12 June 2008Ostrava, Czech RepublicRunning in his third race of the season, Dayron Robles set a World record * in the 110m Hurdles, clocking 12.87 to highlight yet another thrilling Golden Spike Grand Prix – IAAF World Athletics Tour – in Ostrava.
Blazing from the start, the 21-year-old Cuban forged to a commanding lead by the fourth hurdle and never relented. With his long stride powering him through the finish, his performance knocked 0.01 seconds from the previous record of 12.88 set by Liu Xiang on 11 July 2007 in Lausanne.
"It is such a good time,” said Robles, whose previous best was 12.92 from last year. “I did not expect that. Wow!"
For nearly two pulse-racing minutes after the race, the clock read 12.88, before it was finally adjusted to 12.87, sending the crowd into a frenzy and Robles leaping into the air.
“At first I was really impressed with the performance, just shocked,” he said. “But when I heard them say the ‘87’, I just went crazy.”
Others didn’t expect it either.
“Wow, I didn’t see that coming,” said American veteran Terrence Trammell, a two-time Olympic and world championships silver medallist, who was a distant second in 13. 21. “By the eighth hurdle I just thought, ‘forget it.’”
Ukraine’s Sergey Demidyuk was a distant third, clocking a season’s best 13.42.
Bolt 19.83 World lead
Robles produced a tough act to follow but Usain Bolt, in his first outing of the season in the 200m and his first since his scintillating 9.72 World 100m record 12 days ago, certainly tried.
Powering to the lead midway through the bend, the towering Jamaican cruised to a world-leading 19.83 to win the race named in honour of the late IAAF General Secretary, Istvan Gyulai.
“It’s my first 200 of the year, and I’m very happy with my time,” Bolt said. He has only run faster once, 19.75, when setting the Jamaican national record last year. “Overall I’m very happy. Now I just want to go home and concentrate on my training.” He will race next at the Jamaican national championships, June 27-29.
Brian Dzingai of Zimbabwe was second to reach the line, clocking a season’s best 20.17.
Tune succeeds in One Hour test
Last year, this meeting began with Haile Gebrselassie adding to his legend by breaking the World record for the One Hour run. This year it was his compatriot Dire Tune’s turn with the classic distance challenge.
The 23-year-old Tune, winner at this year’s Boston Marathon, covered 18,517m in 60 minutes, adding 177m to the previous record of 18,340m set by Tegla Loroupe 10 years ago in Borgholzhausen, Germany. But after a somewhat sluggish first half, Tune had to work for it.
With pacesetter Deska Mamitu – one of three who assisted with her record assault – she reached 10,000m 32:45 into the race, about 15 seconds off the pre-race pace plan. Less than two minutes later, Tune was off on her own and quickly got to work to make up for lost time. Beginning to knock off 77 and 78 second laps, she made up six seconds by the time she reached 14,000m (45:40.69), but was still about eight seconds down at 15,000m (48:54.91). But with a solid final kilometer, Tune made up the gap to nab the record with some 20 seconds to spare.
“The Ostrava spectators were very helpful and great,” said Tune, who credited her coach with split guidance throughout the hour. “The crown gave me the power to run so fast and I could even accelerate in the finish.”
Well back in second, Ivana Sekyrova was rewarded for her efforts with a Czech national record of 16,422 metres.
Kaki over Rudisha
In the race of the battling two-lap teens, Abubaker Kaki Khamis made it two in a row over Kenyan David Rudisha. Utilizing his now standard fierce front-running, his long sustained kick over the final 200 metres was too much for Rudisha, with the Sudanese taking a 1:43.80 victory, to the Kenyan’s 1:44.67.
The weather was much warmer in Oslo where I set my world junior record,” Kaki said, referring to his 1:42.69 at the ExxonMobil Bislett Games last Friday. “And I love hot weather. But this victory is very important to me.”
Indeed, nobody in the world at the moment seems to be a match for the prodigy, who at 18, seems confident well beyond his years.
Finishing third was Kenyan Boaz Lalang, another 19-year-old who made waves earlier this year as a junior college student in the U.S. He clocked a personal best 1:44.69, ahead of Jozef Repcik who finished fourth in 1:44.94, a national record for Slovakia.
