Sprinting is a rarefied gift, at the elite level. We all dream, as kids, that we can run fast. Some human, rarefied, can run very fast. The addition of coaching, and of training, over a period of 12-16 years, can give some superlative performances. Usain Bolt is a special human. Tyson Gay is a special human. Running as fast as these guys might look easy, but it is anything from that–it the results of hard work, talent, great coaching and a unique belief in oneself.
Tyson Gay, June 2009, US champs, 100 meter first round, photo by PhotoRun.net.
Tyson Gay ran 20.00 for 200 meters, with a sore groin on Saturday. Usain Bolt ran 9.91 on Friday, and then, on Saturday, anchored a very fast 4 x 100 meter relay, in 37.46. Bolt recently told media that he was at “about 85 percent”.
In about three weeks, the World Championships begin in Berlin, and then, we will have the answers: just who is the fastest man on the planet?
GAY 20.00, FAST RACERS TC RELAY, WORLD LEAD FOR DEMUS
LONDON (GBR): World champion Tyson Gay despite nursing a groin injury flew to a fast victory to win the 200 metres in 20.00 (+0.4) at the Aviva London Grand Prix on Saturday (IAAF Super Grand Prix).
Gay despite the injury problem insists he will be fit to defend his World Championships 100 metres and 200m titles taking place in Berlin from August 15-23. The 26-year-old American who needed treatment immediately after the race, said: â€žIâ€˜m feeling okay. â€žMy groin has been tight on me, Iâ€˜m trying to take a little Advil (painkillers) to run through the pain. Iâ€˜ve got to be tough about it. I donâ€˜t feel it when I run, itâ€˜s after,â€ he said, writes David Martin. Olympic finalist Martyn Rooney another back from injury finished fifth in a race won by current Brit Number One Michael Bingham, who won the 400m in 45.03 PB. David Greene, the fastest man in Europe this season, was fifth in the 400m hurdles (49.53) after having to rush to the race after finding out the schedule was not what he thought it was.â€œI found out that the race was an hour earlier than expected, they had the wrong timetable up in the hotel,â€œ said Greene, who was beaten American trio Kerron Clement (48.85), Bershawn Jackson (48.99) and Michael Tinsley (49.04). Chris Tomlinson cleared a wind-assisted 8.21 metres for second in the long jump behind Americaâ€˜s former world and Olympic champion Dwight Phillips with 8.33m. Greg Rutherford was third with a seasonâ€˜s best of 8.06m before pulling out after two rounds with a migraine. Olympic silver medallist Germaine Mason achieved the â€šAâ€˜ qualifying standard for Berlin, jumping 2.31m to finish second in the high jump behind Jaroslav Baba of the Czech Republic (233). World indoor champion Naide GomÃ©s surprised all her rivals in exciting long jump competition as she in her fourth attempt achieved the distance of 6.99m (1.9 m/s) – the second best in the world this year, to beat Russian world champion Tatyana Lebedeva who in her last attempt got 6.90m. â€œI felt I could have jumped 7.0m but I have an Achilles problem and didnâ€™t want to risk anything with the World Championships coming up,â€ Gomes said. Cuban world triple gold medalist Yargelis Savigne, who was also trying long jump, improved her PB on 6.77m. Despite a soft head wind -0.1 m/s, the womenÂ´s 100m final has brought a great performance of American silver medalist from WChs in Osaka 2007, Carmelita Jeter improving her PB into 10.92s. Australian Sally McLellan had to fight strongly for the 100m hurdles victory clocking 12.65s to beat Perdita Felicien from Canada just 0.01s behind her (Lolo Jones as third