Nelson improved to 20.70m, Reese Hoffa threw 21.04m, an improvement and Dylgan Armstrong hit 21.60m to take the lead! Christian Cantwell threw 20.81.

In round 6, Pavel Lyzhyn of Belarus threw 20.21m, for an improvement, Nelson and Whiting fouled. Christian Cantwell improved to 21.09m. Reese Hoffa improved to 21.13m, Tomasz Majewski improved to 21.20m, and Dylan Armstrong threw 21.40m, his throw from round 5 taking the win, with his 21.60m!

Final Standings: Men's Shot put: 1. Dylan Armstrong, Canada, 21.60m, 2. Tomasz Majewski, Poland, 21.20m, 3. Reese Hoffa, USA, 21.13m, 4. Christian Cantwell, USA, 21.09m, 5. Ryan Whiting, USA, 20.88,

Jimoh_Funmi-Doha11.jpgFunmi Jimoh, 2011 Doha DL, photo by PhotoRun.net

Women's Long Jump

Brittany Reese lead through round 1, with a jump of 6.84m-her personal best.  Shara Proctor was second in 6.62m.

In round 2, Funmi Jimoh took the llead with a jump of 6.87m, with Eloyse Leseur moving into third with a jump of 6.64m.

In round 3, Ivana Spanovic moved into fifth with her leap of 6.51m, Conception Montaner of Spain jumped 6.60m, to move into fourth.

In round 4, Brittney Reese took control, hitting 6.94m, to move into th elead. Tatyana Kotova improved to 6.42m, for sixth place. Irena PUsterla of Switzerland improved from 6.05m
to 6.26m.

Round 5, round six changed nothing.

Final standings: Women's LJ: 1. Brittney Reese, USA, 6.94m, 2. Funmi Jimoh, USA, 6.87m,
3. Eloyse Lesueur, France, 6.64m, 4. Shara Proctor, GBR, 6.62m, 5. Conceptcion Montaner, Spain, 6.60m.

Reese_Brittney_USOut.JpgBrittney Reese, 2010 USA Outdoor, photo by PhotoRun.net

Pre Program, Men's 100m, round 1

Jared Connaughton of Canada won this 100m race, in 10.31, with Michael Tumi of Italy in second in 10.45 and Dariuz Kuc in third in 10.49.

Pre program, Men's 100m, round 2

Gavin Smellie of Canada won here, in 10.38, with Yasaldez Nascimento of Portugal in second in 10.50, and Giovanni Codrington of the Netherlands running in third in 10.53.

VanZyl_LJ-Doha11.jpgLJ Van Zyl, 2011 Doha DL, photo by PhotoRun.net

Men's 400 meter hurdles

Johnny Dutch came off the start like a bat out of hell, leading through 200 meters. LJ Van Zyl, the world leader and David Greene, the European Champion, was right on his shoulder. Kerron Clement was not in the race, and Angelo Taylor was fighting his way into the race.

Coming off the 300 meter mark, LJ, due to superior hurdling and speed, was just flying. David Greene, showing the guts that got his his European gold, just kept clawing closer and closer, and Agneleo Taylor pushed his way past Javier Culson into third.

LJ Van Zyl took the win in 47.92, with David Greene taking the European lead in 48.24. Angelo Taylor took a seasonal best with his 48.66,a nd Javier Culson took fourth in 48.86. Jehue Gordon of Trinidad was fifth in 49.09, his seasonal best, and Justin Gaymon of the USA was sixth in 49.31. Johnny Dutch ran 40.43 the hard way for seventh, with Rhys Williams in eighth in 49.94, and Kerron Clement, the 2007, 2009 World Champ, in last place, and in need of getting into racing shape, running a pedestrian 50.03.

Women's 3000m steeplechase

What a brilliant race! Lydiah Chepkurui lead through the kilometer, running 3:01.47, with Milcah Chemos Cheiywa had the lead by 2,000 meters, and just kept pushing, and pushing. The little engine that could tonight was Ethiopia's Sofia Assefa, who just willed herself to stay close to Cheiywa as Milcah began that long run for home!

Milcah Cheiywa, Sofia Assefa and Birkutan Adamu separated themselves from the rest of the field! Cheiywa continued her strong hurdling and did not stop until she crossed the line, in 9:12.89, the new world leader. Sofia Assefa of Ethiopia did not give up, and her 9:15.04 for second gave her the national record in Ethiopia! In third, Habiba Ghribi of Tunisia caught Birtukan Ademu at the line, taking third, 9:20.33 to 9:20.37, with Ademu setting a world junior record in 9:20.37!

Lydia Rotich of Kenya was fifth in 9:25.16, with Hatti Dean of Great Britain in sixth, running 9:37.95. Sara Bei-Hall, running a strong smart race, ran a personal best by ten seconds in 9:39.48, giving her the US leader as well, finishing seventh. Bridget Franek finished eighth and ran 9:48.24, her seasonal best.

The women's steeplechase continues to astound and do not be surprised if it takes 9:00 just to medal in Daegu!

Women's 400 meters

Running a very controlled race, Allyson Felix came off the turn, with Montsho, McCorory and Dunn behind her and Richards-Ross fighting it out with Ross.