Obergfoll beats solid field in the Javelin Throw
The field in the women’s Javelin throw was the deepest on the evening’s programme, a mini-preview of what to expect in Beijing in just over two months’ time. Striking first blood was Germany’s European record holder Christine Obergfoll who won the competition with a 67.72m throw in the fifth round.
“The key moment came when I was concentrating on myself, and then on Barbora,” said Obergfoll, whose fifth round effort wrestled the lead away from World champion Barbora Spotakova. The Czech record holder took control of the competition with a first round 66.91m throw, but didn’t come close again.
German Steffi Nerius was third, reaching a season’s best 65.71m, with Briton Goldie Sayers (63.66m) fourth.
Vlasic yet again
On a night when Croatia defeated Germany in the European Football championships, Blanka Vlasic did her part to steal part of the spotlight in her sport-crazed nation. The world indoor and outdoor champion won the High Jump with a first attempt 2.05 clearance, upping her world lead by a centimeter, for her 27th consecutive win, the longest streak in the sport. Again she took three attempts at a would-be world record of 2.10; her second and third particularly pleased her coach Bojan Marinovic.
Dibaba bides her time
Six days after breaking the world record in the 5000 metres, nobody was realistically expecting another World record run by Tirunesh Dibaba in the 10,000m, but running to impress Ethiopian Olympic team selectors, she certainly succeeded. Biding her time in the lead pack – at times well back in that lead pack - Dibaba kicked to the front when the bell rang en route to a 31:03.37 victory, out-dashing her older sister Ejegayehu (31:04.05) and another Ethiopian, Meselech Melkamu (31:04.93), who made her debut over the distance.
“The key moment came with four laps to go,” said Dibaba, “when I was able to keep pace again.”
Wariner on 300m: ‘It’s a tough race’
Jeremy Wariner handily won his first outing in the rarely-run 300m, reaching the line in 31.72, a performance just outside the all-time top-10.
“It’s a tough race,” said Wariner. “I ran it like 400 metres instead of 200 metres. I only wished I was a little bit faster.” Next up for the 400m Olympic and World champion are the U.S. trials in Eugene. Irishman Paul Hesian was second in 32.47.
Osaka silver medallist Derrick Atkins of the Bahamas dominated the 100m in 10.07, well ahead of Dzingai who was second here as well, clocking 10.25.
British 400m sweep
Elsewhere in the sprints, World Champion Christine Ohuruogu was content with her 51.06 victory in her first 400m outing of the year, finishing well ahead of runner-up Ebonie Floyd (51.44) despite slowing markedly over the final 40 metres.
Martyn Rooney kicked to victory in the men’s race, clocking 45.32 to complete a British sweep of the event.
In the men’s 5000, Eliud Kipchoge looked strong with his 13:02.06 victory, reaching the finish unchallenged. Tariku Bekele was second (13:03.52) and Kenyan Isaac Songok third (13:06.25).
In the women’s 800, Lucia Klocova, third in Hengelo and second in Oslo, won here in 1:59.54, holding off Italy’s Elisa Cusma Piccione (2:00.00) and Russia’s European champion Olga Kotlyarova (2:00.09).
In the women’s hurdles, Lolo Jones won the final race of her European late spring tour in 12.68, but looked to be on the verge of defeat by fellow American Candice Davis before the latter hit the seventh hurdle and was thrown slightly off balance. She held on for the runner-up spot in 12.79.
Over the full lap, Jamaican Melaine Walker prevailed in an exciting homestretch battle with Pole Anna Jesien, 54.42 to 54.71.
Yevgeniy Lukyanenko won the men’s Pole Vault with a 5.77m clearance, a meet record for the World indoor champion. Ukraine’s Denys Yurchenko cleared a season’s best 5.72m to take second.
Czech Vitezslav Vesely threw a season’s best 78.00m to win the Javelin Throw, upsetting favourite Robert Oosthuizen of South Africa, who couldn’t better his 76.27m effort from the first round.
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF
* pending the usual ratification procedures