21 JUL 2010 General News Moncton, Canada

Moncton 2010 - Masai scorches to 10,000m victory as Arcanjo wins Shot Put - Day One Evening WRAP

Dennis Masai crosses the line an emphatic winner of the men's 10,000m (Getty Images)Dennis Masai crosses the line an emphatic winner of the men's 10,000m (Getty Images) © Copyright

Dennis Masai with more than a little help from his colleague Paul Lonyangata became the seventh Kenyan winner of the IAAF World Junior Championships 10,000 metres title in Moncton on Tuesday night.

Masai's winning time of 27:53.88 a World leading mark for the year and a personal best by over 32 seconds was the result of a highly competitive race as he defeated Gebretsadik Abraha of Ethiopia and Lonyangata who also recorded lifetime fastest marks of 28:03.45 and 28:14.55.

Masai is the younger brother of Linet, the 10,000m World champion from Berlin.

The race really took off when Masai hit the front after 2200m and followed by Lonyangata they quickly reduced the field to a pack of six with their surging breaks on almost every lap.

The pair eventually wore down everyone apart from Abraha between 4km and 5km which was passed in 14:43.77 and it then became a classic Kenya versus Ethiopia duel with Abraha happy to follow and respond to every attack that was made.

Lonyangata who preceded Masai as world leader, himself felt the pace approaching 8km and began to fall backwards, his demise seeing Abraha immediately trying to pull clear and become the fifth Ethiopian winner of the title.

But it lasted for less than 300m when Masai put in another awesome burst of speed which opened a five metres gap which quickly became 10 and by 8600m saw him establish a healthy lead which he maintained to the finish.

Masai acknowledging the assistance of Lonyangata, said: "I’m so happy being number one in the world. You know, my partner, he had a stitch. What we were planning was not going well - we were running as a team.

"Now, I’m preparing for the Commonwealth [Games]. I’m so happy – of course! It has given me morale. You have to be happy!"

Abraha said:  "The race was very competitive. Because I was alone with the two Kenyans, I couldn’t do any better. There was also some pushing, but I did my best and I thank God.

"Once three of us remained, I knew I was running for second place, especially when I got stitches with six laps to go.

"They were trying to drop me and second place is a great honour for me."

Shot Put gold remains in South America 
 
In the only other final Geisa Arcanjo with a third round throw of 17.02m just nine centimetres shy of her personal Shot Put best, thwarted the hopes of Chinese rivals Qianqian Meng and Shuang Cui to score a deserved victory.

Meng the world leader was strongly tipped to succeed fellow Chile's Natalia Duco as champion and restore her nation's superb record which saw it produce four successive winners between 1990 and 1996.

The 19-year-old had a perfect start with a put of 16.94m ahead of Brittany Smith of the USA and Russian Evgeniya Smirnova who had best efforts of 15.47m and 15.19m.

But Arcanjo after a no throw, in the next round showed her hunger to keep the gold medal on South American soil and a good effort of 16.36m moved her into second position behind Meng with Cui improving to 15.69m and going third.

The title was settled in the third round when Arcanjo hit the lead with one of the best throws of her career, Meng producing a no throw although Cui improved to 16.13m.
 
After that the competition sizzled out a little although there was a 16.56m effort from Meng in round four with Arcanjo showing her consistency producing efforts of 16.90m and 16.50m in the fifth and final rounds.
 
"It's impossible. I can't believe I've done this for Brazil," said Arcanjo after what has been a breakthrough season for her and beating her more experienced Chinese opponents.

"Yes, it was difficult," she added, "because their distances were close to mine. My personal best is better than what I threw today."

Arcanjo vowed: "I'm going to train and get prepared for next year's Pan-American Games.

Meng and Cui remained upbeat despite missing out on restoring Chinese domination of shot putting which existed in the last decade of the last century.

"It was very good," Meng insisted. "Audiences are very supportive here. I feel like I need some improvement. I’m regretful because silver is so close to gold.
 
Cui said:  "I feel very good. At the very beginning, I didn’t do my best, but as time went by I got better.

"I got third place, so I’m happy. Now I want to keep improving and getting better scores as I move to the senior level."

James and Williams easy qualifiers
 
Elsewhere in qualifying rounds last year's World Youth 200 and 400 champion Kirani James confirmed his status if not as a certainty but definitely as favourite when winning his one lap heat in 47.12.

It may not have been the fastest time of the opening round, but after exploding from his blocks he proceeded to coast around the remainder of the Moncton stadium track without breaking sweat.

The 18-year-old Grenadian who heads the rankings with 45.01 was clearly conserving energy for the 200m later in the week where he is determined to match his Bressanone double.              

If anyone will test the 2009 IAAF World Rising Star it is likely to be the American pair of Joshua Mance - silver medallist behind James in the Sud Tirol - and US champion Errol Nolan.

Mance won his heats in 47.29 and Nolan under pressure coming off the last bend from Canada's Jamaican-born Alistair Moona clocked 46.67, the fastest of the rounds.
 

Second quickest was Poland's Mateusz Formanski who made an astonishing run over the last 50m to snatch a comfortable victory in a personal best time of 46.75.

Jodie Williams who like James also pulled off a memorable double in the 100 and 200 in Bressanone also produced a good qualifying run over the shorter distance winning in 11.54.

The Briton who has not lost in almost 150 heats and finals in 100 and 200 races, knows this is the biggest challenge she has ever faced, but isn't a woman to duck any issue.

Germans lead Hurdles heats

Takeia Pinckney of the United States was fastest on the night recording 11.48, but the real action will be on Wednesday in the semi finals before the final gets underway just under two hours later.

Germany's Leena Gunther who won in 11.50, Pinckney and her teammate Ashton Purvis third at the World Youths and who won in 11.73 along with Williams, appear the likeliest candidates for a podium finish in a wideopen race.

The 100m Hurdles was predicted to become a battle for the medals between Germany and the United States and the first round suggested this will be the case.

The US champion Donique Fleming won the first heat clocking 13.50 into a +1.3 wind although her colleague Evonne Britton in hers was edged into second by 0.03 as Finland's Nooralotta Neziri won in 13.54.

The German pair were both rock solid in their displays, Jenna Pletsch posting the fastest time of the rounds of 13.37 while Miriam Hehl was second quickest scoring her victory in 13.49.

World leader Yaime Perez was the only competitor to qualify automatically (53.00m) in the discus 'A group throwing 53.91 with her first attempt.

Now the Cuban will be aiming to continue that consistency in the final where her closest rivals including Irina Rodrigues of Portugal whose 51.83 in group B was the furthest from those who will make up the 11 strong final.
 
World long jumper leader Luvo Manyonga almost missed out on making the final when after a no jump, he cleared a miserable 6.28 before unleashing the furthest leap of the night with his last attempt with 7.76m.

The South African who leads the rankings with a world class 8.19 performance in Germany 11 days earlier lived to fight another day as did World Youth champion Supanara Sukhasvasti.

The Thai who is the only other contestant to have cleared over eight metres struggled but progressed with a leap of 7.48m.

At the end of the first day Frenchman Kevin Mayer was leading in the decathlon with a score of 4159pts. Jose Angel Mendieta of Cuba was second with a tally of 4078 with Briton David Guest third with a score of 4073.

David Martin for the IAAF