01 MAR 2005 General News

Burgess flies into Pole Vault Top-10 in the latest IAAF World Rankings

Paul Burgess clears 5.80 to win Adelaide meet (Getty Images)Paul Burgess clears 5.80 to win Adelaide meet (Getty Images) © Copyright

MonteCarloAustralia’s Paul Burgess is reaching new heights both on and off the Pole Vault runway. The 24-year-old who already had the best outdoor mark of the 2005 season before competing in last week’s minor inter-club meeting in Perth, Australia, improved his personal best to become only the 11th man in history to clear 6.00m outdoors (6.00m - 1271 points).

In so doing, Burgess moved up three places to 9th in the Event Ranking ahead of Romain Mesnil of France. The Australian placed 11th= at the Athens Olympics and entered the 2005 season in 18th place in the Event Ranking, but with a series of strong performances outdoors (5.91m/1244 points – 5.95m/1256 points – 6.00m/1271 points), Burgess has fought his way into the Top-10.

Results from the Chinese Race Walking Championships in Nanning have shaken up the Top-20 in the Men’s Race Walking Event Ranking. Five Chinese athletes improved on their positions close to the top, led by Yucheng Han - winner of the 50km Walk in a new Asian Record time of 3:36:20 (1296 points) - who moved up one place to 7th. Chaohong Yu took the gold in the 20km Race Walk with a time of 1:19:15 (1262 points) in a close finish ahead of Yunfeng Liu, who was second in 1:19:20 (1250 points). Yu improved his position by one place, rising to 3rd, so overtaking Italy’s Olympic champion Ivano Brugnetti as well as climbing 4 places to 52nd in the Men’s Overall Ranking. Liu jumped from 25th into 11th in the Men’s Race Walking Event Ranking. Shucai Xing and Chenglian Zhao are only a few points behind Yu after finishing second and third respectively in the 50km race. Xing clocked 3:37:58 (1278 points) with Zhao a minute further back in 3:38:56 (1265 points).

Santiago Pérez came second in the 50km Walk at the Spanish Race Walking Championships, El Prat de Llobregat in 3:48:15 (1228 points) to move up eleven places and stay ahead of Liu. It was his first race since finishing 8th in Athens last August. Pérez is 10th in the Event Ranking this week.

In the Women’s Race Walking Event Ranking Jing Jiang and Liping Wang entered the Top-10 following the Chinese Championships. Jiang won the 20km Walk with 1:27:19 (1260 points), with Wang right on her heels in 1:27:24 (1249 points). The pair moved into 7th and 9th place respectively.

24-year-old US sprinter Leonard Scott has had a very successful indoor season so far. The former American football player has not finished lower than second place in any 60m race this winter, and while he only managed to improve his Event Ranking position this week by one place, moving up to seventh, he has gained a massive 33 points over the past 8 weeks. With results from only 2 indoor races permitted in the calculation, Scott’s consistently strong form has paid off. When he beat World record holder Maurice Greene and new European record holder Ronald Pognon on the Frenchman’s home track in Liévin on Saturday, Scott set a personal best of 6.46 (1331 points), which is the second fastest time of the year behind Pognon.

Third fastest time in the world this season in the men’s 60m dash belongs to reigning World and Olympic Long Jump champion Dwight Phillips, after he clocked a stunning 6.47 to win in Madrid a week ago. The new personal best allowed Phillips to improve in the Men’s Overall Rankings from 29th to 24th.

French hurdler Ladji Doucouré provided some excitement for the home crowd in Liévin as the former U23 European champion rocketed from the blocks in the 60m Hurdles to defeat former Olympic and reigning World indoor and outdoor champion Allen Johnson in a national record of 7.43 (1332 points). Doucouré’s previous personal best was more than 0.1 seconds slower, but with the win and the fast time the 21-year-old stepped up three places to 10th in the Event Ranking.

Christine Arron of France eased her way through a pair of 60m races in Liévin before running her first 200m competition of the season. Arron set a European leading time of 22.69 (1314 points) in an easy race, which allowed her to move up four places to 11th in the 200m Event Ranking, as well as improving six places to 43rd in the Women’s Overall Ranking.