got 12.71). Ethiopian double Olympic champion form Beijing, Tirunesh Dibaba declared her stabile position at womenÂ´s 5000m winning in a new stadium record 14:33.65. Former world junior champion and silver holder from the Helsinki 2005 World Championships, Lashinda Demus from the USA prevailed over the other sprinters at 400m hurdles clocking 53.65s â€“a new UK all-comersâ€™ record and the world leading time. The 2008 Olympic gold medalist from Jamaica, Melaine Walker had to satisfy with second place clocking 54.55s. The American 3000m Steeplechase national record holder, Anna Willard dominated among the women at 1500m with 4:07.95, ahead of her compatriot Shannon Rowbury in 4:08.21. Katarzyna Kowalska from Poland was the leader of womenÂ´s 3000m Steeplechase in a new PB 9:34.07. Olympic pole vault winner Steven Hooker won the pole vault with 570, together with American Derek Miles both tried at 5.84m, but did not succeed. American record holder and Osaka 2007 world champion, Brad Walker was surprisingly not able to get over his first height 5.55. German 36-year-old javelin thrower Steffi Nerius did not have any strong opposition and won with 64.64. Double World champion Bernard Lagat was a delighted winner of the historic Emsley Carr Mile title in 3:52.71. The end of the event was topped by special 4x100m relays. Bolt led a quartet of Racers Track Club team which consisted of Daniel Bailey (Antigua), Yohan Blake, Mario Forsythe and Usain Bolt clearly won in the fourth fastest time in history, UK all-comers and world leading 37.46s, ahead of the American relay. Gayâ€™s absence left the USA team of Terrence Trammell, Wallace Spearmon, Shawn Crawford and Rae Edwards some distance adrift in second, clocking 38.05, with Great Britain third in 38.44.
UKHOV AND RYBAKOV CLEARING 235
CHEBOKSARY (RUS, July 25): The third day of the Russian Championships began with a small sensation when in the womenâ€™s Javelin Throw olympic silver medalist Mariya Abakumova (60.72m) was beaten by Valeriya Zabruskova who achieved 61.90. However, the centre of attention during the third day was the menâ€™s High Jump with Ivan Ukhov and Yaroslav Rybakov as both equalled the world leading mark. Ukhov passed the 2.35m bar in his first attempt and became the national champion, with Rybakov also in superb form taking that height at his third attempt. Third place with an outdoor personal best of 2.33m went to Andrey Tereshin. That means all three qualified for Berlin as the results are having high-level and olympic winner Andrey Silnov is not jumping this summer. First non-qualifiers are Aleksandr Shustov and Aleksey Dmitrik (both 229). In menÂ´s javelin throw, the 36-year-old veteran Sergey Makarov, the 2003 World champion who has two Olympic bronzes to his credit, won with 84.24m beating the 10 years younger Ilya Korotkov by a metre (83.24) with Aleksandr Ivanov third (82.40). Yuliya Golubchikova took the Russian title in the womenâ€™s Pole Vault with 4.65m. Anastasiya Shvedova with 4.60m and in third Tatyana Polnova ad fourth Aleksandra Kiryashova (both 4.50) confirmed a high level of Russian pole vaulting. Yelena Isinbayeva and Svetlana Feofanova recieved byes and so the rest of the field fighted for the remaining two places as the world champion also brings the wild-card in. Mariya Konovalova won the 5000 m in 14:42.06 with big margin over Kseniya Agafonova (15:06.98). Natalya Yevdokimova clocked the fastest 1500 m heat time (4:09.63) with European indoor champion Anna Alminova winning her heat (4:12.19). Fastest in 200 m heats and semis was Anastasiya Kapachinskaya (22.95).