Allyson Felix ran strong, increasing her lead between 300 meters and the finish, taking a WL in 49.81. In second, Amantle Monthso ran 50.47. In third, Francena McCorory of the US ran 50.70. In fourth, Debbie Dunn ran 50.79. Sanya Richards-Ross ran 50.98, her seasonal best and Perri Shakes-Drayton of GBR ran 51.47 for her personal best (Perri is a 400m hurdler).

Note that Allyson Felix and Sanya Richards-Ross are running the 200 meters in 45 minutes!

Men's 200 meters

Giving this Italian crowd exactly what they wanted, Andrew Howe, World Champ silver medalist from Osaka in the long jump, took control off the turn and ran a superb 20.31 for the win. Marvin Anderson of Jamaica was second in 20.49, and Rondel Sorrillo of Trinidad was third in 20.68. Shawn Crawford, 2000 and 2004 Olympic champion over 200 meters, was fourth in 20.82.

Andrew Howe, a huge draw in Italy, has been injured off and on for two straight years! A nice victory for him, the crowd is still buzzing!

Women's discus

Sandra Perkovic of Croatia won here, with a second round throw of 65.56m, her series was 64.06m, 65.56m, foul, foul, 63.87m, and 63.72m.

In second, Yarelis Barrios of Cuba threw 64.18m, also in round 2. Her series was 53.77m, 64.18m, foul, foul, 58.26m, foul.

In third, Nadine Muller of Germany threw 63.17m. Her series was 58.42m, 58.45m, 63.17m, foul, foul, 62.85m.

In fourth, Li Yanfeng of China threw 62.55m. Her series was foul, 62.55m, 61.31m, 58.78m, 62.24m, foul.

In fifth was Aretha Thurmond of the USA, who threw 59.79m, foul, 60.72m, 58.13m, 57.97m, 61.68m.

Women's 1,500 meters

In a super tight 1,500 meters, Maryam Yusuf Jamal showed why she is one tough middle distance runner. Anna Luchkina of Rusia lead at 400 meter sin 62.93, 800 meters in 2:09.76. Christin Wurth-Thomas took the lead with 550 to go, and lead at 1100 meters, in 3:00.7, and just kept fighting.

Maryam Yusuf Jamal, follwed by Assefa Meskerem of Ethiopia, Geleta Burka of Ethiopia went by Wurth Thomas on the backstretch, with 300 to go! Jamal did not quit, running a WL 4:01.60 for first.

In second, Assefa Meskerem ran 4:02.12, a personal best. In third, Geleta Burka ran 4:03.28. In fourth, Anna Mischechenko of the Ukraine ran a strong race, running 4:03.53. In fifth Nancy Langat of Kenya ran 4:03.66 and in sixth place, Christin Wurth Thomas got the US leader, running 4:03.72!

A fall in the third lap, had Kalkidan Gezahenge and Anna Luchkina drop out.

Men's 800 meters

This was a tough field. Sammy Tangui took the field through 400 meters in 49.83 and David Mutua took the field through 1:17.98. But, it was Kahdevis Robinson's night, as Khadevis went by the field and took the win in 1:45.09, his seasonal best.

Mbulaeni Mulaudzi of South Africa, the world champ, took second in 1:45.50, and Mohammed Al Azemi too third in 1:45.52. In fourth, none other than 2009 WC over 1,500 meters, Asbel Kiprop. Robinson will remember this one!

Women's 100m hurdles

LoLo Jones was leading at five hurdles, and that is when the field caught up. She started to force it and hit hurdle six and Dawn Harper went by, and steamrolled to a fine 12.70, her seasonal best. Kellie Wells, world leader, took second in 12.73. Danielle Carruthers ran 12.80 for third and Lisa Urech of Switzerland took fourth in 12.84.

The women's 100 meter hurdles may be the toughest team to make on the US World Champs team in 2011.

Women's High Jump

Blanka Vlasic entertained, as she won here, clearing 1.95m on her second attempt. Levern Spencer was second in 1.92m and Melanie Melfort was third in 1.92, her seasonal best.

Men's 100 meters

Asafa Powell got a great start and capitalized on it (reaction time: .133).Usain Bolt got one of the slowest starts of the race, next to 2003 World Champ Kim Collins (.216).

Bolt showed effort as he had to make a strong move with twenty meters to go, taking the lead just before the finish and winning in 9.91. Asafa Powell held on to second, running  a seasonal best in 9.93.

In third, Christophe Lemaitre ran his seasonal best of 10.00. And in fourth place, Kim Collins, the 2003 WC gold medalist at 100 meters, ran 10.12, one of his best races (I believe Kim is 33 or 34, pretty darn good for anyone but a sprinter of his age is a rarity!).

A super race, and one of the highlights of the night!

Men's Pole Vault

European Champion Indoors Renaud Lavillenie cleared 5.42m, took two to clear 5.62m, two to clear 5.72m and then won it with the world leader, clearing 5.82m. Malte Mohr of Germany cleared 5.72m for second and Maksym Mazuryk of Ukraine cleared 5.62m for third. Romain Mesnl cleared 5.42m for fourth.

Men's 5,000 meters

Running a strong pace, Imane Merga showed how dangerous he will be in Daegu, taking this race in a world leading 12:52.21!

The pacemaking was tough, as the field hit 2:35.34 for 1k, 5:10.53 for 2k, 7:45.75 for 3k, and 10:24.13 for 4k. Running the last kilometer in 2:30, Merga did not let up! With seven runners under 13:00, this was a barn burner.

Thanks for following our coverage this evening will add results and quotes and photos later tonight!

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