European Athletics Indoor Championships
March 6, 2011
Day 3, Final Session
Palais des sports
3,000 meters, Women, Final
As these races go, this one was, well tactical.
Yelena Zadorzhnaya of Russia lead through the first kilometer, running 3:07.51. Helen Clitheroe of Great Britain, who had controlled her heat so well, moved up, taking the lead at 2,000 meters in 6:06.10. Clitheroe had placed 4th indoors twice before, would she change that today?
As the final kilometer clicked off, Lidia Chojecka of Poland looked ready to move. Chojecka did, and took the lead, charging to the front with 200 meters to go. That was short lived as first Olesya Syreva of Russia moved by, and then, like a slingshot, Helen Clitheroe moved past Chojecka and Syreva, pushing down the stretch, digging and digging, keeping that tiniest of distances between herself and Syreva…
In the end, Helen Clitheroe took the gold, running 8:56.65, with Oleysa Syreva of Russia in second, running 8:56.69 for the silver! Lidia Chojecka of Poland, who made the gallant last lap move, held on for the bronze in 8:58.30.
Layes Aboullayeva of Azerbijan took fourth in 9:00.37, a seasonal best. In fifth, Dolores Checa of Spain ran 9:02.18 and Nataliya Tobias of the Ukraine took sixth in 9:02.94, her seasonal best!
Helen Clitheroe, reflecting on her win, had this to say, after the event:
“I can not believe it. During the race, I was thinking, ” It is slow, will I be able to kick it?” I just kept pushing. I had no idea of the result after crossing the finish line. I had to wait to see the results on the screen. After so many years of training, it is great to win the gold. Being the team captain on this competition and having the support of the team is increadible. I thank everyone, my family, my coach.”
Oleysa Syreva of Russia made these comments:
“The pace was too slow and the finish was crucial. I know I have to work on my speed for the future. But, I am very pleased and happy because this is my first big international medal. It is a huge motivation for me.”
800 meters, Men, final
Luis Alberto Marco of Spain took the lead, hitting the 200 meters in 25.96 and the 400 meters in 54.55. During the next hundred meters, Luis Alberto Marco fell, perhaps tangled with Robin Schembera. Schembera did not finish. Alberto Marco of Spain, finished, last in 2:00.58.
Up front, the race was heating up. Adam Kszczot of Poland lead at the 600 meters in 1:22.27.
Kszczot got the jump and began to move right after six hundred meters. While Marcin Lewandowski of Poland (my pick), moved up on Kszcot’s shoulder, it was not to be!
Adam Kszczot ran the last half lap, taking the European gold in 1:47.87, with Marcin Lewandowksi of Poland in the silver position in 1:48.23 and Kevin Lopez of Spain in third in 1:48.35.
Andrew Osagie of Great Britain took fourth in 1:48.35.
Adam Kszczot of Poland, the gold medalist, had this to say about his victory to the assembled media:
” Two Polish runners on the first and second place-we make a new athletic history, just like in Barcelona last year. It is great result for us and both of us, we ran our individual race. We are friends with Marcin but one the track we are rivals. We have different coaches, different trainings, we both wanted to win. I am really looking forward to a big celebration with our Polish team!”
Marcin Lewandowski of Poland, the silver medalist, commented:
” I am not upset that I did not beat Adam. Honestly, I decided like one week ago that I come here to compete. I did not have any special preparation for indoor season, so this is a great result for me. I know Paris very well because I was here with my girlfriend for sightseeing and I love Diamond League meeting this summer, so I was looking to competing here.”
Long Jump, Women, Final
Darya Klishina of Russia won the gold here with a jump of 6.80 meters. Her series was a foul, 6.61m, 6.58m, 6.73m, 6.80 m and 6.64m. Her fifth round jump was what did it!
Nadia Gomes of Portuagal jumped her seasonal best to take the silver, with a jump of 6.79m. 6.67m, 6.63m, foul, 6.79m, 6.75m, and a final foul was Gomes series.
