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Day 1 Evening Distance Recap: Maria Mutola Takes First Step Towards Eighth World Indoor Title
By David Monti
(c) 2008 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
*
Day 1 Morning Distance Recap (Favorites Advance in 3k Heats ) Here

VALENCIA, Spain (07-Mar) -- Resting immediately after her 800m heat, Maria Mutola sat on the steps leading up from the floor of the Palau Lluis Puig Velodrome to the interview area.  She chatted casually with the other athletes as they walked by, and stayed there to watch the next heat.  To think what those eyes have seen...

At 35, Mutola is the grande dame of these 12th IAAF World Indoor Championships.  Starting with Toronto in 1993, Mutola has competed in every one of these championships, and is making her ninth appearance here, the most of any athlete.  More remarkably, she's won an astounding seven titles, also the most of any athlete.  Could there be one more in what she says will be her final indoor meeting?

"It has been a good race, it felt really good," she said after controlling and winning the second of four qualifying heats in 2:04.82 and advancing to tomorrow afternoon's semi-finals.  "I'm going to fight to get into the final, then only God knows what will happen."

Perhaps no longer at the peak of her form, Mutola could still squeeze out another win, or perhaps her ninth medal in these championships.  The only time she did not make the top step of the podium was in Maebashi in 1999 when she took silver to Czech Ludmila Formanovß.

Based on the results of today's heats, there is no clear favorite for Sunday's final.  Spain's Mayte MartÝnez, who finished second to Mutola in heat 2 and was the bronze medalist in Osaka last August, certainly must be looked at as likely for the podium, especially with the Spanish crowd behind her.  Italian Elisa Cusma Piccione was strong in beating Australian Tamsyn Lewis in heat 1, and the Morrocan, Seltana A´t Hammou, showed her powerful finishing sprint in winning the third heat.  Also, the front-running Ukrainian who won the final heat, Tetiana Petlyuk, can't be counted out.

But Mutola, whose soft voice always seems at odds with her powerful physique, is the sentimental favorite, especially in what she says will be her final year of competition.  She hopes to make it to the final in Beijing and win her second Olympic title, or third Olympic medal, to close one of the greatest careers in athletics history.

"I've been competing for many years, and I'm very happy that at 35 I'm still amongst the elite," she said.

 #  #  #  #  #  #

In other qualifying action in today's afternoon/evening session, Russia's Dmitriy Bogdanov led all 800m qualifiers with a 1:48.38 win in heat 1.  Other favorites to advance included Bahrain's Yusuf Saad Kamel (the former Gregory Konchella of Kenya), Uganda's Abraham Chepkirwok, South Africa's Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, Sudan's teenager Abubaker Kaki Khamis, and America's Nick Symmonds and Khadevis Robinson.

Robinson came second to the big Dutchman, Robert Lathouwers, in a rough and tumble heat 5 which saw the two athletes come in contact with each other several times.

"I don't mind it, but I think it really took something out of me," said Robinson who led most of the heat.

As for Lathouwers, running the 800m is all new to him.  He said that today's race was only his fifth 800m (he usually runs the 400m), and he's used to running in his own lane.

"We were just like boxing," he joked with a reporter as he showed that he had been spiked on his left shin.  "You don't make that in the 400 meters."

In the men's 1500m qualifying, most of the favorites advanced to tomorrow's final, although Bahrain's Belal Mansoor Ali was eliminated when he finished only fifth in the first heat.  It was in that heat where Ethiopia's Deresse Mekonnen and New Zealand's Nick Willis got away with two laps to go to qualify 1-2 in 3:39.74 and 3:40.66, respectively.  Willis was thrilled.

"Yeah, I couldn't ask for anything better," said Willis.  "Qualifying's the hard part; all the fun will be in the final."

Other medal favorites who advanced included Kenya's Daniel Kipchirchir Komen, Spain's Juan Carlos Higuero, Ethiopia's Mekonnen Gebremedhin, and Bahrain's Rashid Ramzi, the 2005 800/1500 world champion.

 #  #  #  #  #  #

The middle and long distance action continues at Palau Lluis Puig Velodrome tomorrow with the women's 3000m final, the men's and women's 800m semi-finals and the men's 1500m final.
(800 and 1500 Results Below, Full Result here)


