Report11 Jul 2015

Sprint double for Zyabkina at World University Games


Kazakhstan's Viktoriya Zyabkina in the 200m (© Getty Images)

Kazakhstan’s 100m champion Viktoriya Zyabkina added the 200m title to her medal tally in Gwangju on Friday (10), becoming the first woman since 1987 to achieve the sprint double at the World University Games.

The 22-year-old won comfortably in 22.77, smashing her own national record set three years ago as a teenager. USA’s A’Keyla Mitchell was second in a PB of 22.95.

The last woman to win both sprint events at the World University Games was Gwen Torrence. Zyabkina now joins a select group of woman to have achieved the feat: Giuseppina Leone (1959), Irena Szewinska (1965), Renate Stecher (1970), Mona-Lisa Pursiainen (1973) and Torrence (1987).

The men’s 200m title went to Wilfried Koffi of the Ivory Coast. Running into a -2.5m/s headwind, he recorded a season’s best of 20.41 to finish a metre in front of USA’s Bryce Robinson (20.51).

Dominican Republic’s Luguelin Santos also produced his best time of the year to win the 400m. The diminutive 21-year-old sprinted away from the rest of the field in the final 150 metres to win in 44.91.

South Africa’s Justine Palframan was similarly dominant in the women’s event. She crossed the line in 51.27 to smash the PB she set three years ago when finishing fifth at the World Junior Championships.

New Zealand’s Angie Petty timed her race to perfection to win the 800m. Jamaica’s Simoya Campbell went out hard and covered the first lap in 56.41. She started to tire as she entered the home straight but still had a significant lead.

But Petty launched her attack in the closing stages and caught Campbell just metres before the line. The top three athletes all set personal bests with Petty winning in 1:59.06 from Campbell (1:59.26) and Germany’s Fabienne Kohlmann (1:59.54).

In the 100m hurdles, Danielle Williams adopted the exact opposite approach to the one fellow Jamaican Campbell had used in the 800m. Australia’s Michelle Jenneke got off to a strong start and led at half way, but Williams came on strong at the end to win in 12.78.

Elsewhere on Friday, Ireland’s Thomas Barr won the 400m hurdles in 48.78 from Algeria’s Abdelmalik Lahoulou, who set a national record of 48.99. And Estonia’s Tanel Laanmae won the javelin with his first-round throw of 81.71m.

More medals for Russia

Two Games records fell to Russian athletes on Saturday. The first was in the 20km race walk, in which Anisya Kirdyapkina and Marina Pandakova were level at 10km, reached in 44:09. World silver medallist Kirdyapkina was able to maintain that pace and covered the second half in exactly the same time to win in a Games record of 1:28:58.

Pandakova, meanwhile, faded slightly over the final 10km but was always safe in the silver medal position, clocking 1:29:52.

Later that day, Ekaterina Sokolenko demolished her PB to win the 3000m steeplechase in 9:25.77 in what was her first race over the distance this year. Her time took more than two seconds from the Games record set in 2013.

More gold came Russia’s way in the men’s high jump. European indoor champion Daniil Tsyplakov led during the early stages, but first-time clearances at 2.28m from Slovakia’s Matus Bubenik and Chinese Taipei’s Hsiang Chun-Hsieng, a national record for the latter, meant that Tsyplakov dropped to third.

He got over 2.28m on his final attempt, but remained in third. With his third and final attempt at 2.31m, Tsyplakov cleared it to regain the lead as his two remaining rivals bowed out.

Russia’s world indoor triple jump champion Ekaterina Koneva had her sixth competition of the summer at 14.60m or better.

Koneva had the competition won with her first attempt at 14.17m as no one else would go beyond 14 metres. She improved to 14.41m in the second round and then bounded out to 14.60m with her fourth attempt before passing her last two turns.

Aside from Anna Maiwald’s triumph in the heptathlon, there were also German victories for Lena Urbaniak, who took the women’s shot with 18.00m, and Martin Grau, who won the 3000m steeplechase with 8:31.55.

Another field event athlete to impress was Belgium’s improving discus thrower Philip Milanov, who reached 62.60m with his first effort and then 64.15m before reeling off four fouls.

Second place went to Australia’s world youth champion Matt Denny, who is still 19 and a junior. Denny threw a personal best of 62.58m in the third round to beat a host of well-known names with longer personal bests.

Jon Mulkeen and Phil Minshull for the IAAF