MAJEWSKI GETS 21.64 PB
BARCELONA (ESP, July 25): The menÂ´s shot put was one of the greatest events of MÃting Internacional dÂ´Atletisme Ciutat de Barcelona (EA Classic Permit). 204 cm tall Olympic champion from Beijing 2008, Tomasz Majewski from Poland managed to put the bowl in his second and last valid attempt into a new personal best mark and stadium record 21,64. American favorite, Christian Cantwell had to be satisfied with second place for 20,85m. Also the performance of third, Andrei Mikhnevich flew over the 20m border, as he achieved 20,78m. For home spectators the highlight was new Spanish record by Marta Dominguez who clocked 9:09.39 in the steeple. Only Russians Galkina, Volkova, Petrova and Kenyan Jepkorir were ever faster. The World champion from Osaka 2007, German Betty Heidler dominated the womenÂ´s hammer throw today. With 72.62m from second series she led the competition where her compatriot, Kathrin Klaas reached silver throwing into 71.50m. Czech young pole vaulter, Jirina Ptacnikova luckily won the womenÂ´s competition where as the only one cleared 4,46m in the first attempt. Together with Becky Holliday from the USA they achieved the same result (as she cleared 4,46m in third attempt) and did not succeed when the bar was pulled higher. Bronze medallist from the 2002 European Championship Anna Jesien from Poland got the first place at 400m hurdles clocking 55.23s. Four athletes were trying to pass 2.30m or more in the menÂ´s high jump final but in the end it was Lisvanys Perez from Cuba who took the win for 2.28m. Polish Grzegorz Sposob had to be satisfied with second place jumping over 2.26m together with his compatriot â€“ third, Sylwester Bednarek. From the track events, 110m hurdles final was won by American Jason Richardson in 13.39s very close to Jamaican Dwight Thomas in 13.41s. Alonso Edwards from Panama reached the finish line as the victor at menÂ´s 200m clocking 20.25 (-1.0). He beat US Darvis Patton (20.32) and Jamaican Steve Mullings (20.41). Among women on the same track, Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown beat the strong field finishing in 22.37 (-0.6) what is third fastest in the world this year. On the double distance, Natasha Hastings from the USA achieved 51.30s to take the victory together with African record holder Gary Kikaya of Congo winning in 45.35s to beat Irish David Gillick in 45.48s. Another African record holder Godfrey Mokoena from South Africa managed the best performance leaping into 8.29 (+1.9) in second series of long jump. The 30-year-old Hungarian, Zoltan Kovago beat home rivals in the menÂ´s discus performing 66.23 (Frank Casanas 65.49 and Mario Pestano 64.51). The home crowd must have been glad seeing home 1500m runner Nuria Fernandez winning the womenÂ´s event in 4:02,43. The same scenario happened also on the menÂ´s side where Spanish Diego Sanz Ruiz took the victory for 3:36,97. Kenyan running wins as Silas Kipruto achieved 13:08.98 at 5000 m and Wesley Kiprotich 8:17.03 in the steeple.
JEPKOSGEI BEATS JELIMO
NAIROBI (KEN, July 25): The Kenyan team for World Championships in Berlin is now clear. The 12,000-strong crowd that included Kenyaâ€™s vice-president Kalonzo Musyoka was watching the first time that Janeth Jepkosgei and Pamela Jelimo were coming up against each other on home soil since Jelimo struck the Olympic gold in Beijing. Informs IAAF. Jelimo paid dearly for making her move too early when she pulled away in the final 300m only for Jepkosgei to dig in with a couple of metres to the tape to claim a morale-boosting victory in 1:59.31, her first sub-two minute time this season. Jelimo also dipped inside the two-minute mark, clocking 1:59.49, her seasonâ€™s best and second sub-two minute race of the season. â€œIâ€™m improving. I know I will be OK by Berlin. I had injury problems early in the season and I know I still have to work on my final 50 metres before Berlin,â€ Jelimo said afterwards. David Rudisha won the men race in slow 1:47.00 ahead of reigning world champion Alfred Kirwa Yego (1:47.48) and Jackson Kivuna (1:47.96). Here only top three were selected although Kenya still has the chance to have a fourth runner in Berlin. That means the door is still open for olympic winner Wilfred Bungei. Asbel Kiprop achieved very fast 3:32.82 to win the 1500 m over Haron Keitany (3:33.59) and Augustine Choge (3:33.86) as all three qualified. Vincent Kiprop was the surprise 5000 m winner in 13:19.8 ahead of Joseph Ebuya (13:20.2) and former world champion Eliud Kipchoge (13:24.2) who in close battle beat Edwin Soi (13:24.2). World title defender Brimin Kipruto won the steeple in 8:20.03 ahead of Richard Mateelong 8:20.60 and world leader Ezekiel Kemboi (8:24.15). Fourth place was given to Paul Kipsiele Koech who was 6th (8:36.75). In women races Irene Jelagat won the 1500 m (4:12.05) ahead of olympic winner Nancy Langat (4:13.00). Vivian Cheruiyot confirmed her favorite role in the 5000 m (15:25.21) taking with her to Berlin Sylvia Kibet (15:25.42) and Iness Chenonge (15:27.29). Ruth Bosibori was named in the women steeple despite beeing only fourth (10:08.33) as top two will also go Gladys Kemboi (9:32.62) and Milka Chemos (9:35.94). Mark Mutai qualified for Berlin with solid 45.55 400 m win, the same for Joyce Zakary (52.43).
