Teddy Tamgho placed the exclamation point at the end of the final day of the 13th IAAF World Indoor Championships here in Doha, Qatar when he reached 17.90m in the Triple Jump to shatter the World Indoor record.*
Tamgho held second position at 17.41m from the very first round of competition in the Aspire Dome, but it was Yoandris Betanzos of Cuba who delivered the early leading mark. Moving out to a world-leading 17.69m in the first round, Betanzos dominated the competition well into the sixth round, even though Tamgho improved to 17.50m in the fifth round.
Tamgho and Betanzos were thus the only jumpers remaining, with the bronze medal (which went to Betanzos' team-mate Arnie Girat, who moved into third on the fifth round with a 17.36m hop) determined.
Tamgho wasted no time and arrived at the board with tremendous speed. It was clear from his second step off the board that the mark would be very long, and it looked possible that he had even bested the WR marker placed next to the pit. Indeed he had; when the measurement was announced, it was 17.90m, 7cm beyond the WR of 17.83m shared by Aliecer Urrutia (Sindelfingen, 1997) and Christian Olsson (whose mark came at the 2004 World Championships in Budapest).
Tamgho knew it was long, and was already halfway around the track with the hope of gold. Betanzos had a tall act to follow, and in the end could not improve on his first mark. He would settle for silver. (Olsson, as it happened, was fourth with a first-round 17.23m leap.)
Commanding title defence by Kaki
If Saturday was the day of the defender, Sunday was much less kind to defending champions. The only individual champion from Valencia who retained a title Sunday was Sudan's Abubaker Kaki, who reprised his impressive wire-to-wire race by sprinting to the front of the men's 800m and simply holding off all challengers to win in 1:46.23. Kaki's pace was sufficiently ferocious that once Kenya's Boaz Lalang and Adam Kszczot of Poland fell in behind, the leading order did not change for the rest of the race - Lalang took silver and Kszczot bronze even in the face of a furious rush from Kaki's team-mate Ismail Ahmed Ismail.
Terrence Trammell lost the title to Dayron Robles in one of the fastest 60m Hurdles races ever seen indoors. Robles overhauled Trammell only at the finish line, clocking 7.34 to set a new Championship record and establish the third-fastest mark ever. Trammell, timed in 7.36, equalled the American record set by Allen Johnson and joined a three-way tie for third-fastest hurdler ever. David Oliver, third in 7.44, picked up a PB; Liu Xiang was seventh in 7.65.
First golden jump for Murer
Also among the less successful defenders was Yelena Isinbayeva. After her catastrophic no-height in Berlin and a scare in qualifying, Isinbayeva played it safe in Doha and entered the competition at 4.60m. She then passed to 4.75m, which is where the trouble began; when she failed to clear there, the World record holder fell to fourth behind Anna Rogowska of Poland, the outdoor champion, whose last clearance had been 4.70m. It was then down to Fabiana Murer of Brazil and former World champion Svetlana Feofanova of Russia; Murer cleared 4.80m on her first attempt and Feofanova on her second, so when both went out at 4.85m the gold went to Murer, silver to Feofanova.
Yaroslav Rybakov suffered a similar fate in the High Jump, though when he failed to clear 2.33m he at least had the comfort of taking silver ahead of Dusty Jonas. Ivan Ukhov, who cleared 2.33m on his first attempt, did the same at 2.36m and made two tries at a world-leading 2.41m before calling it a night and celebrating his first World title.
New PB gives one more title to Campbell-Brown
Veronica Campbell-Brown delivered the women's 60m title to Jamaica, rolling up the early lead of Laverne Jones-Ferrette and running a PB 7.00 in that final. Jones-Ferrette took silver with 7.03 and Carmelita Jeter settled for bronze in 7.05.
Nadezya Ostapchuk launched a stunning last-round 20.85m toss in the Shot Put to recover the lead in that event and end Valerie Vili's nearly-three-year winning streak. Vili's 20.49m fifth-round effort gave her silver, with Natalia Mikhnevich taking bronze with a first-round 20.42m. Also on the infield, Berlin World champion Brittney Reese long-jumped 6.70m in the first round to take gold in that event, with defending champion Naide Gomes second with a 6.67m mark.
Yougest woman and oldest man
Defending champion Gelete Burka found herself upstaged by her younger compatriot Kalkidan Gezahegne in the women's 1500m. When Burka sprinted for home at the bell, Gezahegne was on her shoulder, and when Gezahegne pulled clear on the homestretch, Natalia Rodriguez, the Spaniard judged responsible for Burka's race-ending fall at the Berlin World Championships, also stole by to seize silver and leave Burka only bronze. Gezahegne is the youngest woman ever to win a World Indoor championship.
In the very next race, Bernard Lagat became the oldest man ever to win a World Indoor championship when he ended the title defence of Tariku Bekele in the men's 3000m. In a race which saw a lot of early position-changing as the contenders tried to find and defend just the right places for their late-race charges, Lagat turned out to find the best spot, which was on Bekele's shoulder as the Ethiopian cranked the pace faster and faster. With a bit more than a lap to go, Lagat moved out and around the tiring Bekele and glided away as though he had only just begun to race. Spain's Sergio Sanchez and Kenya's Sammy Mutahi caught Bekele in the homestretch to seize silver and bronze. Lagat added this gold medal to the one he won in this event in 2004, when he was a mere 29 years old.
USA dominate relays
On the track, the only other successful defence came from the USA men's 4x400m team, which ran the fastest time that event had seen since the 2006 championships in Moscow. The USA team's lead in the final laps was so commanding they ran nearly unnoticed over the closing leg, with all attention in the Aspire Dome focused on the battle between Great Britain, Belgium, and the Dominican Republic for silver and gold. Belgium took that silver with Great Britain close behind.
The women's 800m went to Russia's Mariya Savinova, who headed Jennifer Meadows only in the final strides to establish a new world-leading time of 1:58.26. Meadows, at 1:58.43, lowered the national record she set earlier this season; Alysia Johnson, the early leader, took bronze. Pre-race favourite Anna Pierce moved up to fourth at the end, and in fifth Egle Balciunaite set a Lithuanian national record of 2:01.37.
In the women's 4x400m, another defending champion was dethroned as the foursome from the USA, led by 400m champion Debbie Dunn and anchored by outdoor 200m champion Allyson Felix, held off the defending Russians, anchored by 400m silver-medallist Tatyana Firova. It was the first time the Russians had been defeated in this event since 1993, and the first time the USA had won it. Jamaica, who were the last team to win before the Russian's eight-championship streak began, set a national record of 3:28.49 in third.
Parker Morse for the IAAF