Yuliya Pidluzhnaya of Russia won the bronze in 6.75m. 6.58m, foul, 6.54m, 6.74m, 6.75m, and final foul was the series for Pidluzhnaya.
In fourth was Eloyse Lesueur of France, with a jump of 6.59 meters.
In fifth was Veranika Shutkova of Belarus jumped 6.57.
Nastassia MIronchyk-Ivanova of Belarus was sixith with a jump of 6.55 meters.
High Jump, Women, Final
Antoinetta Di Martino of Italy gave a clinic on the high jump tonight. Di Martino, who has the best clearance of the season (2.04m), won this event in style.
Di Martino cleared 1.82m, 1.87m, 1.92m, 1.96m, 1.99m, all with no misses. Di Martino had won by this time.
Antoinetta Di Martino then took two jumps to clear 2.01 meters, and made three okay attempts at 2.03 meters today, but it was not to be. Di Martino had the gold.
Ruth Beitia of Spain took the silver. Her series of jumps were 1.82m, one attempt, 1.87m, two attempts, one attempt at 1.89m, 1.92m and 1.96m, with three attempts at 1.99m.
Ruth Beitia’s best jump of 1.96 meters gave her the silver.
Ebba Jungmark of Sweden cleared 1.82m, 1.87m, 1.89m, one attempt, then three attempts to clear 1.96m, a personal best, for the bronze medal.
Danielle Frenkel of Isreal jumped 1.92m for fourth. Melanie Melfort of France, clearing 1.92m, was fifth and Svetlana Shkolina of Russia, the big surprise, finished sixth, also jumping 1.92 meters.
800 meters, Women, Final
Jennifer Meadows ran this final as if she were David Bedford, an athlete
reknown for his front running. Bedford was the master. His world record run for 10,000 meters was the stuff of legends. His victory in an international over France in the 10,000 meters (1971), running for 24 of 25 laps all by himself still brings tears to my eyes, watching it on video. It was brutal, fantastic, inspired running and few have done it better. No excuses, no quarter given, none taken. Even Mr. Bedford might suggest one consider his tactics for what they were: his way of running without any compromises.
Running like Mr. Bedford over 800 meters with 10,000 meter tactics might be a challenge. That is essentially what Jenny Meadows did in Paris. I thought it was brave, quite brave, but, well, ill-advised.This was not a world record chase, this was a championship final.
Running to the front, and making a long run for the finish, with some of the distance of the race done, can be done successfully. Look at Mo Farah’s 5:00 last 2k in the 3k last night!
Front running requires guts, emotional fortitude, and strength to waste. It sometimes win races, great races, but, more often than not, not in championship situations. Many athletes will sit, and sit, and just kick like a madman over the last hundred meters. Front running is brave, but it may not be the best tactic for winning a race like the European Indoor Champ 800 meters.
Jenny Meadows lead through 200 meters in 27.96, the 400 meters in 58.27 and the 600 meters in 1:28.87. Meadows essentially dared the field to chase her-one did. She was brave, and the race was thrilling, but, I have to admit, I would like to see Jenny Meadows win a race like this.
Over the last two hundred meters, there looked to be a chance that Meadows could hold on. Yevgeniya Zinurova of Russia made the clasicc move. Zinorova moved along the back stretch and accelerated around the turn, driving down the final stretch.
Fifty, forty, then, thirty meters out, the battle for the gold was over, as Yevgeniya Zinurova of Russia took the first position in 2:00.19. Jenny Meadows held on for the silver, running 2:00.50. Yuliya Rosanova of Russia was third in 2:00.80.
France’s Linda Marguet ran 2:01.61, barely off their national record, for fourth. Marilyn Okaro of Great Britain, who was poised for a bronze medal, but faltered over the last straight and finished fifth, in 2:02.42, her seasonal best!
Here is my beef with Jenny Meadows-she might have won the race with a different tactic. She has better 400 meter speed than anyone in the field. She might try and take it with 500 to go, 350 to go, and give her a chance to whip the field into submission. Today, she was brave, but she was a brave sitting duck.