KINGSTON (JAM): An Italian newspaper has named the five Jamaican athletes who failed recent doping tests, calling into question their eligibility for the upcoming World Championships. Informs AIPS website. La Gazzetta dello Sport reported that athletes involved are Yohan Blake, the 19-year-old training partner of Bolt, 200m runner Marvin Anderson, Commonwealth Games 100m champion Sheri-Ann Brooks, and 400m runners Allodin Fothergill and Lanceford Spence. Blake has finished second to Bolt in the 100m, at both the Aviva London Grand Prix on Friday. Blake, along with Anderson, figure prominently in Jamaicaâ€™s 4x100m relay pool. It is believed the banned substance is a supplement, not a major doping violation. The five athletes were included in the official Jamaican team for next monthâ€™s World Athletcs Championships in Berlin. LA Gazzetta dello Sport journalist spoke with Yohan Blake last night who said he had not heard anything about the positive test results. â€žIâ€˜m not sure who it is yet, Iâ€˜m sure itâ€˜s not me so Iâ€˜m not really worried,â€œ Usain Bolt said after winning the 100 metres at the Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace. â€žIf itâ€˜s someone from my group I donâ€˜t know, I canâ€˜t comment. Definitely itâ€˜s sad to know there are still drugs (in the sport) but for me it doesnâ€˜t really matter, as long as Iâ€˜m clean Iâ€˜m just going forward. Itâ€˜s sad for the sport because the sport was getting on so well, I was trying to bring it back. This is probably a step backwards because people start questioning everybody, especially from Jamaica. For me it doesnâ€˜t matter because I will be going out there, day after day, doing my best. I get tested all the time. It shows that people get tested and they get caught if they are on drugs. Sometimes you move forward and you take one step back. Itâ€˜s hard but Iâ€˜m trying my best to push the sport forward. I think after a while people will notice that you canâ€˜t get away with it and theyâ€˜ll stop, but for now I guess we canâ€˜t do anything about it.â€œ Former world record holder Asafa Powell added: â€žItâ€˜s their bad luck, itâ€˜s not for me to worry about, it doesnâ€˜t affect me one bit. People might be saying bad stuff now but it doesnâ€˜t really bother me,â€œ writes David Martin.
