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World Athletics Final Day 1 Recap

Bekele Wins Another Duel With Lagat In Super-Slow 3000m While Nancy Lagat and Hannah England Provide Day's Only Real Fireworks With 1500m Upset Of Jamal and Burka

By Emory Mort for LetsRun.com
September 12, 2009

*Meet Results
*LRC: Beautiful Day 1 Photos From Thessaloniki

IAAF World Athletics Final - Day 1 Men's 3000m - Kenenisa Bekele Outkicks Lagat Again, This Time In A Shorter, Slower Race
A very slow opening 1000m ensured the men's 3000m would come down to a huge kick. 2:55 was the opening kilometer followed by a 2:44. They passed the mile in only 4:36!

The fireworks were set off late in the race. Hanging in last place for much of the tempo run, Kenenisa Bekele picked the perfect time to move up. With 900m to go the virtually unbeatable Ethiopian charged around the field to take the lead and take control of the pace. With two laps to go the field were at 6:11.

The field essentially maintained their order as Bekele squeezed the pace down. At the bell they passed in 7:11, meaning Bekele had brought the lap pace down to 60 seconds per lap. The men, shown from a front angle, were literally running 10-wide on the track as everyone wanted a piece at the front. In the widest slot was American Chris Solinsky, the only non-Kenyan or Ethiopian in the field, as he made his way up from his previous position as race caboose. Solinsky finished quite well to nab 6th-place with a long, sustained kick superior to that of competitors like Kenyan greats Edwin Soi and Eliud Kipchoge.

Up front distance fans were treated to another last minute match-off between poly-distance specialists Bernard Lagat and Kenenisa Bekele. The penultimate furlong (~200m) was 27 seconds as Bekele pressed off the front and everyone held on for dear life. Lagat was in about 4th, waiting to engage his ultimate gear. With 120m to go, Lagat took off after an already flat-out Bekele. But Bekele was well on his way to victory. He looked phenomenally smooth and unchallenged as he closed his final 200m in 25.48 seconds. There was an electricity in his step that was simply a small level above Lagat's wattage. While Bernard jumped up his effort to try to catch Bekele, he really couldn't make up much ground. Unlike in Berlin at the world championships 5000m, Lagat could not draw even with Bekele and truly threaten him. Bekele's last lap was 52.03 and his final 800m were run in 1:52.

It was a brilliant sprint finish from both competitors but there was no unseating of the champion. Kenenisa Bekele is simply unbeatable at a massive range of distances. Common sense might dictate that a 10k/5k/XC specialist like Bekele might not be able to kick with the world's best milers (Ethiopian 2009 world championship 1500m medalist Deresse Mekonnen was also in the race). But Bekele defies common sense. He is much better than any other distance runner in the world because he can defeat seemingly every tactic in almost any distance between 2 and probably 8 or 9 miles.

1 39 Kenenisa Bekele ETH 8:03.79 .
2 143 Bernard Lagat USA 8:04.00 .
3 99 Sammy Alex Mutahi KEN 8:04.64 .
4 42 Deresse Mekonnen ETH 8:05.32 .
5 90 Silas Kipruto KEN 8:05.54 .
6 156 Chris Solinsky USA 8:05.76 .
7 103 Edwin Cheruiyot Soi KEN 8:06.69 .
8 92 Mark Kosgey Kiptoo KEN 8:07.22 .
9 86 Eliud Kipchoge KEN 8:07.26 .
10 97 Thomas Pkemei Longosiwa KEN 8:07.63 .
11 96 Leonard Patrick Komon KEN 8:12.51

Olympics Day 15 - Athletics Women's 1500m - Americans and British Continue To Chip Away At African Dominance As Nancy Langat Gets First Big Win Of The Season
In a surprising turn of events, world leader Maryam Jamal and Ethiopian favorite Gelete Burka faded in the final 100m as Kenya's 2008 Olympic champion Nancy Langat (right in Beijing) pulled away for her first big win of the season. While the Kenyan women did wonderfully in Berlin in the 800m, 5000m and 10,000m, they did not fare as well in the 1500m. Jamal and Burka were the big names coming in but Langat showed her season is starting to turn around only a few weeks too late!

