News29 Jul 2011

Cheruiyot, Thorkildsen and Watt world leads, Isinbayeva impresses, Bolt gets his first win in Stockholm – Samsung Diamond League


Vivian Cheruiyot, the emphatic 5000m winner in the 2011 DN Galan (© Hasse Sjogren / DECA Text&Bild)

Stockholm, SwedenWorld champion Vivian Cheruiyot, with one of the most dominant 5000 metres performances in living memory, was the star of a wind spoilt but still highly entertaining DN Galan - Samsung Diamond League - meeting in front of a full-house of spectators in Stockholm on Friday (29).

Cheruiyot brought home a world season lead as did the victories of Andreas Thorkildsen and Mitchell Watt respectively in the Javelin and Long Jump. The other headlines came from Yelena Isinbayeva who sent a message to the world that she is back, while Usain Bolt managed on the third time of asking to get a victory in the 1912 Olympic stadium.

Kenyan record for Cheruiyot

Cheruiyot, with a national record and world season leading time of 14:20.87 thrashed her rivals, when defying the unhelpful conditions with a memorable performance which saw her finish over 120 metres ahead of her shell-shocked rivals.

The reigning World 5000 champion with her awesome individual display en route to the fourth fastest performance in history sent out a clear message that she will again be the athlete to beat in Daegu where the IAAF World Championships take place from 27 August- 4 September.

Hitting the front after one and two kilometres were passed in 2:55.35 and 5:47.19, she saw herself with seven laps remaining holding a huge 40 metres lead ahead of eight of her opponents who were left battling for second place.

Cheruiyot, her stride never faltering, progressed through 3K and 4K in 8:38.67 and 11:31.22 and at the bell held an amazing lead of over 100 metres.

She continued to motor around the final circuit, while Sally Kipyego making a long run from 300m finished runner-up in 14:43.87, with a Kenyan clean sweep of the podium places being confirmed as Sylvia Kibet took third in 14:45.31.

"I am happy for the national record and world lead because I came to this race with the vision I can run very fast," said Cheruiyot. "Frankly the weather was not the best today. Looking to the future she added: "I feel like I am able to break the World record soon but conditions must be perfect."

World leads also for Watt and Thorkildsen

On a night where the unhelpful conditions particularly the blustery wind stifled the concentrated efforts both on the track and in the field, two events at least were not hindered by the wind and world leads followed.

World season leader Mitchell Watt, in a lively Long Jump competition improved his year’s best performance (8.44m) which he achieved in Melbourne in mid-April, while in favourable wind conditions for the Javelin, Andreas Thorkildsen bettered the mark (88.30m) he had set 19 days earlier at the Samsung Diamond League Birmingham meet.

Watt after a solid opening effort of 8.34m then roared down the runway in the next round to clear a new Oceania Area record of 8.54m (+1.7) to show his World championship credentials a month ahead of Daegu.

The 23-year-old Australian, the bronze medallist at the 2010 World Indoor and 2009 outdoor World Championships, only took one more jump after clearing 7.96m in round four.

Enough damage had already been inflicted on his opponents thwarting the threat of Morocco's Yahya Berrabah, who matched his personal best of 8.40m, and 2007 World gold medallist Irving Saladino of Panama who had a best of 8.19m for third.

Watt returning from a heel injury said: "This is only my second competition in two months, so I was unsure what to expect. This is my comeback. For four months I did no jumping in training in fact I was only running. So this result and the Area record is surprising."

Thorkildsen, after preparing himself well on a huge meal of fresh prawns at lunchtime, threw a confident 85.35m to lead after the first round and clearly also had the appetite for greater distances.

In the very next round Norway's Olympic and World champion, who holds the stadium record of 89.78m, unleashed his spear to an event winning distance of 88.43m to better the 88.30m season lead he set in Birmingham.

Thorkildsen said: "It was a good competition with the best result in the world so far. I am in a good position to go to Dageu and I still have one month for preparation."

Behind him Germany's Matthias De Zordo had a good night clearing 84.37m with Stuart Farquhar of New Zealand taking third with a season's best 84.21m.

Isinbayeva silences the doubters

Yelena Isinbayeva silenced her critics who, after she no heighted in Lignano last week (20 July) and then withdrew from the Lucerne meet in Lucerne two days later after injuring her wrist in a fall in warm-up, had questioned whether she will be a force at the IAAF World Championships next month.

The 29-year-old Russian bounced back with an excellent performance. Confidently not entering the competition until the bar was at 4.64m and although failing on her first attempt and being lucky that the bar stayed on when she tried again, that clearance seemed to dispel any remaining doubts she might have had lurking in her mind.