PITKAMÃ„KI IMPROVES TO 87.79
LAPINLAHTI (FIN, July 25): The menâ€™s Javelin Throw held centre stage once again in the fifth and final competition of the 2009 Vattenfall Elite Games Series which took place in Lapinlahti. Reigning World champion Tero PitkÃ¤mÃ¤ki started the competition with an excellent 87.79m throw, which put him back on the top in the Finnish national list this season, and places him third on the world list. PitkÃ¤mÃ¤ki took the victory ahead of Antti Ruuskanen (81.74m) and European U23 champion Ari Mannio (80.81m). World 4x100m relay champion Leroy Dixon of USA woke the crowd up early in the competition. Dixon, wonâ€™t be running in the World Championships, dashed 10.07 in the 100m heats and broke the arena record set by Frank Fredericks in 1991. Dixonâ€™s superb form continued in the final, where he timed 10.06 and ran his all-time second best result on +0.5 tailwind. â€œI am a bit disappointed that the wind was not better in the final. I could have ran sub-10 seconds for the first time in my life,â€ Dixon said. Second Lerone Clarke of Jamaica also fast 10.11. Two Finnish national records were registered. Jukka Keskisalo clocked 5:00.32 at 2000 m and Minna Nikkanen 446 in pole vault. Anna Iljustsenko cleared 191 for Estonian high jump record. Hungarian Olympic finalist Krisztian Pars dominated the menâ€™s Hammer Throw winning with his second round throw of 78.55m and so collecting the Jackpot of 30,000 euros, paid for the overall best athlete of the Vattenfall Elite Games. Second place went to European U23 champion Yuri Shayunov of Belarus for 78.04m and Finlandâ€™s European silver medallist Olli-Pekka Karjalainen (76.40m) took bronze. Jamaican Sheri-Ann Brooks ran womenâ€™s 100m flat in 11.17. Tommi EvilÃ¤ of Finland, 2005 World bronze medalist in long jump performed the best jump of the competition, 7.95m in the fifth round to gain the victory. Juha Sonck from Finland won the 110 m hurdles in life-time best 13.65 (+1.9).
GULIYEV 20.33 AT 200 METRES
NOVI SAD (SRB, July 25): The third day of the European Junior Championship started with a big domination of Russian athletes at 10 000m race walk ending in all medal positions. Stanislav Yemelyanov romped to victory at the IAAF world juniors 12 months ago and he produced an equally commanding performance in Novi Sad, adding a European Athletics Junior Championships title to his collection in a winning time of 40:20.86. German pole vaulter Martina Schultze dominated in the field when the height of 4,20m was crucial to the other athletes. Short hurdles finals were also on the program today. Belgian Anne ZagrÃ© was the best at womenÂ´s 100m hurdles clocking 13.21s. On the menÂ´s 110m hurdles, British Lawrence Clarke was very close to championship record when he achieved 13.37s, just 0.02 s slower. Still a new national junior record for him and win over Russian Sergey Shubenkov (13.40). Russian Sergey Mudrov improved his personal best with 2.25m in the final of menÂ´s high jump as he cleared it in his first attempt to beat Turkish Umit Tan with the same result. For the Turkish high jumper it was also a national junior record. Romanians had very successful session today as they collected a set of gold medals. 100m bronze medalist Andrea Ograzeanu confirmed her great talent also on the double track. At womenÂ´s 200m she was the fastest in 23.70 (+2.5)s. European junior record holder Ramil Guliyev from Azerbaijan dominated among men on the same distance clocking 20.33 (-0.1) what was the meet record. Another gold for Azerbaijan as 10 000 m winner Hayle Ibrahimov was also best at 5000 m (14:01.19). Strong Romanian team also gained a gold medal at womenÂ´s 800m when 18-year-old Mirela Lavric (with a PB of 2:00.00) clocked 2:04.12. Spanish 1500m runner, David Bustos beat the field achieving 3:53.31. Javelin throw finished in favor of German Andreas Hofmann winning clearly with 75.89m. 7 from 12 finalists in the womenÂ´s 3000m final improved their personal bests, where Russian Yelena Korobkina was the fastest one finishing in 9:13.35. European junior record holder at womenÂ´s 3000m Steeplechase, Karoline Bjerkeli GrÅ™vdal from Norway confirmed her position winning in 9:43.69 a new event best. The next championship record was achieved by World junior record holder David Storl from Germany winning in menÂ´s shot put with 22.40m.
