05 JUN 2009 General News

Idowu and Kaki impress as Di Martino pleases home crowd for Turin’s 10th Anniversary

Phillips Idowu jumps 17.60 to win Primo Nebiolo Memorial in Turin (Lorenzo Sampaolo)Phillips Idowu jumps 17.60 to win Primo Nebiolo Memorial in Turin (Lorenzo Sampaolo) © Copyright

World Indoor champions Phillips Idowu of Great Britain in the men’s Triple Jump (17.60) and Abubaker Kaki of Sudan in the men’s 800 metres (1:44.25 meeting record equalled) highlighted the 10th anniversary of the Memorial Primo Nebiolo in Turin.

The Memorial Primo Nebiolo is part of a select group of Area meetings at which points can be acquired by athletes to qualify for the IAAF / VTB Bank World Athletics Final, to be held on 12-13 September in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Meeting record for Kaki; SB for Idowu

Abubaker Kaki Khamis, World Indoor champion and World season leader with 1:43.09 set in Doha, was in the spotlight at the 10th Memorial Primo Nebiolo in Turin which commemorates the late IAAF President who died in 1999. Kaki tied the Turin meeting record held by former Olympic champion Yuriy Borzakovskiy since 2002 running 1:44.25. It was Kaki’s fourth win of this outdoor season after Doha, Rabat and Hengelo. Milkevics finished second with 1:45.36.

“Today I was a bit tired after Hengelo. The pacemaker was too fast (he passed in 48.90 at 400 metres). Now I will train for one month in Cairo before my next race in Oslo on 3 July where I hope to run 1:42 and possibly break my PB (1:42.69),” said Kaki.

World Indoor champion Phillips Idowu took the lead in the second attempt with 17.23 and then improved in the third attempt with  a superb 17.60 (one cm off the meeting record held since 2004 by Christian Olsson) setting the fifth best jump in the world this year. The Briton, who also jumped a windy 17.60 in Chania on Monday, produced three more jumps over 17 metres with 17.43, 17.36 and 17.20.

“I did the same performance as three days ago in Chania but there it was wind-assisted. Today the run-up was not right because the track was too quick. This year my focus is to keep jumping consistently and hopefully improving on last year’s result from Beijing,” said Idowu. 

Even without European Indoor champion Fabrizio Donato, who is sidelined by an injury problem, Italy found another good triple jumper. Fabrizio Schembri started the competition with 17.14 and then improved again to 17.16 and 17.27 in the third round setting the all-time third best Italian performance. In Italian triple jump history only Donato (17.60) and Paolo Camossi (17.29) jumped further than Schembri who overtook an Italian legend like Giuseppe Gentile, the Olympic bronze medallist from Mexico City (17.22).
 
The other big star of the meeting Dayron Robles, 110 metres Hurdles Olympic champion and World record holder, dropped out of the meeting. “I was supposed to run but the spikes which I needed to run have not arrived. I am sad because I wanted to start my season. I’m planning to debut in Thessaloniki hoping that the same problem does not happen again. I want to return to Torino next year,” said Robles who attended the meeting as a spectator.

US Dexter Faulk took the win in 13.29 beating Bahamas’ Shamar Sands (13.15) and Great Britain’s Andrew Turner (13.57).

Defending World champion Heidler shows great form

The meeting started on a high note with the women’s Hammer Throw which opened the Memorial Nebiolo. German reigning World champion Betty Heidler improved the meeting record in the first two attempts first with with 73.50 (which bettered the previous Turin record held by Ivana Brkljacic with 72.30) and then with 74.33 (not far from her season best of 74.70 which ranks third in the world this year).

Heidler produced two more attempts over 70 metres with 72.58 and 73.58 before fouling in the fifth round. Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland, second in the world season list with 76.20, threw 71.36 in the second attempt. Darya Pchelnik of Belarus finished third with 71.20. Olympic finalist Clarissa Claretti from Italy came close to 70 metres with 69.98.