In a competition containing her main rivals for Daegu, where she insists she can regain her World crown after no heighting two years ago in Berlin, she laid a challenge down to Germany's Silke Spiegelburg, Jen Suhr of the USA, fellow Russian Svetlana Feofanova and World Indoor champion Fabian Murer of Brazil and after all had passed 4.58m, the contest began in earnest.

After her 4.64m opener Isinbayeva rested herself until attempting 4.76m and let her opponents fight between themselves with Spiegelburg having the best fortune attempting and clearing 4.70m, a bar which saw the elimination of Murer (5th 4.51m)

The German took runner-up with that height when Suhr and Feofanova, who passed, had three failures at 4.76m with the latter taking third on count-back at 4.64m.

Isinbayeva then sailed over 4.76 at her first attempt before failing three times at what would have been a world lead and meet record of 4.86m.

"The competition and the technique was okay, it was nice to be back," said the Olympic champion and World record holder who missed the 2010 outdoor season to recharge her batteries. "I did not have any expectations about heights and just wanted to win."  

Bolt carefully coasts to victory

Usain Bolt finally broke his Stockholm stadium duck and scored an individual victory at the DN Galan meeting but like in other events he had to battle with the wind and settled for a time of 20.03 into a wind of -1.2.

The World record holder for the distance producing a reasonable start, then roared around the bend to come into the home stretch his stride eating up the ground ahead of him.

Panama's World silver medallist Alonso Edward second in 20.47 with Jamaican Ainsley Waugh (20.56) third.

Bolt, who will defend his World 100 and 200 titles in Daegu, said: "Technically it was not a good race because the curves here are a bit tight so I was careful of not getting injured before the World Championships. But generally it was a good race despite the fact I wanted a better time.”

Spencer leads Jamaican clean sweep - Kiplagat again in unstoppable form

Kaliese Spencer after a battling 400m Hurdles display against fellow Jamaican and Olympic champion Melanie Walker was rewarded with not only a deserved victory but a 1-Carat Diamond worth US$10,000 for her stadium record of 53.74 seconds.

Spencer, who was initially challenged hard by her fellow countrywoman until taking a slight lead at the sixth hurdle, then extended the margin substantially coming down the home straight to score her second Samsung Diamond League success of the season.

Walker, although rapidly drifting behind the leader down the home stretch, kept her momentum to finish in 54.71, with Nickiesha Wilson making it a clean sweep of the podium for the Caribbean nation with a time of 55.80.

World leader Silas Kiplagat continued his winning 1500m form of recent weeks and turning on the pressure in the final 200 scored a solid victory in 3:33.94. The field were hampered throughout by the unpredictable wind as USA’s former 800 star David Krummenacker led them through the 400 point in 56.10 and 800 in 1:54.36.

Kenya's Caleb Ndiku then took up the running but with half a lap remaining it was Nick Willis, a week after setting a New Zealand record in Monaco where Kiplagat won with his world lead of 3:30.47, who was looking strong.

However Kiplagat quickly pounced and although his fellow Kenyan and Olympic champion Asbel Kiprop and Willis chased hard they had to settle for second and third in 3:34.42 and 3:34.49 respectively.

Richardson defeats Oliver, while Koech scores sixth Stockholm win

Jason Richardson scored the best 110m Hurdles victory of his career when taking the scalp of world number 1 and fellow American David Oliver in a time of 13.17 against a -2.4m wind.

The 25-year-old who will be accompanying Oliver, the pre-race favourite and Diamond Race event leader, to the World Championships, took charge of the race at the halfway point to notch a memorable victory ahead of the Olympic bronze medallist.

Oliver, losing for the third time this season, after initially leading faltered and finished in 13.28 sec, with Jamaica's Dwight Thomas, with three second places under his belt on this year's campaign, third in 13.40.

Paul Koech maintained his magnificent DN Galan meeting record when chalking up an effortless sixth 3000m Steeplechase victory around the 1912 Olympic Stadium track in a time of 8:05.92.

Koech, just a week after clocking a personal best 7:56.37 for the distance when third in an epic race in Monaco where Brimin Kipruto just missed the World record by 0.01sec, was never going to approach that time in the windy conditions.

Instead it was a seasoned professional display as, lying third through the first kilometre, he tracked pace Haron Lagat (2:39.27) before taking the initiative himself through 2K in 5:23.74.

Then coming into the home straight for the penultimate time Koech put his foot on the pedal to open a gap of 10 metres on Uganda's Benjamin Kiplagat at the bell. Kiplagat finished runner-up in 8:14.42 with the winner's fellow Kenyan Jonathan Ndiku third in 8:17.77.