ANGERS (FRA, July 25): Ronald Pognon won another French 100 m title at National Event in Angers with 10.39 against -0.5 wind. The fastest senior Martial Mbandjock was running the 200 m and the overall fastest French junior Christophe Lemaitre is at his European event. Jeff Lastennet won the 800 m (1:47.01) and Heni Kechi beat in close duel Sebastien Maillard at 400 m hurdles (49.93-50.07). Expected pole vault did not brought any significant marks. Romain Mesnil cleared 570 to beat Renaud Lavillenie (555). National record holder Salim Sdiri leaped to long jump title (811, +0.9) over Kafetien Gomis (801, +0.3). Myriam Soumare is the new women 100 m title holder (11.55, -1.9) ahead of former stars Muriel Hurtis-Houari (11.60) and Christine Arron (11.69). Hind Dehiba won after 800 m also the 1500 m (4:11.87) and Vanessa Gladone after triple also the long jump (640, +0.3). New Zealand guest olympic winner Valerie Vili was the best in shot put (20.17). Solid also the 192 for Melanie Skotnik in high jump and 70.56 for Stephanie Falzon in hammer. Aurore Kassambara clocked 56.43 to win the 400 m hurdles and experienced Elodie Olivares the steeple (9:39.39).
TRIESTE (ITA, July 25): Anna Giordano Bruno improved twice her Italian pole vault record at 38th CUS Trieste meet. In third attempt she cleared 451 and then in first 455. Her previous record from Lignano meet on July 12 was 446. She even tried 460.
PERGINE VALSUGANA (ITA, July 25): Italian Lukas Riffeser improved to 1:45.88 800 m PB at 13th international meet here and fulfilled the standard for World Championships in Berlin. Jacques Riparelli came close to his 100 m PB with 10.24 (+1.0) in heats and 10.29 (+0.5) in finals. His PB from the same meet in 2008 is 10.23.
SUNDSVALL (SWE, July 25): New meet records in four events at special sprint meeting called Windsprint. US Lashauntea Moore clocked two with 11.25 (+2.0) and 22.87 (-0.1) in women 100 m and 200 m. Jamaican Winston Barnes first in heats bettered the meet 100 m record to 10.29 (+1.5) and then in finals to 10.18 (+1.0) over Andrew Hinds of Barbados (10.19). US Jeff Porter also clocked meet record at 110 m hurdles with 13.51 (+2.0). Men 200 m winner was Hinds in 20.74 (+0.6).
ALGER (ALG, July 22-24): At Algerian national championships miler Antar Zerguelaine won the 800 in 1:46.66 and the 800 m olympic finalist Nadjim Manseur competed in the 400 m (sixth 47.96). Tarek Boukensa got the gold in tactical 5000 m (14:35.14).
STAIKI (BLR, July 25): Olympic hammer winner Oksana Miankova is back in shape. At Zhelobovskiy Memorial meeting she achieved her best of the year 75.28 m. â€œI m on my way to achieve the best shape in Berlin,â€ she was quoted afterwards. Second Darya Pchelnik was also solid with 73.98 m. Pavel Krivitskiy won the men hammer (78.82). Supervet Irina Yatchenko got 62.60 in discus.
WOLFSBERG (AUT, July 25): Slovenian world finalist Matic Osovnikar achieved windy 10.04 (+3.2) at International meet in Austria. In heats his 10.34 (+0.4) was season fastest for him.
DAVENPORT (USA, July 25): Meb Keflezighi and Molly Huddle won USA 7 mile road racing titles at the Quad City Times Bix 7 in Davenport, Ia. Both athletes picked up $10,000 each for their victories. For Keflezighi it was his third USA title of the year and his second national 7-mile title. Opening the race with a grinding 5:01 uphill mile on Brady Street, the former UCAL Bruin scorched the downhill second mile in 4:08, opening an insurmountable lead over his key rivals, Anthony Famiglietti and James Carney. Keflezighi rolled to the finish line in 32:25, 31 seconds up on Famiglietti. Carney got third in 33:17. 24 years old Huddle won a three-way battle against reigning national half-marathon champion, Magdalena Lewy Boulet and NYRR New York Mini 10-K runner-up Serena Burla. The trio were together through the first six miles, then Huddle made her bid for victory in the final uphill before the finish. Her move was strong enough to produce a five-second victory in 37:39 over Burla. Lewy Boulet finished third in 37:45. Writes Race Results Weekly.
Special thanks to Alfons Juck, EME News.
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