World Champs, Day Three, Final Update


It is just before five in the morning local time, Valencia. I have arrived at the airport and am getting ready for my three flights back to Chicago. In my mind the World Indoor Champs was a tremendous success. There was tremendous competition, large, boisterous crowd, fine facility and of course, wonderful athletes with wonderful stories from 159 countries. Here are some of the final events and how I saw them:

The Heptathon

First, I did not get the news on the final event on the heptathlon on day one until day two, my apologies to our multi geeks!

At the end of day one, Bryan Clay was the leader with 3,736 points. He ran 6.71 for the 60m, long jumped 7.75m, threw the shot 16.21m and high jumped 2.09 for 887 points to reach 3,736 for the first day.

Roman Sebrle had staged a high jump extravaganza, where he jumped 2.12m, he also had run 7.16, long jumped 7.60m and threw the shot. At end of day one, Sebrle was in second in 3,572.

Andrei Krauchanka of Belarus had won the high jump in 2.15m, for 944 points. for 3373 after day one.

It looked to be a tough second day.

On day two, Roman Sebrle, citing an injury, could not finish the hurdles.

Bryan Clay went 7.86m for 1017, then pole vaulted 5.00 for 910 and finally ran the 1000 meters in 2:55.64, for a total of 6,371, the world leader and first place.

Andrei Krauchanka did not give up. The Belarussian hurdled 8.11 for 954 points, pole vaulted 5.30m for 1004 points and finsihed up with a fine 2:46.49 for the silver and a national record of 6,234!

Dmitriy Karpov, of Kazakstan, hurdled 8.15 for 944 points, pole vaulted 5.20m for 972 points, and ran 2:47.45 for the 1,000 meters, in 792 points, for a score of 6131 and the bronze medal.

The U.S. Donovan KIlmartin finished fifth in 5,894! He sprinted 6.95 for the 60m, long jumped 7.36m for 900 points, threw the shot 14.09m for 734 points, and high jumped 2.03m for 831 points for day 1. On Day 2, he hurdled 8.25, for 920 points, vaulted 5.10 for 941 points and ran 2:51.54.

Pole Vault Final, Men

Evgeniy Lukyaneko does not subscribe to the Isinbayeva school of vaulting-the fewer attempts the better. The Russian cleared 5.55m, 5.70m, 5.75m and 5.80 m on his first attempt. On his second he cleared 5.85 meters and on 5.90m,he took control of the gold with his first time clearance there. 5.90m won Lukyaneko took the gold. Lukyaneko has the world leader.

Defending champion Brad Walker came in at 5.70 meters and took two attempts to clear it. Then, he cleared 5.85 meters and was back in the lead. His missing at 5.95m three times put his in silver position. Walker set a personal best with his clearance of 5.85m.

Steven Hooker of Australia cleared 5.45m, 5.70m and 5.80m on his first attempts. He missed 5.85m and took his last two jumps at 5.90m, missing. Hooker jumped a seasonal best for third and the bronze. This was his seasonal best.

Jerome Clavier of France was fourth in 5.75m, Tim Lobinger of Germany was fifth in 5.70m, and Maksym Mazuryk of Ukraine cleared 5.70m also, finishing sixth. Alhaji Jeng of Sweden cleared 5.70m and finished seventh. The US vaulter Derek Miles cleared 5.60m and took eighth.

800 Meters, Men, Final

Abubaker Kaki Khamis of the Sudan wanted to win this race, so he made sure he controlled every step of it. Running the first lap in 24.92, he had Mulaudzi of South Africa, Yusuf Kamel of Brunei, Dmitrijs MIlkevics of Latvia, Dmitriy Bogdanov of Russia and Nick Symmonds of the US in tow.

Khamis did not stop, he hit the four hundred meters in 51.26, 600 meters in 1:18.28 and finished ina world leader of 1:44.81! A stunning example of front running, Khamis lead the field to some fast times, check this out!

In second, Mbluaeni Mulaudzi of South Africa took second in a national record of 1:44.91. Yusuf Saad Kamel of Brunei in third in 1:45.26, an Area record, in fourth, Dmitriy MIlkevics of Latvia, setting a national record in 1:45.72. In fifth Dmitriy Bogdanov of Russia in a personal best of 1:45.76 and in sixth place, Nick Symmonds, who was there, but could not move on the last lap, running a 1:46.48 for sixth place!

Afterwards, Khamis draped himself in the Sudanese flag and jogged the track, enjoying the moment.

3,000 meters, Final, Men

Tariku Bekele of Ethiopia wanted a world title and he got one. In a race pretty typical for championship distances, the race went out slow (2:48.58, lead by Arne Gabius of Germany). The second kilometer picked it up as Paul KIpsiele Koech lead through a 2:37 second kilometer. In the pack were Tariku Bekele, Koech, Edwin Soi, Abreham Cherkos and Craig Mottram of Australia.

The pace dropped dramatically over the last kilometer, run in 2:23, with the last 800 in 1:54 and the last lap just under 29 seconds, Tariku Bekele of Ethiopia pulled out all of the stops for his 7:48.23 win! In second Paul Kipsiele Koech ran 7:49.05 for the silver and in third, Abreham Cherkos of Ethiopia took third in 7:49.06 for the bronze. Edwin Soi of Kenya was fourth in 7:51.60, continuing his rise in the world rankings. Craig Mottram, the Australian runner, was in the fight, but did not have the dymamic last two laps that he needs in a championship run. Mo Farah of Great Britian was sixth in 7:55.08, again close, but not in the last kicking game.