Jeter wins in first 100 for a month and Sinclair dominates 800

Carmelita Jeter in her first 100m outing since winning the US national titles at 100m and 200m at the end of June, produced a clockwork performance to against a strong headwind (-2.4) in a time of 11.15.

The world season leader, who since those victories in Eugene has contested three races over 200, rose second out of the blocks but quickly hit the front and with a sustained burst stretched herself clear of the field.

Fellow American Marshevet Myers claimed second place clocking 11.21, while Jamaica's Olympic silver medallist Kerron Stewart took third in 11.27.

In the 800m, Kenia Sinclair tonight showed brilliant form, following the pace of rabbit Tatyana Andrianova of Russia who went through the bell in 56.86, and was rewarded for her confidence when winning in a season's best 1:58.21.

The Jamaican record holder who is yet to reach an outdoor World Championships final but who will start as a medal favourite prospect in Daegu, hit the front 350m from the line to coast to an unchallenged victory. Behind her came Morocco's Malika Akkaoui and Yuneysi Santiusti of Cuba, whose fight to the finish saw them abreast with 20 metres remaining before they slipped past the fading Russian Svetlana Klyuka (eventual fifth) with times of 1:59.75 and 2:00.06 for second and third.

Gonzales in top shape over 400

In the absence of the injured former Olympic and World champion Jeremy Wariner, the winner on the last five occasions the 400 has been staged at the DN Galan, Jermaine Gonzales took over his mantle.

Narrowly shy of a world lead, Gonzales’ victory was the first non-American win here since Mexico's Alejandro Cardenas achieved success 11 years ago.

Gonzales, the Jamaican record holder, entered the straight narrowly tracked by LaShawn Merritt and Chris Brown, the Bahamian who was a surprise winner in Paris a fortnight earlier.

Merritt, the reigning Olympic champion and scheduled to defend his World crown in Daegu, tried to hit the front but every challenge he made saw a response from Gonzales, the winner in a season's best of 44.69.

Behind him Merritt, on his return to track action, clocked 44.74, while Brown finishing the race at high speed produced his fastest time of the year finishing 44.79.

Wins for Ukhov, Alekna, and Saladukha

Ivan Ukhov in a closely contested High Jump equalled his season's best of 2.34m to win ahead of USA’s world season leader Jesse Williams and World Junior champion Mutaz Essa Barshim from Qatar.

Ukhov, third in last weekend's Russian Championships fought a tense battle with Williams before the latter failed all of his attempts with the bar at the eventual winning height.

Barshim took third on count-back clearing 2.30m, as did the Russian pair of Andrey Silnov and Aleksandr Shustov, who were fourth and second respectively at the Russian champs in Cheboksary.

Two-time World and Olympic champion Virgilijus Alekna took the Discus Throw with a third round effort of 65.05m but behind him Poland’s Piotr Malachowksi was the most consistent thrower of the night.

While the 39-year-old Lithuanian winner's next best was his opener of 62.81, Poland's Malachowski, the European champion, produced a successive series of bigger hits starting in round two with 64.81m, and then 64.91m and 64.96m.

Cuban-born Yennifer Frank Casanas, who has represented Spain since 2008, claimed third with his 63.42m in round four, while Estonia’s reigning Olympic champion Gerd Kanter had a night to forget.

The Estonian with the opportunity to extend his lead at the top of the Diamond Race finished a disappointing fifth throwing a furthest of 62.98m on his second attempt and is now equal on points with Alekna.

European Triple Jump gold medallist Olha Saladukha, just five weeks after winning the European Team title in the Olympic Stadium, gained revenge for her defeat at the hands of World Champion Yargelis Savigne a fortnight earlier in Paris.

The Ukrainian with a wind assisted distance of 15.06m (+2.3) and earning her second success on the Samsung Diamond League after her victory in Eugene at the beginning of June, proved too good for Cuba's overall Diamond Race leader and 2010 champion.

Savigne, who will be chasing a third successive World title in Daegu, produced her best effort - also windy (+2.1) 14.87 - in round two before finishing just short of that with her last leap - an even windier (+3.3) distance - of 14.83m.  

Caterine Ibarguen until this year a 14.29m performer which gained her second at last summer's Ibero-American Championships, improved her Colombian and Area record from 14.66m to 14.70m in the first round. Then the 27-year-old who also enjoys the Heptathlon, brilliantly extended that distance to 14.83m in the last round to earn her her first ever Diamond League point and go third behind Savigne and Saladhuka in the 2011 standings.

Dave Martin for the Samsung Diamond League

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