The African championships’ third day was another good day of track and field. Note that David Rudisha is leading the world with his 1:44.20-and he negative splitted it! Besides that one, remember this name, Amantle Montsho from Botswana, who ran 49.83 for the women’s 400 meters!
On this side of the world Stacey Dragila former world record holder, former Olympic champion and former world champion continues her gutty comeback after two achilles surgeries. She has cleared 4.00 m and 4.15 m.
EME NEWS (MAY 2, 2008) UPDATE
Rudisha, Burka and Montsho world leading marks
ADDIS ABABA (ETH, May 2): Third day at 16th African Championships was the day of clean sweeps as Kenya took the whole podium at 3000 m steeple for men and South Africa the one in High Jump women. Additionally three world leading marks of 2008 were registered in menÂ´s 800 m and womenÂ´s 400 m and 1500 m.
Young talent David Rudisha confirmed his status already so early in the season and improved his world lead while clearly winning the 800 m in 1:44.20. He missed his best only by 0.05. Surprise silver for Sudanese Ahmed Ismail (1:45.41) followed by the other two Kenyans Asbel Kiprop (1:46.02) and Jackson Kivuva (1:46.33). It was already 12th Kenyan gold at menÂ´s 800 m from 16 editions of this championships. â€žIt was nice paced race for me and I m happy to win. It was a good one,” he said after negative split and strong finish at last 100 metres. His next race at Doha Qatar Grand Prix on May 9 should be against world indoor champion Abubaker Kaki of Sudan, world champion Alfred Kirwa Yego and world indoor champion Wilfred Bungei.
Former World Cross Country Champion and African Games winner Gelete Burka made happy the home crowds with dominating the 1500 m and clocking new world lead and event best 4:08.25. It is first ever sub 4:10 and first Ethiopian gold in this event at the Championships. Last year African Games fourth placer Meskerem Assefa won silver (4:10.40) while experienced Agnes Samaria of Namibia was third (4:13.91) and best Kenyan Jebet Lagat only fourth (4:16.19).
Third world lead of the day was the great improvement of Botswana Amantle Montsho winning the womenÂ´s 400 m in 49.83 what is also a national record and event best. The African Games winner bettered her best from Osaka semifinals by more than one second (50.90 before). She is fifth African women ever under 50 seconds. Nigerian junior Sade Abugan also improved to 50.89 and another junior Racheal Nachula of Zambia clocked national record 51.39 for third. It is also first female gold for Botswana in the history of the championships.
“I’m so surprised. Some people told me I could do 49 but until now, I didn’t believe them. My next race will be in Doha,” said Montsho.
Kenya celebrated expected sweep in 3000 m steeple as World bronze holder Richard Mateelong dominated (8:31.68) before Michael Kipyego (8:32.94) and Willy Komen (8:41.98). Ethiopia followed at places 4-6 and Nahom Mesfin was the best (8:50.21).
Commonwealth Games winner Louis Van Zyl of South Africa defended his title at 400 m Hurdles clearly after 48.91. It is fourth win in a row for his country in this event. His other teammate Ockert Cilliers was not second as expected, but only fourth (49.93). Before him second Abderahmane Hamadi for Algeria (49.84, national record) and Ibrahima Maiga from Mali (49.84 also).
“I was on the outside, so I had to run my own race. I wanted to qualify for the Olympics. I ran 48.91 which is a season’s best for me, but my goal is to perform next August. I’ll now work to keep my shape until the summer,” Van Zyl was quoted.
World junior champion from 2004 Ali Nagmeldin won the 400 m in 45.64 for Sudan, the same time was registered for second Isaac Makwala from Botswana who dipped for first time in his career sub 46 seconds and confirmed the interesting depth in this event in his country.
Relays ended with expected gold for Nigerian women (43.79 at 4×100 m) before Ghana (44.12) and South Africa (44.28). Damola Osayomi anchored her team to gold and so win her second title after 100 m. Nigerian men without 100 m winner Olusoji Fasuba did not finish the race and so the clear win went to South Africa (38.75) ahead of Ghana (40.30) and Cameroon (40.60). It is only second gold for South Africa in this event after 1992.
In three technical women events South Africa took the gold medals. Anika Smit in High Jump (188), African record holder Elizna Naude in discus (55.34) and Janice Josephs in Long Jump (664, +1.7, all her six attempts enough for win). More, South Africa achieved clean sweep on the podium in High Jump (Pretorius and Gertenbach with 184).
Beatrice Kamboule of Burkina Faso leads with 3110 points heptathlon after first day.
Lolo Jones not in Kingston
KINGSTON (USA): Another withdrawal from SaturdayÂ´s Jamaica Invitiational is World Indoor Champion Lolo Jones of USA at 100 m Hurdles who preffered to stay at home and prepare for her next competition in Doha on May 9.
Ethiopian double win
VERCELLI (ITA, May 1): Ethiopian Alemayehu Shumye debuted in Europe to win the marathon here in new PB 2:14:34. Second Kenyan Philemon Serem missed his best only marginally with 2:15:33 (has 2:15:07). Shebire Fisseha Abera also achieved personal best 2:50:10 to win women category here.
Lingua improves to 78.18
TERNI (ITA, May 1): European Cup Winter Throwing winner from this March Italian hammer thrower Marco Lingua improved to 78.18 at a local meet. He missed the olympic qualifier 78.50 by 32 cm. His previous best from Split in March was 77.87 m.
DUSSELDORF (GER): One of the German top runners aiming for olympic qualification (2:31) at SundayÂ´s Dusseldorf Marathon will not compete. Claudia Dreher who celebrated her 37 birthday today withdrew from the race after bad fall in training on Thursday. Informs www.leichtathletik.de. The 11th from European Championships will now have four weeks break.
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