The U.S. runner Jonathan Riley finished eleventh in 8:05.59. Riley was in the fight until the last six laps, when he faded off the back of the pack.

Women, 1,500 meters, Final

Yelena Soboleva of Russia set a world record in February during the Russian championships. She promised that this race would be fast, and it was! All of the top five scored National Records, Area records, Personal Bests and national records!

Soboleva took the lead in 30.95 for two hundred meters, and kept that lead through 63.26 at 400 meters. Soboleva looked relaxed, as Yuliya Fomenko and Gelete Burka sat on her shoulder. Soboleva kept the lead through six hundred meters, hit in 1:35.66.

At that time Yuliya Fomenko fook the lead, hitting the 800 meters in 2:07.89 with Soboleva running fast and relaxed just behind her. Fomenko hit the 1,000 meters in 2:39.90 and hit 1,200 meters in 3:11.53.

After that, there was no holding Yelena Soboleva of Russia back. She pulled around Fomenko and just under 46 seconds for 300 meters and flew over the last 100 meters in 15.54!

Soboleva just kept running faster and faster as the crowd screamed and the announcer said in spanish that there was a new world record! Yelena Soboleva set a new world record in 3:57.71, breaking her world record from the previous month.

And it did not stop there! After Soboleva's world record of 3:57.71, Yuliya Formenko of Russia ran a pesonal best of 3:59.41 for second and the silver, Gelete Burka of Ethiopia ran 3:59.76 for an Area reod and a bronze medal in third. In fouth place, Maryam Yusuf Jamal of Brunei, ran an Area record of 3:59.79 for fourth. Our sources said Jamal was ecstatic as she had limited her speed work this early in the year. In fifth, Daniela Yordanovoa of Bulgaria set a national record of 4:04.19.

Also, the race set another record; it was the first indoor race where four people had broken four minutes! Soboleva also received $50,000 U.S. for her world indoor record.

The Triple Jump, Men-Phillips Idowu Surprised all but himself

Philips Idowu of great Britain is one of those athletes who has all of the promise of his talent, amazing talent, who just does not put it together at the right times. Idowu has been known as an amazing talent who puts it together when there is not much pressure.

Well Mr. Idowu has catapulted himself into the very top of the world stage, with his superb series of jumps this evening. Starting out in 17.10m, and in second place, Philips then performed a series of jumps that would have impressed anyone. In round two, Philips Idowu literlally road the wind until he nearly slid out of the pit, hitting 17.75m and that was that. Idowu had jumped the world leader.

Arnie David Girat who had jumped 17.43m in round 1, went 17.47m, his personal best, in round 2. In round three, Mr. Idowu jumped 17.56m, his second jump that could have won the competition.

Also in round three, Nelson Evora of Portugal jumped 17.27m, which gave him the bronze. Fabrizio Donato also hit 17.27m, in his fourth round, alsoa seasonal best,
and would remain fourth. Dmitriy Valukevic of the Slovak Republic, hit 17.14m, also a seasonl best, and would remain in fifth.

This competition was all about Philips Idowu of Great Britian, who hit 17.46 m in round four, passed on round five, and had a long foul on round six. It was, tonight, all abou that second jump, 17.75m, that gave the Brit his World indoor gold!

Philips Idowu will also sleep well, knowing tha this jump was the sixth best ever, but that he is now the new British record holder at the Triple jump indoors, breaking the 1998 record of one Jonathan Edwards, who jumped 17.64m indoors. Mr. Edwards had a pretty good career, so Mr. Idowu could consider this a good test point.

4x 400 Meters, Women

The Russians came to run, and ran their four legs flawlessly. Yulia Gushchina, Tatyana Levina, Natalys Nazarova, the 400 m silver medalist and Olesya Zykina, the gold medalist at 400 meters dominated this race and pulled out a world leader in 3:28.17.

The team from Belarus (Anna Kozak, Iryna Khliustava, Syiatlana Usovich and Ilona Usovich) and the team from the US duked it out over legs two and four, and the US team of Angel Perkins, MIriam Barnes, Shareese Woods and Moushaumi Robinson finished third and in the bronze.

Moushami, a 4 x 400 meters gold medalist, who I saw run in Birmingham last month, seemed disappointed about the bronze. The truth is, our athletes need to get banged up a bit in order to see what a championship is all about. The Belarussian team and Russian team were here to win and our athletes, though young, did well. Next time, they will run better.

400 Meters, Men, Final

In a very physical race, one where the Russian runner fell on leg two and put them out of the raece and Jamaica and Poland, loomed, the US team ran an excellent race, and
won the second gold medal for the US of the day. James Davis lead off and pass to Jamaal Torrance, who moved past the Russians and the Dominican Republic, passing to Greg Nixon, and then passing to anchor Kelly Willie, who ran strong and brought the team a gold medal, finishing in 3:06.79.

Final thoughts-great venue, great crowd, wonderful city! perfect for the worlds, and this Vlasics last attempt, the party is over.

Short time to be in such a beautiful city, so I will spent the night meeting some freidns, finidng some tapas and perhaps some paella. Back in the office on Tuesday, until then, thanks for reading our coverage of the world indoor championships.

Running to catch my first plane, watch for more thoughts on the road today!

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