Brussels on 12 July 2008, won by Kevin Borlée (45.21) at right, ahead of Leslie Djhone, left (45.35) and Jonathan Borlée (45.38), centre (Remi Van Ophem) © Copyright
Hyman - New kid on the block?
All the sprint events and the Long Jump were held in the homestretch to take advantage of the bursts of following winds on that section. During an unusually thin - in terms of depth – second semifinal as only three athletes were in contention, Hyman managed a large string of accolades: he set a massive PB of 9.95 (previous of 10.04), his first-ever sub-10 second performance. In addition, the 22-year-old also grabbed a Madrid all-comers best aided by a nearly perfect tailwind of 1.8m/s as well as a new National record.
Hyman bounced back from a poor reaction time of 0.196 to take an unopposed win, which promised another fast time in the final. And Hyman delivered, actually equaling his 9.95 time but this time with an over-the-legal limit wind of +3.8. Jamaica’s Kemar Bailey Cole came second in 9.98 while Marc Burns of Trinidad and Tobago completed a classy podium in 10.08.
Hyman said: "Honestly, I didn’t expect to run that fast today," Asked on whether he run at his 100% in the semifinal he laughed to answer: "I don’t know, I still have to watch the tape." On his London ambitions, he said, "It would be nice to be in the top three but my first target is to get through the rounds."
Borlée wins, Rooney threatens
Performing in Madrid for the second year in a row Belgium’s Kevin Borlée clinched a fine win in the men’s 400m although Britain’s Martyn Rooney pushed him to the line for respective times of 45.09 and 45.17.
Jamaica’s Jermaine Gonzales pulled out of the race some 120 metres from the start due to an injury. By then, Borlée and Rooney – drawn in lanes 4 and 5 respectively - travelled evenly and the Belgian ace only took the lead over the second bend some 150 metres to the finish. Borlée kept Rooney at bay on the homestraight to take a narrow .08 win from the Briton.
The 24-year-old Borlée, who took World Championships bronze last year, said: "It was a windy today and the track is pretty hard. Anyway I went out and got the win and that’s the important thing.
"After my 44.56 national record at the Belgian champs I’m doing hard training again. I’m having some back problems and my physiotherapist is working on it but it won’t be a barrier thinking of the Olympics, I hope. There will be a lot of guys able to run very fast there; to make the final is my first goal and everything can happen later."
Borlée said he still has "1 or 2 races" prior to the London Games. Asked why he didn’t defend his European title in Helsinki last week, Borlée was adamant: "Too many races!"
Pars and Watt shine in the infield
The men’s portion of the IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge continued in Madrid with a familiar name commanding attention. Hungary’s Krisztian Pars, fresh from his European title in Helsinki, secured the win thanks to a second round effort of 80.85m. Ukraine’s Oleksiy Sokirskyy set a career best of 78.91m in round 4 to take second ahead of Czech Lukas Melich’s 78.55m and Poland’s Pawel Fajdek’s 77.31m.
The men’s Long Jump didn’t reach the expected standards despite the assisting tailwinds. Australia’s reigning World silver medallist Mitchell Watt bagged an 8.26m (+3.7) win thanks to his third effort from Britain’s Chris Tomlinson, who landed to a windy 8.06m in round 2. The surprise came in the third place as Spain’s Jean Marie Kouletio leapt 8.05w to better well-known specialists such as former World indoor champions Australia’s Fabrice Lapierre (8.02w) and South Africa’s Godfrey Mokoena (7.99m).
On the women’s side, Spain’s fresh European champion Ruth Beitia, who had competed the day before at the Samsung Diamond League meeting in Paris (3rd, 1.92m) kicked off the contest with a first-time clearance of 1.84m, but then had a serious scare over 1.90m as the 33-year-old only could clear the bar at the third time of asking. That was going to be her winning performance as Beitia failed then three times at 1.95m. Russia’s Eugeniya Kononova finished second thanks to a second-try 1.90m clearance.
Lolo Jones took the women’s 100m hurdles thanks to a 12.70 clocking into a strong tailwind of 4.3 while her fellow American Nia Ali’s came runner-up in 12.80. In the men’s hurdles event David Payne got the win in 13.22(+2.4) to secure another 1-2 for the US as Ryan Wilson ran 13.26 for second.
The men’s 800m provided something to cheer about for the local fans as the current European U-23 silver medallist Kevin López out-sprinted his training mate Luis Alberto Marco in the closing 50 metres to win in 1:45.78 to Marco’s 1:45.98 while Tyler Mulder of the U.S. took third (1:46.20). The 'B’ race was taken by Spain’s Álvaro Rodríguez in 1:45.94 after an impressive solo run.
The victory in the men’s 400m Hurdles went to Justin Gaymon of the US in 49.63 marginally ahead of Briton Jack Green (49.65). Ukraine’s Vladislav Revenko succeeded in the men’s Pole Vault with a third-attempt clearance of 5.50 while Australia’s Steve Hooker didn’t get a mark after two fouls at 5.50m and another at 5.60m.
Argentine German Lauro was the only shot putter exceeding the 20m barrier (20.30m in round 2) while Jamaica’s Schillonie Calvert was dominant in the women’s 200m ahead of compatriot Anneisa Mc Laughlin, 22.68 to 22.70 (+1.7). Finally, 34-year-old American Debbie Dunn had a fine win in the women’s 400m clocking 50.83 with Jamaica’s Shericka Williams (51.10) in second.
Emeterio Valiente for the IAAF
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