800 Metres - W Heats
Qual. rule: first 2 of each heat (Q) plus the 4 fastest times (q) qualified.
Heat 1
07 March 2008 - 17:55
Position Lane Bib Athlete Country Mark .
1 3 Elisa Cusma Piccione ITA 2:01.62 Q .
2 5 Tamsyn Lewis AUS 2:01.85 Q (NR)
3 4 Marian Burnett GUY 2:02.35 q (NR)
4 2 Margarita Fuentes-Pila ESP 2:03.89 q (SB)
. 6 Natalya Ignatova RUS DQ .
Intermediate Bib Athlete nat Mark
200m 111 Elisa Cusma Piccione ITA 30.06
400m 111 Elisa Cusma Piccione ITA 1:01.56
600m 2 Tamsyn Lewis AUS 1:32.00
Heat 2
07 March 2008 - 18:01
Position Lane Bib Athlete Country Mark .
1 5 Maria de Lurdes Mutola MOZ 2:04.82 Q .
2 6 Mayte Mart├şnez ESP 2:04.92 Q .
3 3 Agnes Samaria NAM 2:05.23 (SB)
4 4 Nicole Cook USA 2:06.67 .
5 2 Fanja Rakotomalala-Felix MAD 2:08.42 (NR)
Intermediate Bib Athlete nat Mark
200m 145 Agnes Samaria NAM 32.27
400m 248 Nicole Cook USA 1:06.38
600m 144 Maria de Lurdes Mutola MOZ 1:36.43
Heat 3
07 March 2008 - 18:07
Position Lane Bib Athlete Country Mark .
1 4 Seltana Aït Hammou MAR 2:04.69 Q .
2 6 Ewelina Setowska-Dryk POL 2:04.71 Q .
3 3 Marilyn Okoro GBR 2:05.09 .
4 5 Mariya Savinova RUS 2:06.72 .
5 2 Lysaira Del Valle PUR 2:07.58 (SB)
Intermediate Bib Athlete nat Mark
200m 167 Lysaira Del Valle PUR 30.80
400m 167 Lysaira Del Valle PUR 1:03.67
600m 204 Mariya Savinova RUS 1:35.67
Heat 4
07 March 2008 - 18:13
Position Lane Bib Athlete Country Mark .
1 6 Tetiana Petlyuk UKR 2:00.40 Q .
2 5 Jennifer Meadows GBR 2:00.60 Q .
3 4 Mihaela Neacsu ROU 2:00.79 q (SB)
4 3 Nicole Teter USA 2:01.73 q (SB)
5 2 Natalia Gallego AND 2:15.97 .
Intermediate Bib Athlete nat Mark
200m 239 Tetiana Petlyuk UKR 28.14
400m 239 Tetiana Petlyuk UKR 58.53
600m 239 Tetiana Petlyuk UKR 1:29.34

 

800 Metres - M Heats
Qual. rule: first 2 of each heat (Q) plus the 6 fastest times (q) qualified.
Heat 1
07 March 2008 - 18:20
Position Lane Bib Athlete Country Mark .
1 6 Dmitriy Bogdanov RUS 1:48.38 Q .
2 2 Fabiano Pe├žanha BRA 1:49.03 Q (PB)
3 4 Abdoulaye Wagne SEN 1:49.07 q (PB)
4 5 Jozef Repc├Čk SVK 1:49.15 q .
5 3 Michael Blackwood JAM 1:52.69 .
Intermediate Bib Athlete nat Mark
200m 40 Fabiano Pe├žanha BRA 26.03
400m 40 Fabiano Pe├žanha BRA 54.23
600m 40 Fabiano Pe├žanha BRA 1:21.81
Heat 2
07 March 2008 - 18:26
Position Lane Bib Athlete Country Mark .
1 3 Yusuf Saad Kamel BRN 1:48.71 Q .
2 5 Abraham Chepkirwok UGA 1:48.80 Q .
3 6 Dmitrijs Milkevics LAT 1:49.10 q .
4 4 Mattias Claesson SWE 1:49.12 q .
5 2 Fadrique Iglesias BOL 1:50.55 .
Intermediate Bib Athlete nat Mark
200m 313 Mattias Claesson SWE 26.16
400m 313 Mattias Claesson SWE 54.89
600m 313 Mattias Claesson SWE 1:23.03
Heat 3
07 March 2008 - 18:32
Position Lane Bib Athlete Country Mark .
1 6 Mbulaeni Mulaudzi RSA 1:50.86 Q .
2 3 Manuel Olmedo ESP 1:51.07 Q .
3 4 Jakub Holuša CZE 1:51.09 .
4 5 Damien Moss GBR 1:51.39 .
5 2 Eduard Villanueva VEN 1:51.83 .
Intermediate Bib Athlete nat Mark
200m 274 Mbulaeni Mulaudzi RSA 27.12
400m 94 Manuel Olmedo ESP 56.70
600m 274 Mbulaeni Mulaudzi RSA 1:24.65
Heat 4 - revised
07 March 2008 - 18:38
Position Lane Bib Athlete Country Mark .
1 5 Nick Symmonds USA 1:49.30 Q .
2 4 Lukas Rifeser ITA 1:49.51 Q .
3 1 Moise Joseph HAI 1:49.70 (SB)
4 3 Aldwyn Sappleton JAM 1:51.24 .
. 6 Richard Kiplagat KEN DQ .
. 2 Lamine Bangoura GUI DNF .
Intermediate Bib Athlete nat Mark
200m 203 Richard Kiplagat KEN 25.75
400m 203 Richard Kiplagat KEN 53.74
600m 203 Richard Kiplagat KEN 1:21.39
Heat 5
07 March 2008 - 18:44
Position Lane Bib Athlete Country Mark .
1 4 Robert Lathouwers NED 1:49.32 Q .
2 5 Khadevis Robinson USA 1:49.33 Q .
3 3 Amine Laalou MAR 1:49.41 .
4 6 Yuriy Koldin RUS 1:49.60 .
5 2 Deon Bascom GUY 1:55.88 .
6 1 Florian Hilti LIE 1:59.91 (SB)
Intermediate Bib Athlete nat Mark
200m 359 Khadevis Robinson USA 26.46
400m 359 Khadevis Robinson USA 55.34
600m 359 Khadevis Robinson USA 1:22.76
Heat 6
07 March 2008 - 18:50
Position Lane Bib Athlete Country Mark .
1 5 Abubaker Kaki Khamis SUD 1:47.80 Q .
2 6 Eugenio Barrios ESP 1:48.70 Q .
3 3 Richard Hill GBR 1:49.06 q .
4 4 Ehsan Mohajershojaei IRI 1:49.14 q .
5 2 Dávid Takács HUN 1:49.79 (SB)
Intermediate Bib Athlete nat Mark
200m 88 Eugenio Barrios ESP 25.98
400m 309 Abubaker Kaki Khamis SUD 53.97
600m 309 Abubaker Kaki Khamis SUD 1:21.79