As a former coach, I must ask, if she wants to be brave, perhaps she should consider being an Emergency Response person. I always wanted my athletes to do their very best, and Jenny seems to be, with the present tactics, hurting herself. Jenny Meadows has chance to be not only one of best in Europe, but a medalist in London 2012. Her competitors will pray that she keeps the same tactics for Daegu or London.
Here is what Jenny Meadows had to say after the race:
“The tactic was to be in front and to be in charge of the pace. I wasn’t aware of what was going on behind. I would not have done it another way. It is very difficult indoors, it is very different from running outdoors. Even though I am disappointed, I did not disgrace myself. I did a lot of work before this competition, and I am happy to have won the silver medal. I came in these championships with the second best European time. So, I am pleased with myself, I was brave.”
Jenny Meadows was quite brave, but, with a better use of her innate leg speed, perhaps she could put herself in the position to win such events.
60 meters, Women, Final
Oleysa Povh of the Ukraine won the 60 meters over her countrywomen, Mariya Ryemyen, 7.13 to 7.15. For Povh, her time got her the gold, and also the European leader!
Mariya Ryemyen of the Ukraine was the silver medalist, running 7.15.
Ezinne Okparaebo of Norway was the bronze medalist, running 7.20 for third place.
In fourth, in her first senior European Championships, Jodie Williams of Great Britain, ran her equal personal best of 7.21.
Hrystyna Stuy of the Ukraine made it three Ukrainian sprinters in the top five, with her fifth place in the 60 meters, with a time of 7.22.
Veronique Mang, of France, was sixth in 7.24.
60 Meters, Men, Final
The field was out well, with Francis Obikwelu of Portugal and Dwain Chambers battling for first. Christophe Lemaitre started to move, but could not get into the top two, and finished in the bronze position, running 6.58.
Dwain Chambers of Great Britain, running hard, finished with the silver, running a seasonal best of 6.54.
Dwain Chambers, 2011 Euro Indoors, Photo by PhotoRun.net
And in a European leader, and Portugese National record, Francis Obikwelu ran 6.53, to take the gold medal for his country.
After wards, Lemaitre, seemed a bit shocked. He is not used to loosing, so he will have to put this race in the lesson book. It was a good lesson for him.
Chambers bowed to both sides of fans, with little reaction, before the officials announced the winner.
Obikwelu congratulated Chambers and basked in his success. Here is what the three had to say after their races:
“I do not know to explain how I feel. I have had injuries for such a long time, and to come back and win, that is incredible. I am honored to be here, this is a great day of joy I was feeling good, I ran well in my heat and in my semi final. I was hoping to be in the top 3, but I never thought I was going to win. I pushed fast, and then it’s running and having fun. I knew it was going to be a dangerous final, and I am so happy to compete with a guy like Dwain. I also thought Lemaitre would be a threat here in France. I am full of joy.”
thought I had won gold after crossing the finish line, but, then I saw some green next to me. I lost to a better athlete, a better man. I struggled during the heats and semi-finals. But, I am happy today to have won my silver medal. My ambition coming here was to win, but Okikwelu was better today. The more we compete against each other, the better European sprinting will be. I managed to hold my nerve and perform well.”
“I felt very good in the warm-up, even better than yesterday. But, doing well in the warm-up and doing well in the race are two different things. I do not know what worked bad. Maybe the start. And on this race, you do not miss one thing. I am glad to get a medal but in the same, I am feeling miserable because I was not able to show the race. I know that I had the potential and I failed. It is a nice podium, of course, but, I wanted to be on top. “
1,500 meters, Men, Final
This was a classic championship race.
Kemal Koyuncu of Turkey went out in the lead, and kept it, lap after lap. Koyuncu hit the 400 meters in 57.57, 800 meters in 1:58.78 and 1,200 meters in 2:59.03.
Right behind him, Manuel Olmedo of Spain, who was sitting in fifth, with Juan Carlos Higuero right on his shoulder. Bartoz Nowicki of Poland was in front of Olmedo, with Jakub Holusa on his shoulder.
