07 APR 2005 General News Carlo

Ethiopian Double-Double provide the Top Performances in March – IAAF World Rankings

Kenenisa Bekele crosses the finish in the men's short race (Getty Images)Kenenisa Bekele crosses the finish in the men's short race (Getty Images) © Copyright

MonteTirunesh Dibaba and Kenenisa Bekele were the Top Performers in the IAAF World Rankings in the third month of the year with equal points (1400 points) for having won both the Short and the Long Races at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in St-Etienne/St-Galmier, France.

This is the second time in 2005 that Dibaba has become the Best Female performer of the month, the first was in January. The 1400 points the pair earned is the highest single points total so far this year, although last month also brought some outstanding field event performances, especially from the European Indoor Championships in Madrid.

Yelena Isinbayeva’s fourth World record of the season with 4.90m in Madrid earned her 1395 points as the best Women’s Field Event performance in March, but it was not enough to defend her “Best Female Performance of the Month” title from February. In the Men’s Field Event category it was Sweden’s Stefan Holm who turned in the best performance of the past month. Holm won the European Indoor Championships with 2.40m (1396 points), which is also the second highest men’s points total of the year behind Bekele.

There were a number of good performances in the Road Running category for both Men and Women. Kenya’s Paul Tergat won the Lisbon Half Marathon with 59:10 (1367 points) to become the best man on the roads for March, while Yumiko Hara of Japan clocked 2:24:19 (1320 points) to win the Nagoya Marathon, the best in the equivalent women’s category.

March saw the start of the IAAF Race Walking Challenge and results did not disappoint. The first race in Tijuana brought both the top Men’s and Women’s Race Walking performances for March. Norway’s Trond Nymark won the men’s 50km event in 3:46:04 (1273 points) and Germany’s Melanie Seeger topped the women’s list with her 20km winning performance of 1:30:48 (1246 points).

Just as in February, both the top Men’s and Women’s Junior performances came from Fayetteville, Arkansas, and both were over 200m indoors. For the women, Courtney Champion finished 3rd at the NCAA Indoor Championships with 22.98 (1208 points) ,and for the men Walter Dix took second place also at the collegiate championships with 20.37 seconds (1261 points).

While there were no significant changes in the “Weeks on Top” category, Félix Sánchez of the Dominican Republic set a new record in terms of leading streak. Sánchez has been ranked first in the 400m Hurdles Event Ranking since 20 August 2001, which means this week the World and Olympic Champion celebrated his 191st week at the top. This is a new best for men, as the previous mark was held by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco who led his 1500m Event Ranking for 190 consecutive weeks between January 2001 and August 2004. The overall record is still held by Maria Mutola, who is leading the women’s 800m Event Rankings from the start and is standing at 222 successive weeks at number one. Besides Mutola and Sánchez there are no other athletes who have been able to hold on to their leading positions since 2001.

The IAAF World Rankings “Top Performer of the Month” is released on the first week of each month collecting the results of the previous four weeks and dividing them into the above categories. Via the link below you may also find the top six male and female athletes who have been leading their respective Event Rankings for the most number of consecutive weeks. Please note that the IAAF World Rankings have been officially published since 1 January 2001.

Top Performers in March