With the European Indoor Championships in Madrid getting underway this coming weekend, Spanish athletes are rounding into good form. High jumper Ruth Beitia cleared 1.96m (1250 points) to set a season’s best and win in Madrid a week ago. Beita’s performance allowed her to climb three spots to 13th, while distance runner Reyes Estévez finished second in the Men’s 1500m with 3:36.51 (1292 points) to improve seven places and re-enter the Top-20 in 16th place. In the Women’s 1500m, another Spaniard Nuria Fernández also entered the Top-20. Fernández placed 5th in Madrid with 4:11.31 (1220 points) and moved up six places to 16th.

The US Indoor Championships in Boston capped off a strong indoor season for John Godina following his Olympic disappointment in Athens last summer. Godina won a closely fought Shot Put event with an indoor personal best of 21.83m (1270 points) and overtook Olympic champion Yuriy Bilonog for 8th place in the Event Ranking.

Also in Boston, Angela Daigle equalled the fastest time in the world this season in the women’s 60m dash and set a huge personal best when it mattered the most. The 28-year-old clocked 7.09 (1243 points) and her win moved her into the Top-20 in 17th place.

Please click here for the latest IAAF World Rankings

Selected noteworthy changes:

(In brackets the last week's position and the last week's Ranking Scores of the athletes)

Men's Event Rankings
7. (8.) Leonard SCOTT (USA) 100m 1305 (1295)
14. (21.) Carlos SANTA RAMÍREZ (DOM) 400m 1225 (1205)
15. (16.) Moussine CHEHIBI (MAR) 800m 1237 (1232)
16. (23.) Reyes ESTÉVEZ (ESP) 1500m 1239 (1217)
10. (13.) Ladji DOUCOURÉ (FRA) 110mH 1298 (1285)
24. (37.) Felipe VIVANCOS (ESP) 110mH 1206 (1190)
12. (13.) L. PÉREZ RODRÍGUEZ (CUB) HJ 1187 (1184)
9. (12.) Paul BURGESS (AUS) PV 1251 (1245)
12. (15.) Yann DOMÉNECH (FRA) LJ 1202 (1190)
5. (6.) Kenta BELL (USA) TJ 1277 (1277)
8. (9.) John GODINA (USA) SP 1258 (1249)
13. (15.) Rutger SMITH (NED) SP 1205 (1202)
13. (14.) Roland VARGA (HUN) DT 1180 (1175)
3. (4.) Chaohong YU (CHN) Race Walking 1333 (1329)
7. (8.) Yucheng HAN (CHN) Race Walking 1292 (1284)
10. (21.) Santiago PÉREZ (ESP) Race Walking 1254 (1193)
11. (25.) Yunfeng LIU (CHN) Race Walking 1248 (1183)
13. (15.) Shucai XING (CHN) Race Walking 1244 (1211)
17. (31.) Chengliang ZHAO (CHN) Race Walking 1214 (1171)
Women's Event Rankings
17. (21.) Angela DAIGLE (USA) 100m 1218 (1210)
11. (15.) Christine ARRON (FRA) 200m 1245 (1219)
6. (7.) Carmen DOUMA-HUSSAR (CAN) 1500m 1292 (1292)
10. (12.) Natalia RODRÍGUEZ (ESP) 1500m 1253 (1254)
12. (14.) Hind CHAHYD-DEHIBA (FRA) 1500m 1247 (1237)
16. (22.) Nuria FERNÁNDEZ (ESP) 1500m 1223 (1213)
13. (16.) Ruth BEITIA (ESP) HJ 1215 (1199)
9. (10.) Kéné NDOYE (SEN) TJ 1250 (1250)
10. (11.) Baya RAHOULI (ALG) TJ 1245 (1245)
7. (8.) Franka DIETZSCH (GER) DT 1192 (1192)
7. (7.) Beatrice FAUMUINA (NZL) DT 1192 (1194)
7. (10.) Jing JIANG (CHN) Race Walking 1270 (1245)
9. (11.) Liping WANG (CHN) Race Walking 1259 (1239)