The reason we mentioned the British and the Americans is non-Berlin qualifier Hannah England (GBR) came through to get second place in this kicker's race with an even bigger surprise coming from early race leader Christin Wurth-Thomas rolling up on Jamal, Burka, and Shannon Rowbury for third place. Rowbury would get 5th to lead the British/American squad to a 2-3-5 finish without the help of Berlin medalist Lisa Dobriskey or American sub-4 1500m runners Jenny Barringer and Anna Willard.

The front women closed the race in 58.8 seconds after 73 and 74-second opening laps. Burka took over at the 800m point to lead the field through a 61.3. The women nearly closed in 2:00, which might be a race not suited to Burka's and Jamal's strengths, but going in it would have been hard to bet against those two under almost any race circumstances.

AVIVA London Grand Prix - Day Two 2nd-placer Hannah England (right) deserves a ton of credit as we mentioned before she was not even selected to the British team in Berlin. In this race alone she took down all three medalists plus Burka who fell while leading with 200m to go. The other memorable moment in this race was Christin Wurth-Thomas finding a kick in the home straight to pass Rowbury, who looked to be in race contention with 400m to go. Wurth-Thomas found something she didn't think she had. To find that gear after 600m of running sub-60 pace per lap is pretty impressive for someone not known for finishing speed but rather sort of a gritty, grind it out from the front approach.

1 87 Nancy Jebet Langat KEN 4:13.63 .
2 49 Hannah England GBR 4:14.05 .
3 157 Christin Wurth-Thomas USA 4:14.10 .
4 20 Maryam Yusuf Jamal BRN 4:14.12 .
5 150 Shannon Rowbury USA 4:14.18 .
6 39 Gelete Burka ETH 4:14.51 .
7 109 Anna Alminova RUS 4:15.76 .
8 48 Lisa Dobriskey GBR 4:15.94 .
9 125 Sonja Roman SLO 4:17.78 .
10 85 Viola Jelagat Kibiwot KEN 4:19.35 .
11 94 Lidia Chojecka POL 4:21.34 .
. 163 Btissam Lakhouad MAR DNS

Women's 5000m - Dibaba and Defar Restore Previous World Order
Boy, the Ethiopians were hoping to see this 1-2 finish a few weeks ago in Germany rather than mid-September in Greece. Injured Tirunesh Dibaba returned and ran confidently in her first race back against a top, top field. Meseret Defar waited and timed her kick perfectly to get the 5000m win that many expected in Berlin. Kenyan greats Vivian Cheruiyot and Sylvia Kibet could not reproduce their Berlin gold and silver magic and beat the top Ethiopians, though they were right behind in third and fourth. This race, chock full of talent, ended up being a dull finish because it was a reminder that Dibaba and Defar are back and they rarely ever lose. Back to the status quo.

Ethiopian super-talent Meselech Melkamu - nipped at the line to lose gold in the 10,000m in Berlin - also was left in the wake of the great Dibaba and Defar and finished 9th.

1 40 Meseret Defar ETH 15:25.31 .
2 41 Tirunesh Dibaba ETH 15:25.92 .
3 82 Vivian Cheruiyot KEN 15:26.21 .
4 84 Sylvia Jebiwott Kibet KEN 15:26.50 .
5 37 Wude Ayalew ETH 15:27.34 .
6 42 Sentayehu Ejigu ETH 15:28.96 .
7 81 Iness Chepkesis Chenonge KEN 15:29.55 .
8 88 Grace Kwamboka Momanyi KEN 15:32.43 .
9 44 Meselech Melkamu ETH 15:32.58 .
10 160 Zakia Mrisho Mohamed TAN 15:38.15 .
11 148 Jennifer Rhines USA 15:42.92
  Mile Splits   1000m Splits 200: 36 400m Splits
1600 5:11 1000 3:09 600 74
3200 5:02 (10:13) 2000 3:13 (6:22) 1000 76
4800 4:43 (14:56) 3000 3:09 (9:31) 1400 77
5000 28.5 (15:25.32) 4000 3:12 (12:43) 1800 79
    5000 2:42 (15:25) 2200 71
        2600 79
        3000 75
        3400 81
        3800 76
        4200 70
        4600 69
        5000 58

Men's 800m - David Rudisha Should Be Ranked World #1 800m Man Despite Not Making Berlin Final
The men's 800m was the David Rudisha show. The 20-year-old Kenyan now fourth ranked in world history (1:42.01) led from gun to tape and won easily. Gary Reed was second. Nick Symmonds made a big move to get himself in front with 400m to go but faded when the big kicking started. Rudisha took the pace out hard in sub-25 seconds and then slowed it way down to pass 400 just under 53.