“I expected this result because I threw 74.70 last week. It’s a special year for me because the World Championships will be held in the city where I was born; I don’t feel the pressure as defending champion. I can say that it’s a positive pressure that gives me great motivation,” said Heidler.

Di Martino, Cusma and Cerutti score home crowd pleasing wins

The Memorial Primo Nebiolo in Turin marked a good comeback for Italian High Jump star Antonietta Di Martino in the stadium where she cleared 2.02 two years ago. World silver medallist Di Martino did not disappoint the packed Primo Nebiolo stadium clearing all heights until 1.98 with her first attempt tying the second best clearance in the world this year currently held by US Chaunte Howard.

Then Di Martino tried three unsuccessful attempts at 2.01 but showed encouraging form after a difficult 2008 season. Only Blanka Vlasic jumped higher than Di Martino this season with 2.05 in Doha and 2.04 in Split.

“I needed this competition after a long period of training. Turin is a lucky city for me. This year I changed my coach. I am now trained by Angelo Zamperin and by my boyfriend Massimiliano Di Matteo. Last year I did a lot of strength training and I was always tired. I am now planning to compete at the World Military Games in Sofia and in Berlin on 14 June,” said Di Martino.   

Italian 800 metres star Elisa Cusma, European indoor bronze medallist in Torino, provided another great joy to the supportive Torino’s crowd with a close win in the women’s 800 metres in 2:00.14. Cusma launched her sprint with 300 metres to go and took the lead followed by Russians Ekaterina Kostevskaya and Svetlana Klyuka.

Kostevskaya, a former World junior champion in the 400 metres Hurdles, caught up with Cusma in the final straight. Cusma managed to resist to Kostevskaya’s assault and held off the Russian who clocked 2:00.24. Italian Daniela Reina, a European Indoor finalist this year in the 400 metres, smashed her PB finishing in third place in 2:01.91.

Vincent Kiprop Chepkok of Kenya beat this year’s 3000 metres European indoor champion Mo Farah in the men’s 3000 metres in 7:37.40, a new PB. Farah opened his outdoor campaign with a second place in 7:39.02.   

The 100 metres were slowed by a very strong headwind (-2.3 m/s). Local favourite Fabio Cerutti provided great joy for the Turin crowd cruising to win in 10.33 holding off Jamaican Steve Mullings who clocked the same time as the Italian sprinter, who is the 60 metres European silver medallist from Turin last March.

Cerutti ran faster in the 100 metres heat with 10.31 (headwind -1.3 m/s). Mullings won the second heat in 10.34.

“For the period of the year it’s a good performance. The new track is fast but the head wind is always too strong. Now I am planning the World Military Championships where I will run the 4x100 and perhaps the Berlin Golden League meet,” said Cerutti.

Olympic silver medallist Nataliya Mikhnevich set two meeting records in the women’s Shot Put with 19.50 and 19.56. Nadine Kleinert, World bronze medallist, finished runner-up with 19.21 ahead of European indoor bronze medallist Anca Heltne from Romania, third with 18.79.

Elsewhere…

British long jump record holder Chris Tomlinson leaped to a winning 8.04 winning the men’s Long Jump. 
Artem Zaytsev took the men’s High Jump clearing 2.28 in the third attempt to beat Giulio Ciotti, who was the best Italian with a new season best of 2.25.

Stephanie Durst of the USA held off Virgin Islands’ Laverne Jones in a close 100 metres in 11.37 with a headwind of -1.6 m/s.

Former World Championships finalist Tim Benjamin of Great Britain returned to good form winning the men’s 400 metres in 45.80. 

The 100 metres Hurdles was taken by Yvette Lewis in 13.00 with a headwind of -1.5 m/s ahead of compatriot Danielle Carruthers (13.08) and Cuba’s Anay Tejeda (13.08).

A new blue Mondo track was inaugurated for the 10th anniversary of the Memorial Nebiolo. Among the VIP Guests who attended the Turin meeting there was HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco.   

Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF

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