Friday at World Indoors: Trayvon Bromell, Brianne Theisen-Eaton and Brittney Reese Come Up Totally Clutch for Gold, Asafa Powell Does Not, as Nia Ali Repeats in 60h

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March 18, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. — Friday night saw the first track finals at the 2016 World Indoor Track and Field Championships and there were clutch performances galore.

Trayvon Bromell prd to grab gold in the 60m, Brittney Reese came up huge on her final jump to get long jump gold, Brianne Theisen-Eaton came up huge in the 800 of the pentathlon for a surprise gold, Nia Ali repeated in the 60 hurdles, and Tom Walsh got New Zealand its first indoor gold. We recap all the finals below.

Our recap of the men’s 1500 semifinal is here. Our recap of the AM action is here: LRC Friday Early Distance Prelims Recap: Caleb Ndiku Falls And Advances To Final,As American Brenda Martinez, Berian, Sowinski, Ryan Hill And Paul Chelimo Make Finals.

Finish of Men's 60 (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images for IAAF)"

Finish of Men’s 60 (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images for IAAF)”

Men’s 60: Trayvon Bromell Comes Through in the Clutch While Asafa Powell Wilts Again

On paper, it was no contest.

On Friday afternoon, Asafa Powell won his preliminary in 6.44 seconds — the fastest time in the world since 2009 — and he did so letting up at the line. Less than four hours later, he ran 6.44 again to win his semifinal. The .05 gap between Powell and the rest of the semifinalists may not seem like much, but in an event that lasts six and a half seconds, it’s a significant margin.

The 60 has never been Trayvon Bromell’s event, as he didn’t make the NCAA final during his two years at Baylor (5th in his prelim in ’14; false start in ’15) and had just the sixth-best personal best in the field at 6.51 seconds.

Yet when the 60-meter final was over, it was Bromell celebrating wildly while Powell faced the reality of another championship final in which he had not run up to his best.

If ever there were an argument for clutchness, this was it. Bromell ran the best 60-meter race of his life in the most important 60-meter race of his life, winning his first world title in 6.47 seconds. Powell’s 6.50 was good enough for silver, his first global individual medal since bronze in the 100 at Worlds seven years ago, but given how strong he looked in the prelims, this cannot go down as anything other than a choke.

Yes, Powell had to run three race in eight hours, but so did everybody else in the field (although Powell at 33 is older than most). The facts are, he ran three races tonight and ran his worst time in the one that mattered the most. For what Powell had shown going into these championships (6.49 in Houston last month, the third-best time in the world and first among those entered here), silver was a solid performance. But after what he showed in the rounds today, anything less than gold was going to be a disappointment.

Throughout his career, Powell has repeatedly run worse in the final than in the semi. He’s been in 7 World or Olympic finals and run slower in the final on 4 of the 7 occasions.

Asafa Powell At Worlds
2015 Worlds:
9.95 in 1st round. 9.97 in 2nd. 10.00 in 3rd.
2013 Worlds: Didn’t compete due to doping suspension
2012 Olympics: 9.94 in semis. 11.99 in final.
2011 Worlds: Didn’t compete due to injury after being on fire all year long.
2009 Worlds: Powell actually ran faster in the final. 9.95 in semis. 9.84 in final.
2008 Olympics: 9.91 in semis. 9.95 in final.
2007 Worlds: Powell actually ran faster in the final. 10.08 in semis. 9.97 in final.
2005 Worlds: DNC.
2004 Olympics: 9.95 in semis. 9.94 in final.
2003 Worlds: DQ’d

That being said, we give Powell props for showing up. His presence added a lot of excitement to the event and he came close to winning his first ever global gold. MB: Asafa Powell back on the SAUCE — runs 6.44!!

And later in the evening, founder Weldon Johson ran into Trayvon Bromell in the elevator: I just ran into Trayvon Bromell in the Elevator, He’s Been Celebrating His Gold With His Mom

Interviews with Bromell and Powell and results:

1373Trayvon BROMELLUSAUSA6.47PB0.121
2256Asafa POWELLJAMJAM6.500.135
3122Ramon GITTENSBARBAR6.51NIR0.132
4156Zhenye XIECHNCHN6.53PB0.152
5153Bingtian SUCHNCHN6.540.148
6393Mike RODGERSUSAUSA6.540.146
7372Marvin BRACYUSAUSA6.560.125
8335Kim COLLINSSKNSKN6.560.152
Brianne Celebrates (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images for IAAF)"

Brianne Celebrates (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images for IAAF)”

Women’s pentathlon: Brianne Theisen-Eaton Comes Up Big in 800 for Gold

One of the best moments of the night came in the women’s pentathlon as University of Oregon grad and Eugene resident Brianne Theisen-Eaton earned gold in a dramatic 800 meters. Eaton entered the final event trailing Ukrainians Anastasiya Mokhnyuk (by 150 points) and Alina Fodorova (by 36). Using conversion tables, Theisen-Eaton had to beat Moknyuk by approximately 11 seconds to win gold and Fodorova by about 2.7 to win silver.

