Fabiana Murer opens with a 4.75m clearance in Rio (Alexandre Loureiro/CBAt) © Copyright
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Murer opens with world leading 4.75m in Rio – IAAF World Challenge

Brazilian Fabiana Murer, the 2010 World indoor champion, produced the best performance of the “26º Grande Prêmio Brasil Caixa de Atletismo” on Sunday (23) at Rio de Janeiro’s “Estádio Engenhão”, by vaulting to a world leading 4.75m leap. The meet is part of the IAAF World Challenge.

After changing the length of her run-up approach from 16 to 18 steps (some 36m), Murer had a very promising outdoor season opener.

“I’m very happy,” said the 29 year-old from Campinas. “After my vacation after the World indoors, this is a great result. It shows that our work is going very well, although I felt a bit tired at the end, and that’s the reason why I made only one attempt at 4.85.”

Murer opened her day at 4.40m (first attempt clearance), and continued at 4.55m and 4.65m, siling over with her first attempt as well. 4.75m required two jumps, and then she moved on to 4.85m, a would-be South American record.

Israeli Jillian Schwartz was second with 4.40m, and Canadian Carly Dockendorf was third with 4.30m.

“It’s always nice to compete at home”, continued Murer. “It’s truly refreshing to feel the appreciation from your own fans. Now I leave to Spain to compete at the “Campeonato Ibearoamericano”, from 4-6 June in San Fernando, Cádiz, and then to Italy, to start my European tour.”

World leading mark for Idowu

The 2009 World Champion at Triple Jump, Great Britain’s Phillips Idowu, also opened his outdoor campaign in Rio de Janeiro. And the 31-year-old delivered another world leading performance with his 17.48m jump (wind -0.1), to beat Cuban Alexis Copello (17.31m/1.0), who was also the man leading the 2010 World lists (17.47m from the Doha GP). [Note: Taddy Tamgho of France jumped a world-leading 17.63m in Franconville on Sunday as well.]

“It was a great competition”, Idowu said. “The result was the best mark of the season, and that leaves me very satisfied, giving that this is my first outing. It was a good feeling to receive the support from so many young children at the stadium. I would love to return next year.”

Idowu lead from the beginning, opening with 17.48m, continued with 17.34m (0.2), a foul, and then passed his last three attempts. Copello’s series was: 17.23m/0.1; foul; 17.15m/-0.3; foul; 17.31m; and another foul.

Brazilian Jadel Gregório, the 2007 World Championships silver medallist, and South American record holder with 17.90l, finished third with 16.98l/-0.5, a SB.

Rodgers surprises Chambers at 100m

The 60m final of the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships saw the victory of Great Britain’s Dwain Chambers in 6.48, followed by American Mike Rodgers with 6.53, and Antigua’s Daniel Bailey with 6.57.

The protagonists of that podium were reunited in Rio, and the encounter provided sweet revenge for Rodgers, who captured the victory with a seasons best of 10.06 (wind 1.2), followed by Chambers with 10.11 (in his outdoor debut), and Jamaican Lerone Clarke (10.11). Richard Thompson from Trinidad & Tobago, silver medallist from the 2008 Olympic Games was fourth with 10.12, while Bailey was fifth with 10.13.

While Rodgers was very happy with his SB and his ongoing good experiences in Brazil, where he had set 100 and 200m PBs in 2009, Chambers was not dissatisfied at all. “It was a good result. It was one of the more contested races of the year so far,” the Briton said.

Brazilian victories for Costa and Davide

Keila Costa, the Long Jump bronze medallist from the 2010 World Indoor Championships in Qatar captured the victory with a SB of 6.68m/0.4, beating American Brianna Glenn (6.62m/0.7), and Jamaican Jovanee Jarrett (6.54m/0.4). “It is a good result for me. I almost didn’t compete because of an injury that I’m recovering from, so the mark is a bit of a surprise,” said Costa.

In the 800m, Brazilian Kléberson Davide also showed his fine form by winning in a SB of 1:44.71, just beating Kenyans Richard Kiplagat (1:44.80 SB) and Reuben Bett (1:45.19 SB). Brazilian Fabiana Peçanha was fourth with a SB of 1:45.50.

Davide set the pace at the 400m mark with 50.29, and was able to hold off the final attack of both Kenyans. “It was a very good race. I was confident because my training had been going well, and I was expecting something under 1:45”, said the 24 year-old Brazilian, a semifinalist at the 2007 World Championships.

Nazarov and Pchelnik take Hammer Throw Challenge wins

Tajikistan’s Dilshod Nazarov and Belarus’ Daryia Pchelnik won the Hammer throw competitions in Rio, which were also part of the IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge. Nazarov’s mark of 77.38m from round 2 gave him the victory over Latvia’s Igors Sokolovs (77.09m), and Ukraine’s Artem Rubanko (76.54m).

Pchelnik’s victory came by a wider margin, with her round 1 throw of 73.01m. France’s Stéphanie Falzon was second with a SB of 69.65m, while American Jessica Cosby was third with 68.53m. This was Pchelnik’s first meet of the Challenge.

[Click here for Hammer Throw Challenge standings]

The winners from the rest of the events from the male side were: at 200m, American Xavier Carter who took race 1 with 20.55 (-1.0) over France’s Martial Mbandjock (20.62). While Brazilian Nílson André was faster on race 2 with a PB of 20.41 (wind -0.4).

At 5000m, it was a typical Kenyan domination, with Abraham Chebii winning in 13:17.64 (the best-time-ever-recorded on South American soil) over Mike Kipruto Kigen (13:18.86), and David Kiprotich Bett (13:20.63).

American Justin Gaymon took the victory in the 400m hurdles (49.34), and Bahamian Trevor Barry won the High Jump with 2.25m.

On the women’s side, Jamaican Sheri-Ann Brooks completed a fine 100/200m double, taking the 100m in 11.30 (-0.4) and the 200m in a SB of 22.72 (-0.3). Christine Amertil won the 400m with a SB of 51.67 over Guyana’s Aliann Pompey’s SB of 51.76.

Ethiopian Mekdes Bekele took the 3000m Steeplechase in a SB of 9:37.23, over Jamaican Korene Hinds (9:41.83 SB), Ethiopian Birtukan Fente (9:43.39 PB), and Brazilian Sabine Heitling (9:43.84 SB).

Trinidad & Tobago’s Cleopatra Borel-Brown won the Shot with a SB of 18.05m, ahead of Chilean Natalia Ducó, the 2008 World junior champion (17.64m).

The Brazilian Series continues in Uberlândia, on 26 May, and Maringá, on 30 May.

Eduardo Biscayart for the IAAF