Jamal's Dominating 1500m Win the Distance Highlight of Day 1 of 2007 World Athletics Final by Bob Ramsak (c) 2007 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
Germany -- Yet another dominating display in the 1500m by Maryam Yusuf
Jamal was the highlight of the first day of action at the 5th IAAF/VTB
Bank World Athletics Final.
Running in unseasonably warm and
pleasant conditions, Jamal proved for the fourth consecutive race since
taking the world title in Osaka late last month that at the moment, she
is without peer in the metric mile. Biding her time behind early leader
Viola Kibiwott, the 23-year-old old took control of the race with just
over two laps to go before sprinting from the midway through the final
bend en route to a sizable victory in 4:01.23.
satisfied,” said Jamal, after bringing her season to and end. “This
year was really big for me. I plan to continue like this next year.”
a blanket finish for second, it was Osaka silver medallist Yelena
Soboleva who yet again took the runner-up honors in 4:05.35, just ahead
of fast-closing Sarah Jamieson (4:05.43) of Australia and Agnes
Samaria, whose 4:05.44 was a Namibian national record.
closest race on the men’s program came in the 800, won by Youssef Saad
Kamel. Making up for his disappointing appearance at the World
Championships, the former Gregory Konchelllah kicked past Mbulaeni
Mulaudzi en route to a 1:45.61 victory, breaking his own WAF record of
1:45.91 from 2004.
"Today was my day," said Kamel, who failed to
advance from the semi-finals in Osaka. "This was my revenge after the
World Championships which was very disappointing for me."
tightly bunched field reached the bell in 53.17, with the victory still
very much anyone’s to grasp. South African Mulaudzi, this year’s world
leader, Moroccan Amine Laalou, and Kamel made a collective move to
create a small gap on the field with 200 meters to go, before Kamel,
the son of two-time World champion Billy Konchellah, forged to the lead
at the top of the home straight. Mulaudzi tried to wrestle the lead
back over the final 50 meters, but came up short to take second
(1:45.67) after a victory here last year.
Belal Mansoor Ali, another Kenyan-born Bahraini, tried to steal the win
as he powered into the homestretch, but faded to third (1:45.93).
form the pack over the final turn, Kenyan Edwin Soi kicked to a
decisive victory in the men’s 3000, the first track final of the
afternoon before a crowd of about 20,000 at Gottlieb Daimler Stadium,
the venue for the 1993 World Championships.
As expected, the
race was a tactical one, with the entire field still in contention when
the bell sounded, 6:55.21 into the race. Briton Mo Farah and Australian
Craig Mottram headed the tightly-knit pack as they began the final
circuit, but with the tempo increasing markedly, Mottram began to fade
when Soi, and compatriot Joseph Ebuya made their decisive moves.
Soi bolted to the lead –and the eventual victory in 7:48.81—Farah held
his ground until Ebuya snuck by on the inside to finish second in
7:49.70, 0.19 seconds ahead of the Briton. Mottram, who seemingly faded
out of contention with 200m to go, fought back to finish fourth
(7:49.89). Eliud Kipchoge, the Osaka silver medallist in the 5000, was
never a factor and finished a distant sixth.
Jepkorir bid Romanian Cristina Casandra adieu at the final water
barrier to win a tactical steeplechase affair in 9:35.03. After a
sluggish opening, Jepkorir, Casandra and World champion Yekaterina
Volkova of Russia upped the tempo with five circuits remaining, and
with two laps to go, the Kenyan, Romanian and Ireland's Roisin
McGettigan had broken free. As Jepkorir bolted to the win off the final
water jump, McGettigan charged by Cassandra to finish second, 9:35.86
to 9:36.38. Volkova, the world champion, was a distant fourth (9:40.21).
just six women contesting the 5000 --world record Meseret Defar opted
for tomorrow’s 3000m instead-- the race didn’t begin until the bell
sounded, some 13:55 into the contest. Vivian Cheruiyot, who finished
second to Defar in her world record run in Oslo, led a Kenyan top-four
sweep in 14:56.94, ahead of Sylvia Kibet and Priscah Jepleting.
this year’s edition is the second of three slated for the Stuttgart
venue, local organizers and the IAAF are having second thoughts about
returning next year. That decision is expected to come on Monday.