Aviva London GP: World Lead in HJ for Silnov, Near-Miss for Isinbeyeva and Smooth Sailing for Powell, by Bob Ramsak, Notes by Larry Eder


The Aviva London GP Fixture is a two day affair with six hours of LIVE television, from BBC this year. Day one was an amazing day, with an entertaining meet and some great clashes! More on the meet tomorrow! You can watch the meet in the US on WCSN.com!



By Bob Ramsak
(c) 2008 TRACK PROFILE Report, all rights reserved

A world-leading 2.38 leap by Andrey Silnov and a near-miss at yet another world record by Yelena Isinbayeva were the key highlights of the first day of action at the Aviva London Grand Prix in the British capital tonight.

Silnov, who surprised with his 2.36m (7-8 ¾ ) victory at the European championships two years ago in Gothenborg, Sweden, did that performance a few notches better with a first round clearance at 2.38 (7-9 ¾ ), the best in the world this year. It also added a centimeter to his career best, also set in 2006. This year’s European Cup winner will not however, be in Beijing after finishing one slot short for the second time this year. He missed the World Indoor Championships after finishing third at the Russian indoor nationals, and was fourth in Kazan six days ago.

Yelena Isinbayeva backed herself into a nervous corner after a pair of misses at her opening height of 4.74m (15-6 ½ ), But, as is often the case with the Russian, she was of course just getting started. She stayed alive with a massive clearance on her third try, and then switched gears to cruise control. U.S. champion and record holder Jenn Stuczynski, in her first meeting of the season with the Russian giant, was impressive early on, managing first attempt clearances at 4.65m (15-3) and 4.81m (15-9 ¼ ). The American passed at 4.87m (15-11 ½ ) which Isinbayeva cleared with ease, then missed once at 4.93m (16-2) which Isinbayeva again had little problem with. The bar then went to a would-be world record of 5.04m (16-6 ½ ) which was well beyond the American’s reach. With a tantalizingly close third try though, Isinbayeva illustrated that the days of her most recent world record, 5.03m (16-6) set in Rome exactly two weeks ago, are indeed numbered.

The annual fixture at south London’s Crystal Palace lost its primary day one head-to-head with Tyson Gay’s withdrawal two days ago. With the U.S. and world champion still not fully healed from his hamstring injury in the U.S. trials 200m, the spotlight was on former world record Asafa Powell, and the Jamaican performed admirably.

In control midway through the race, Powell went on to win in 9.94 despite coasting through the line. Trinidad’s Marc Burns ran an impressive final 40 meters to finish second in 9.97, just 0.01 outside of his career best. Michael Frater, who will join Powell in Beijing, was third in 10.00.

The pace in the Emsley Carr Memorial Mile never quite threatened the pre-meet pace goal of 3:49, but it was nonetheless a solid front-running victory for Shadrock Korir. Leading the field behind the two pacesetters from the outset, the 29-year-old Kenyan was shadowed by world champion Bernard Lagat from the initial stages, who was running comfortably until about 250 meters remained. That was when Briton Andy Beddeley, the winner of Oslo’s Dream Mile last month, moved into second to challenge for the lead. As the field approached the final straight, Australian Craig Mottram also passed Lagat who began to fade. Korir however held off Baddeley’s charge to take a 3:54.68 win to the Briton’s 3:54.76. Lagat regrouped down the homestretch to finish third (3:55.20) with Mottram fourth (3:55.44).

Lagat, who will be aiming to duplicate his world championships 1500/5000 double in Beijing, has one more race lined up before heading to Beijing, the 1500m in Monaco on Tuesday.

Running against a 1.0 headwind, U.S. champion David Oliver powered by quick-starting Anwar Moore to run away with a 13.20 win in the hurdles. Moore faded to second (13.52) ahead of European champion Stanislavs Olijars (13.57).

Favorite Allyson Felix lacked snap in her legs and was never a factor in the women’s 200, won by Jamaican Sherone Simpson in 22.70 from American teenager Bianca Knight (22.79). Bahamian Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie closed well to take third in 22.84, with Felix crossing the line fourth (23.00).

The men’s shot put didn’t really get rolling until the final round. Reese Hoffa won with a 21.13m (69-4) effort, ahead of Adam Nelson (21.07m/69-1 ½ ) and Poland’s Tomasz Majewski (20.97m/68-9 ¾ PB).

World indoor triple jump champion Phillips Idowu also produced his biggest leap of 17.42m (57-2) in the last round –he also reached 17.41m (57-1 ½ ) and 17.34m (56-10 ¾ ) --to win over Nathan Douglas (17.14m/56-2 ¾ ) for a British 1-2.

In the women’s 400m World champion Christine Ohuruogu led Nicola Sanders to another British 1-2 sweep, but their performances, 50.80 and 51.27, despite some reported winds, won’t at the moment do much to dent American champion Sanya Richards’ confidence as Beijing looms.

After a dawdling pace for three laps, Beijing-bound American Erin Donohue tried to steal the women’s 1500m with a strong move heading into the final bend, but she was eventually reeled in by British champion Lisa Dobriskey, 4:08.87 to 4:09.63.

Irishwomen Roisin McGettigan blew by Ancuta Bobocel off the final water jump to take the women’s 3000m steeplechase in 9:33.76 to the Romanian’s 9:37.45.

Used with permission of Bob Ramsak, publisher of TrackProfile.com.

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