Dubnica, SlovakiaA full stadium celebrated the 9th edition of the Athletics Bridge (EA Classic) meeting with records falling in 8 out of 13 events yesterday (15).
Some 5000 spectators saw the fastest 100m ever in Slovakia. Beijing medallist Richard Thompson clocked in lane 1 a superb 10.05sec (+0.8) despite a little cold weather at the end of the meeting. Kim Collins was second 10.07 ahead of Michael Frater 10.09 and Dwain Chambers 10.10. There was a life-time best for fifth Briton Luke Fagan 10.21.
"It was my last race of the season and I wanted to end it with a bang," said Thompson. The previous meet record was 10.12 and Slovak all-comers record 10.07 by Calvin Smith since 1988.
In the women’s 100m a new meet record was set by Jamaican Schillonie Calvert 11.17sec with a headwind of -0.7.
Another top mark was delivered by Shot Put World champion Valerie Adams who enjoyed the huge crowd support she received. First in round two with 20.42m, which improved her own event best from last year by 5cm, and then a big heave of 20.83 in round three, followed by 20.07 and 20.50 in last two attempts.
Also superb was the women’s Hammer Throw battle which was seen in this central Slovakian city. In round two, Betty Heidler improved the meet record to 75.16m but immediately after World champion Tatyana Lysenko added 75.80. But that was not enough as Heidler in round five achieved the winning mark of 75.83 and had in total four 75+ results. Third was Yipsi Moreno with 74.21, showing very solid late season shape.
The men’s Hammer Throw saw a fourth win in Dubnica for Daegu silver medal winner Krisztian Pars of Hungary 79.95.
In a dramatic 3000m Steeplechase the unexpected winner Bernard Mbugua clocked 8:12.27 ahead of favourites Paul Kipsiele Koech 8:16.62 and Ezekiel Kemboi 8:20.80. All three were faster than the previous meet record.
In the men's High Jump, World champion Jesse Williams had close attempts at 2.30m but because of clearing 2.27 on his third attempt lost on count-back with Bahamian Trevor Barry who went over 2.27 on his second attempt.
Daegu World 110m Hurdles champion Jason Richardson set the second fastest ever time in Slovakia and the second fastest of his career 13.08sec (-0.1). Bronze winner from Daegu Andy Turner of Britain was way back, second in 13.49.
Other meet records went to Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt in the 400m in 45.75sec (tight bends here on a six lane track) and Daegu finalist Yulia Rusanova who ran 2:00.88 in the women’s 800m. There was also a meet best for Czech Daegu 7th placer Jirina Ptacnikova of Czech Republic with a 4.50m clearance in the Pole Vault.
World championships silver winner Russian Olga Kucherenko leapt to 6.61m (-0.3) and won the Long Jump but missed the meet record by 3cm.
Some living legends competed in women 100m B-race. France’s European record holder Christine Arron was second (11.76 sec; -1.0) and Merlene Ottey representing Slovenia clocked a highly impressive 11.92 as third.
"I will continue to run until I stop having fun," Ottey said.
Alfons Juck for the IAAF