1 5 102 David Lekuta Rudisha KEN 1:44.85 (CR)
2 1 28 Gary Reed CAN 1:45.23 .
3 6 120 Mbulaeni Mulaudzi RSA 1:45.53 .
4 8 114 Bram Som NED 1:45.86 .
5 4 122 Yuriy Borzakovskiy RUS 1:46.04 .
6 2 158 Nick Symmonds USA 1:46.19 .
7 3 105 Alfred Kirwa Yego KEN 1:46.66 .
8 7 106 Mohammed Al-Salhi KSA 1:50.55

Men's 100m and Women's 200m - Close Finishes Between World's Best
The women's 200m and men's 100m were unusually exciting. In the first event, Sanya Richards took a step down from the 400m to her 2nd-best event so she could actually run a competitive race for the first time in several months. She found a great rival in Allyson Felix, who has been without peer at the half-lap distance this year. The two had to be separated by 1/1000ths of a second when all was said and done as the time keepers gave the victory to the three-time world champion at 200m Felix in 22.29.

1 5 138 Allyson Felix USA 22.29 . 0.207
2 7 149 Sanya Richards USA 22.29 (SB) 0.194
3 4 77 Kerron Stewart JAM 22.42 (SB) 0.169
4 6 12 Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie BAH 22.45 . 0.173
5 2 79 Shericka Williams JAM 22.57 (SB) 0.189
6 8 25 Cydonie Mothersille CAY 22.83 . 0.248
7 3 67 LaVerne Jones-Ferrette ISV 22.90 . 0.147
8 1 50 Emily Freeman GBR 22.91 . 0.161

In the men's 100m, Tyson Gay overcame a huge deficit to the human freight train that is Asafa Powell to get a really close victory 9.88 to 9.90. Powell took Gay down in their last race after Gay ran his American record 9.71m for second place in Berlin over Powell. Gay's performance today in Greece showed his high level of determination as he made up a big, big gap to overcome Powell only in the final one or two meters as the Jamaican lunged at the line.

1 6 137 Tyson Gay USA 9.88 . 0.151
2 5 78 Asafa Powell JAM 9.90 . 0.147
3 3 151 Darvis Patton USA 10.00 . 0.142
4 4 153 Michael Rodgers USA 10.09 . 0.164
5 8 75 Michael Frater JAM 10.16 . 0.163
6 7 10 Churandy Martina AHO 10.20 . 0.174
7 2 51 Ronald Pognon FRA 10.30 . 0.146
8 1 61 Simeon Williamson GBR 10.48 . 0.141

Men's Shot Put - Championship Record For Christian Cantwell Over Olympic Champ Majewski As American's Signature Year Continues

1 134 Christian Cantwell USA 22.07 (CR)
2 116 Tomasz Majewski POL 21.21 .
3 125 Pavel Sofin RUS 20.82 (PB)
4 140 Reese Hoffa USA 20.66 .
5 62 Ralf Bartels GER 20.58 .
6 20 Andrei Mikhnevich BLR 20.48 .
7 149 Adam Nelson USA 20.03 .
8 26 Dylan Armstrong CAN 19.61

Men's 400m Hurdles - Clement Finishes Off Dominant Season
Kerron Clement wins again with his powerful stride. His mark of 48.13 smashes the stadium record of 48.70. Clement continues a dominant season. The stadium PA blasts the song "Living In America" (perhaps one of the most bland, hokey songs ever written) in honor of the American's win. The announcer says everything in Greek, then in English. No wonder nobody can stand watching track and field.

1 5 135 Kerron Clement USA 48.11 . 0.178
2 6 121 L.J. van Zyl RSA 48.74 . 0.165
3 7 165 Periklís Iakovákis GRE 48.90 . 0.201
4 2 160 Micheal Tinsley USA 49.03 . 0.155
5 1 60 Rhys Williams GBR 50.02 . 0.182
6 4 76 Danny McFarlane JAM 50.28 . 0.170
7 8 138 Justin Gaymon USA 51.19 . 0.151
. 3 77 Isa Phillips JAM DQ . 0.170

Women's Long Jump - Brittney Reese Comes Out On Top Again
After securing the American long jump gold medal sweep in Berlin, American Brittney Reese further entrenched her name as the number one long jumper in the world this year with a clutch 4th and final round jump. Not only has she won the big meets, she has won with big marks and leads the world list. Her 7.08m win is a championship record. Behind her were a trio of Russians including jumping great Tatyana Lebedeva.