Theisen-Eaton knew she had to win big, and with an 800 personal best (2:09.03) far superior to Mokhnyuk (2:15.52) and Fodorova (2:14.77), that outcome was certainly possible. She went out hard behind American Barbara Nwaba, who led through 200 (30.22), 400 (63.35) and 600 (1:36.47) with Theisen-Eaton right behind. At the bell, the two had a large gap on the rest of the field, including the Ukrainians, but Theisen-Eaton could not afford to let up. She flew around the track, cheered on by the heptathletes as she made the turn onto the backstretch. With husband Ashton Eaton screaming his support from the infield, Theisen-Eaton just edged Nwaba at the line to win the race in 2:09.99, but as soon as she crossed the finish line, the waiting game began. Fodorova crossed just over 10 seconds later in 2:20.42, with Mokhnyuk three seconds further behind in 2:23.19. Theisen-Eaton had just won the gold medal, but neither she — nor anyone in the stadium — knew that in the moment.

Theisen-Eaton, totally exhausted after five grueling events over the course of nine hours, did not know her exact margin of victory in the 800 and leaned on the railing of the first turn, waiting for the scoreboard to tell her the good news. After what seemed like an eternity — in reality, it was closer to two minutes — P.A. announcer Garry Hill delivered the news. Theisen-Eaton had done it, scoring 4881 to Mokhnyuk’s 4847 to win gold. The crowd erupted with its loudest cheer of the night and within moments, Eaton had joined his wife in a long hug on the track. With Eaton leading the heptathlon by 63 points (3564 to 3501) through four events, the possibility of husband-wife gold in Portland is three events from becoming a reality.

1633Brianne THEISEN EATONCANCAN2:09.99SB965
2831Barbara NWABAUSAUSA2:10.07SB964
3695Györgyi ZSIVOCZKY – FARKASHUNHUN2:18.48SB844
4731Makeba ALCIDELCALCA2:18.65SB842
5716Salcia SLACKJAMJAM2:19.00837
6645Katerina CACHOVÁCZECZE2:19.97824
7627Georgia ELLENWOODCANCAN2:20.18821
8665Morgan LAKEGBRGBR2:20.40818
9804Alina FODOROVAUKRUKR2:20.42818
10846Kendell WILLIAMSUSAUSA2:22.82786
11805Anastasiya MOKHNYUKUKRUKR2:23.19781
12680Celina LEFFLERGERGER2:24.01770

Women’s 60m Hurdles: Nia Ali Repeats

Kendra Harrison got a good start, but hit the first hurdle with the bottom of her foot, which slowed her down and she was done. World leader and US champ Brianna Rollins stumbled out of the blocks but built a lead, only for defending champ Nia Ali to run her down and edge her for the win off the final hurdle.

Kendra Harrison's (l) final went bad on the first hurdle

Kendra Harrison’s (l) final went bad on the first hurdle

Ali, in lane 6, gets the win

Ali, in lane 6, gets the win

1813Nia ALIUSAUSA7.81SB0.137
2837Brianna ROLLINSUSAUSA7.820.175
3669Tiffany PORTERGBRGBR7.900.133
4643Andrea IVANCEVICCROCRO7.950.146
5634Angela WHYTECANCAN7.99SB0.130
6618Alina TALAYBLRBLR8.000.136
7673Serita SOLOMONGBRGBR8.290.160
8824Kendra HARRISONUSAUSA8.870.137

Women’s Long Jump: Superwoman Brittney Reese Saves Best for Last and Wins on Final Jump

The women’s long jump came down to the final two jumps. Ivana Spanovic of Serbia was leading with a world leading 7.07 and Brittney Reese was second in 7.00. Reese had one chance to snatch gold from Spanovic and that’s exactly what she did, jumping 7.22 and just missing her own championship record of 7.23 from 2012 as Spanovic did not improve on her final jump.

(Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images for IAAF)"

(Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images for IAAF)”

1835Brittney REESEUSAUSA7.22WL6.97XX6.887.007.22
2789Ivana ŠPANOVICSRBSRB7.07NIR7.006.88XX7.076.76
3676Lorraine UGENGBRGBR6.93NIR6.626.646.65X6.936.86
4820Janay DELOACHUSAUSA6.89SBX6.80XX6.856.89
5608Brooke STRATTONAUSAUS6.756.576.756.62X6.72
6684Alexandra WESTERGERGER6.67X6.446.676.596.57
7651Ksenija BALTAESTEST6.606.596.576.486.606.59
8670Shara PROCTORGBRGBR6.57X6.556.57X6.54
9617Nastassia MIRONCHYK-IVANOVABLRBLR6.566.566.556.47
10782Alina ROTARUROUROU6.45X6.406.45
11606Chelsea JAENSCHAUSAUS6.385.846.286.38
12682Xenia STOLZGERGER6.376.34X6.37
13671Jazmin SAWYERSGBRGBR6.31X6.316.27
14795Khaddi SAGNIASWESWE6.086.085.98

Previous Coverage: LRC University Of Virginia Employing Banned Doper Martin Maric As Throws Coach; Coaches Association Honors Him As Regional Coach Of The Year
*LRC UVA Has Reassigned Banned Doper Martin Maric To Intramural And Recreational Sports – He Won’t Coach Throws At UVA This Year
*MB: UVA Coach Serving Doping Suspension