1500 Metres - M Heats
Qual. rule: first 2 of each heat (Q) plus the 3 fastest times (q) qualified.
Heat 1
07 March 2008 - 20:00
Position Bib Athlete Country Mark .
1 Deresse Mekonnen ETH 3:39.74 Q .
2 Nicholas Willis NZL 3:40.66 Q (PB)
3 Carsten Schlangen GER 3:41.54 .
4 Michael East GBR 3:41.68 .
5 Belal Mansoor Ali BRN 3:41.91 .
6 James Nolan IRL 3:42.12 .
7 Christian Obrist ITA 3:45.46 .
8 Guillaume Éraud FRA 3:46.11 .
9 David Freeman PUR 3:51.35 .
10 Sergey Pakura KGZ 3:57.28 (SB)
Intermediate Bib Athlete nat Mark
200m 42 Belal Mansoor Ali BRN 29.33
400m 42 Belal Mansoor Ali BRN 1:00.84
600m 110 Deresse Mekonnen ETH 1:31.17
800m 155 Carsten Schlangen GER 2:00.08
1000m 155 Carsten Schlangen GER 2:29.49
1200m 110 Deresse Mekonnen ETH 2:58.16
1400m 110 Deresse Mekonnen ETH 3:25.92
Heat 2
07 March 2008 - 20:08
Position Bib Athlete Country Mark .
1 Daniel Kipchirchir Komen KEN 3:39.07 Q .
2 Juan Carlos Higuero ESP 3:39.46 Q .
3 Youssef Baba MAR 3:39.89 q .
4 Rob Myers USA 3:41.73 .
5 Christoph Lohse GER 3:42.25 .
6 Sergey Ivanov RUS 3:43.88 .
7 Abubaker Ali Kamal QAT 3:45.95 .
8 Mircea Bogdan ROU 3:55.32 (PB)
9 # Maung Chet MYA 4:04.65 (PB)
. Kamal Boulahfane ALG DNF .
. James McIlroy GBR DNF .
Intermediate Bib Athlete nat Mark
200m 205 Daniel Kipchirchir Komen KEN 30.47
400m 205 Daniel Kipchirchir Komen KEN 59.41
600m 205 Daniel Kipchirchir Komen KEN 1:28.23
800m 205 Daniel Kipchirchir Komen KEN 1:58.12
1000m 205 Daniel Kipchirchir Komen KEN 2:27.96
1200m 205 Daniel Kipchirchir Komen KEN 2:57.26
1400m 205 Daniel Kipchirchir Komen KEN 3:25.15
Heat 3
07 March 2008 - 20:16
Position Bib Athlete Country Mark .
1 Mekonnen Gebremedhin ETH 3:37.16 Q .
2 Suleiman Kipses Simotwo KEN 3:37.23 Q .
3 Rashid Ramzi BRN 3:37.31 q (PB)
4 Arturo Casado ESP 3:40.99 q .
5 Abdelkader Hachlaf MAR 3:42.26 .
6 Thamer Kamal Ali QAT 3:44.17 .
7 Russell Brown USA 3:47.19 .
8 Mounir Yemmouni FRA 3:48.26 .
9 Pablo Solares MEX 3:48.78 .
10 Ajmal Amirov TJK 3:57.47 (SB)
11 Kemal Koyuncu TUR 3:57.70 (PB)
Intermediate Bib Athlete nat Mark
200m 266 Thamer Kamal Ali QAT 29.09
400m 266 Thamer Kamal Ali QAT 58.79
600m 266 Thamer Kamal Ali QAT 1:28.36
800m 266 Thamer Kamal Ali QAT 1:57.42
1000m 109 Mekonnen Gebremedhin ETH 2:25.92
1200m 44 Rashid Ramzi BRN 2:54.94
1400m 44 Rashid Ramzi BRN 3:22.94

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