Paris update: Robles 12.88, Jelimo sub 1:55, in Paris! by Bob Ramsak, Track Profile, Notes by Larry Eder


Here is the inside info on the Gaz de France at Stade de France in St. Denis. Watch for several other current reports from Paris today!


ROBLES 12.88, Jelimo sub-1:55 in Paris

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

PARIS –- Dayron Robles came within inches of breaking his own world record in the high hurdles, Pamela Jelimo broke her own African 800m record and Jeremy Wariner captured a convincing victory in the 400 to highlight the 10th edition Meeting Gaz de France Paris Saint-Denis tonight, the fourth stop on the six-meeting AF Golden League.

“Tonight my aim was to run fast,” the 21-year-old Cuban said after his dazzling and commanding 12.88 victory in the 110m hurdles, just a mere 0.01 seconds from the world record he set at the Golden Spike Super Grand Prix in Ostrava, Czech Republic, last month. “I knew I could run this fast because I’ve been training very hard.”

Building a clear lead by the third hurdle, Robles powered on with near perfect form over all but a pair of the barriers en route to history’s second fastest performance.

“He’s run 12.8 twice this year,” said two-time Olympic silver medallist Terrence Trammell, who was a distant second in 13.19. “My hat’s off to him.”

- Jelimo Dominates again

“I was very happy with the win,” said the Kenyan teenaged phenom Jelimo, this year’s breakout sensation after lowering her own continental and world junior 800m record with a superb 1:54.97 run. “It was a good test before the Olympic Games.”

In reality it was but another time trial for the 18-year-old, who moved the front and powered home unchallenged. This time she won by more than 3.5 seconds, with Slovak Lucia Klocova (PB 1:58.51) finishing runner-up and Kenyan reigning world champion Janeth Jepkosgei (1:58.52).

- Wariner makes his statement

After his victory in the meet’s premiere face-to-face battle, Jeremy Wariner said, “I wanted to come out here and make a statement today.” With his 43.86 world leader, leaving rival LaShawn Merritt a well-beaten second in 44.35, Wariner certainly succeeded.

After a rugged start, Wariner regrouped quickly running smoothly off the first curve and into the backstretch where he quickly assumed control.

“I didn’t ease off in the backstretch close to the 200. I kept my speed going and my finish was a lot stronger today than ever this year.”

Indeed, as in their previous meetings this summer, there was simply no contest over the race’s final 60 meters, giving Wariner an important boost as the Olympics loom. Wariner has one more outing, next Tuesday in Stockholm, while Merritt is heading home to train. [For more on Wariner, please see TPR #789. ]

Along with Jelimo, Blanka Vlasic had little trouble staying alive in the $1 million Jackpot chase, taking her win streak to 33. But another streak, 29 consecutive meets with jumps of two meters or better, nearly ended when she needed three tries before finally sailing over 2.01m. 2.05m was too much this time around, although one effort was reasonably close.

- Solid 1500s

The evening’s first race on the track, the women’s 1500m was highlighted by a solid performance by Maryam Jamal. The reigning world champion was never seriously threatened en route to her 3:59.99 season’s best, the season’s second outdoor sub-4 win. But impressing international observers was the runner-up, U.S. champion Shannon Rowbury. Fifth behind the two pacesetters with two laps to go, Rowbury steadily moved her way up to position herself solidly behind Jamal over the final lap. Though never a threat, Jamal didn’t pull increase the gap either down the homestretch, with Rowbury crossing the line in 4:00.33, another personal best. In 2008., Rowbury has improved my more than 13 seconds.

World leader and Kenyan trials winner Augustine Choge impressed in the men’s race, powering through the final lap to fend off a three pronged attack by Asbel Kiprop, Mansoor Ali Belal and Shadrack Korir. Choge, also the season’s fastest in the 3000m, diligently held off the trio en route to a 3:32.40 win, while Kiprop, the winner in Rome last weekend, couldn’t muster the same kick this time around but still managed to overtake the others to finish second in 3:32.78. Ali Belel closed quickly off the final bend before being overtaken in the final steps, and held on for third (3:33.12).

Edwin Soi, the 3000/5000 double winner at last year’s World Athletics Final, was unstoppable in the 3000, hanging on over the final lap en route to a 7:36.71 win. Shadowing Soi over much of the final lap, Joseph Ebuya appeared at the ready to pounce, but fell short, finishing second in 7:36.71.

There was little drama in the men’s steeplechase, won handily by Kenyan-born Bahraini Tareq Mubarak Taher. Taher, whose claim to fame was having his world yout, world cross country and world junior performances annulled due to age manipulation, took the comfortable win in 8:08.53, a season’s best, ahead of Kenyan Michael Kipyego (8:09.93). Swede Mustafa Mohamed was third in 8:11.10, the fastest by a European this year.

Only five women were entered in the 5000, which in the end too provided little drama. Lucy Wangui Kabuu ran away with a 14:38.47 meet record, more than 20 seconds ahead of runner-up Prisca Jepleting (14:58.96).

With a strong finishing stretch in the 200, U.S. 400m champion Sanya Richards went from third to victory in the 200m over the final three strides to win in 22.58, just ahead of Carmelita Jeter (22.58) and Beijing-bound Muna Lee (22.59).

Elsewhere on the track, Jamaican Delloreen Ennis London won the 100m hurdles in 12.66 ahead of Olympic champion Joanna Hayes (12.76), Marc Burns of Trinidad won the 100m in 10.14, and Kerron Clement took the 400m hurdles in 48.33 over fast-closing Jamaican Danny McFarlane (48.71). In the field events, Australian Steve Hooker won the pole vault on the countback over German Alexander Straub, with bother clearing a modest 5.70m, Irving Saladino (8.31m) took another win in the long jump, and Latvian Vadim Vasilevskis took top honors in the javelin, reaching 85.61 with his final throw.

After an extended break, the six-meet Golden League series resumes at Zurich’s Weltklasse on August 29, the week following the conclusion of the Olympic Games.


Used with permission of Bob Ramsak, publisher of Track

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