11 JUL 1999 General News

Surprise upset for Capel in Student Games 100m


Steven Downes for IAAF

11 July 1999 - Palma de Mallorca, Spain The men's 100 metres final produced the biggest shock of these 20th World Student Games last night, when John Capel, the American who has run 10.03 sec this season, was beaten by the little-known Brazilian, Andre da Silva.

After two false starts, da Silva got away from his blocks best, and Capel never managed to get back on terms with the leggy Brazilian. At the line, da Silva won by the narrowest of margins, 10.34sec to Capel's 10.35. Mathew Quinn, of South Africa, was third in 10.42, the times slowed by a troublesome, gusting headwind, measured at 1.5 metres per second.

"I came here to become a champion," da Silva, from Sao Paulo, said. Aged 26, da Silva's previous best results include a silver medal from the 1997 South American championships, and his relay bronze from the 1996 Olympics.

Asked whether he thought he might have needed to run faster to beat the much-heralded Capel, da Silva said, "The Americans are always mouthing off about how good they are. I kept quiet and just did what I had to do."

Capel is on a football scholarship at the University of Florida. He withdrew from the 200 metres earlier in these Games, citing weariness after a long college track season, was not surprised by his defeat. "Racing in America, against people like Maurice Greene, you get used to being beaten by small margins, like 0.01sec.

"I did all I could do, but I just didn't have it in my legs."

From the shortest athletics event, Brazil also won the longest event on the programme yesterday, the half-marathon, but they needed a fluke of luck to do so.

Solomon Kariuki, of Kenya, went off course when leading the race by at least 50 metres, having made a break from the lead group of eight at around the 16-kilometre stage.

"I went maybe 100 metres, perhaps 200 metres, the wrong way before I realised my mistake," Kariuki said. "When I got back to the course, it was too late, there were runners ahead of me."

Kariuki, with a best time of 60min 48sec set in last year's Tokyo international half-marathon, was the hot favourite to win, but eventually finished sixth in a race won by Mario Gomes dos Santos of Brazil (64:05).

"I hope they mark the course better in Seville," Kariuki, who will run the marathon for Kenya at next month's IAAF World Championships, said.

The blustery conditions in the Son Moix stadium tonight influenced a number of events, making the pole vault final hazardous - Richard Spiegelburg of Germany winning on countback with 5.60 metres, with the Czech, Stepan Janacek, taking silver - but helping the women triple jumpers launch themselves to unexpected distances.

Olena Havorova jumped 14.99 metres in the second round, the longest jump in the world this year, but it will not count for record purposes since the Ukrainian had the benefit of a 6.8 metre per second following wind.

Likewise, silver medallist Lingmei Wu, of China, was blown to 14.55 metres by a 5.5 m/s gust. Adelina Gavrila won the bronze medal with a more modest 14.33 metres, but a "legal" 1.0 m/s following wind.

The women's champion road runner at these World Student Games, striding along the near-deserted Paseo beside the Palma harbour early in the morning, was Rosario Console, of Italy, who broke away from the lead group shortly after the 15km marker to finish the half-marathon in 1hr 14min 14sec, with Yukiko Akaba, of Japan, second in 1:14:35.

Angela Williams, runner-up in last year's IAAF World Junior Championships 100 metres, this time graduated to gold. In a highly competitive 100m final, the American never seemed under serious threat, as behind her 11.19sec, the scramble for the minor placings saw France's Katia Benth take silver (11.23) and Virgen Benavides (11.25) win another medal for Cuba. The 200m champion, Kim Gevaert, placed fourth.

Norberto Tellez kept Cuba in the gold, running a calculatedly cool 800 metres, only taking the lead in the final stretch, to emulate his countryman, Alberto Juantorena, winner of this title in 1977. Juantorena's time 22 years ago in Sofia - 1:43.40 - was then a world record, and although Tellez's 1:46.11 seems modest by comparison, it was achieved in a gripping race.

Djabir Said Guerni, as he had done in the qualifying rounds, set a good first-lap pace (50.56sec), and only as he began to fade down the backstraight for the second time did he relinquish the lead, Andre Bucher cheekily slipping through on the inside.

For a time, it looked as if the European silver medallist might hang on, but off the final bend Tellez, a former top 400-metre runner, launched his sprint for home. Said Guerni, despite his hard work, was denied a bronze medal by Derrick Peterson, of the United States, although both men recorded the same 1:46.75.

Andria King clocked 13.04sec into a -2.8m/s wind to win the women's 100m hurdles, a one-two for he United States, with Yolanda McCray timed at 13.08.

There was a similar single-nation domination of the women's 1500m, where Romanians Elena Buhaianu (4:13.04) and Luminita Gogirlea (4:14.61) held off Ana Menendez, despite the home crowd's vociferous support for the Spaniard.

The steeplechase was won by the fast finishing Giuseppe Maffei, of Italy (8:33.18), Khamis Sif El Din, of Qatar, outsprinting the Canadian pacesetter, Joel Bourgeois, for silver.

Poland's Ewa Rybak with 60.76m won a javelin competition which was not helped by the swirling winds. With the new regulation spear, five women still managed to throw further than 57 metres.

Check out the FISU site for full results