The race took off with one lap to go, as Kemal Koyuncu held on desperately for the silver, which he got, finishing in 3:41.18, a national record. Bartoz Nowicki of Poland moved into third, the bronze medal, with a time of 3:41.48. Carsten Schlangen of Germany finished fourth in 3:41.55, running 30.03 for the last two hundred meters.
But, running 29.35 for the last 200 meters, moving up from sixth to first, Manuel Olmedo kept the string going of Spanish super studs in the men’s 1,500 meters as Olmedo took home the gold, running 3:41.03, a seasonal best!
Triple Jump, Men, Final
This event was amazing! What a competition!
First, Mariam Oprea, of Romania, jumps 17.62m in round 1, his seasonal best. Then, Fabrizio Donato of Italy jumps 17.70m, a new National record, and the new leader. Then, in the second round also, in reaction to his competitors, Teddy Tamgho, breaks the world record in the triple jump in 17.92m!
17.92 meters is the national record, the world record and the European leader.
Two rounds later, just to show he can, Teddy Tamgho equals his own world record, less than one hour old, jumping 17.92m!
Teddy Tamgho has this French bad boy attitude, kind of if Allen Iverson spoke French, wore a NY Yankees hat and swaggered after every jump! French either love him or not sure what to make of him–tonight they love him!
In fourth, Yoan Rapinier jumped his personal best, of 17.23m for fourth-so France had two jumpers in the top four!
In fifth, Christian Olsson jumped 17.20m, his seasonal best. I wonder if we will see him jump another two years? Christian is one of the greatest triple jumpers of all times, with a terrific championship record and a long career. He is a huge star in track mad Sweden.
Pole Vault, Women, Final
Anna Rogowska of Poland took the gold here, as she deserved it, with her jumping. Clearing 4.35m, first attempt, two for 4.60m, then one for 4.70m, two for 4.75m, one for 4.80m and two for 4.85 meters, with three good attempts at 4.91m. Rogowska scored her pb with her 4.85 meter jump.
Rogowska’s 4.85 meters puts her just behind U.S. record holder Jenn Suhr, who cleared 4.86 meters last weekend.
Silke Spiegelberg of Germany jumped 4.75 meters for the silver, overcoming a cold that she had experienced just before these championships. Spiegelberg handled the pressure of the championship well and added
Kristina Gadschiew took the bronze in 4.65m, giving Germany a second medal in the pole vault.
The women’s vault continues to improve. At the very top of the food chain, Rogowska, Spiegelberg should be able to battle in Daegu, Korea, this coming summer, just fine.
It was obvious that Anna Rogowska had put enormous pressure on herself, but she should take consolation that she performed so well.
4 x 400 meters, Women, Final
Russia(Kseniya Zadorina, Yelena Migunova, Kseniya Vdovina and Olesya Krashnomovests) ran 3:29.34 to take the gold here.
Great Britain took the silver (Kelly Sotheron, Lee McConnell, Marilyn Okaru, Jennifer Meadows), fought hard for this position, running 3:31.36.
France (Muriel Hurtis, Marie Gayot, Laetitia Denis, Floria Guei) took the bronze, running 3:32.16. In fourth place, Itay ran 3:33.70
4 x 400 meters, Men, Final
This meet could not have been better scripted. In the third leg, the French team takes control and just builds on their lead, winning the relay and setting a French national record. The crowd goes crazy!
Marc Macedot handed off to Mamoudou Hanne. In the third leg, Leslie Djhone, the gold medalist at 400 meters, busted the race open as Yoan Decimus anchored and built on the lead. France won, running 3:06.17, a national record, with Great Britain (Nigel Levine, Richard Strachan, Nick Leavey, Richard Buck)in the silver spot, running 3:06.46, and Beligium in the bronze position (Richard Borlee, Nils Duernick, Antoine Gillet, Kevin Borlee), runnign 3:06.57. Russia, in fourth, ran 3:06.99. This was a very tight race, that was highly enjoyable to watch.
The crowd went rock show level decibels, screaming and cheering for their national team, as the French did their country proud in the European Indoor Championships for 2011
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