1 147 Brittney Reese USA 7.08 (0.7) (CR)
2 123 Elena Sokolova RUS 6.81 (0.8) .
3 118 Tatyana Lebedeva RUS 6.79 (1.4) .
4 117 Olga Kucherenko RUS 6.61 (1.6) .
5 35 Ksenija Balta EST 6.58 (0.9) .
6 144 Funmi Jimoh USA 6.58 (1.5) .
7 18 Keila Costa BRA 6.53 (3.1) .
8 119 Irina Meleshina RUS 6.50 (3.1)

Women's Pole Vault - Yelena Isinbayeva Gets Win On 3rd Attempt Clearance At 4.80m
Who else but Yelena Insinbayeva was going to win this title? Sure, she had her mid-season slip-ups, but after a new world record 5.06m in Zurich, and some attempts at 5.07m in Brussels, a defeat in Greece would have been a massive shocker. After all, world champion and best competition Anna Rogowska of Poland went out early and Rochester native Jenn Stuczynski is in American nursing an achilles injury. Heights were not coming easily to Isinbayeva, as she missed at 4.60m before moving up to a first attempt clearance at 4.70m. That clearance put her in the driver's seat, but she missed both attempts at 4.80m before yet another clutch clearance that everyone takes for granted from by far the world's greatest ever women's vaulter. Three more attempts at another $50,000 and a 1cm improvement on her 27th world record were for naught but Isinbayeva went home happy again.

1 113 Elena Isinbaeva RUS 4.80 .
2 19 Fabiana Murer BRA 4.60 .
2 98 Monika Pyrek POL 4.60 .
4 99 Anna Rogowska POL 4.50 .
4 111 Yuliya Golubchikova RUS 4.50 .
6 62 Silke Spiegelburg GER 4.40 .
. 114 Aleksandra Kiryashova RUS NM .
. 145 Chelsea Johnson USA NM

Men's 400m - LaShawn Merritt Wins Sleeper
The US #1 man is so dominant the races are boring. No Jeremy Wariner meant no real chance of anyone but LaShawn Merritt sniffing 1st place. Even the Wariner-Merritt matches have been massively uneven. The sport has definitely cleaned up and fewer guys doing drugs means less variability and fewer really fast performances. Wake Forest's Michael Bingham continues his epic year. After the long NCAA season somehow Bingham is still competing and doing a great job. He finished just behing Beijing individual bronze medalist David Neville of the US.

Men's High Jump - World Champ Rybakov Gets Big 2.34m Clearance Win Over Baba

1 124 Yaroslav Rybakov RUS 2.34 .
2 32 Jaroslav Bába CZE 2.32 .
3 161 Jesse Williams USA 2.29 .
4 144 Andra Manson USA 2.29 .
5 126 Ivan Ukhov RUS 2.26 .
6 73 Alessandro Talotti ITA 2.26 (SB)
7 166 Kyriakos Ioannou CYP 2.22 .
7 65 Konstadínos Baniótis GRE 2.22

Women's Steeplechase - Ruth Bisibori Leads Kenyan Dominated Race Lacking In Top Stars

1 89 Ruth Bisibori Nyangau KEN 9:13.43 (CR)
2 83 Milcah Chemos Cheywa KEN 9:20.19 .
3 86 Gladys Jerotich Kipkemoi KEN 9:21.18 .
4 36 Sofia Assefa ETH 9:26.10 .
5 90 Lydia Jebet Rotich KEN 9:26.94 .
6 45 Sophie Duarte FRA 9:27.78 .
7 139 Lisa Galaviz USA 9:33.11 (SB)
8 97 Katarzyna Kowalska POL 9:37.86 .
9 102 Ancuta Bobocel ROU 9:39.92 .
10 38 Mekdes Bekele ETH 9:55.33 .
11 64 Iríni Kokkinaríou GRE 9:58.38 .
. 132 Habiba Ghribi TUN DNF

 

 

 

 

 

 

            
  

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