15 MAR 2003 General News

Women Shot Put Qualification

It took only 25 minutes for the women's shot putters to boil themselves down from the original field of 13 to the field of 8 which will contest the final at 17:55 Saturday night.

Yearly world leader Nadezhda Ostapchuk (Belarus) and 1999 champion Sevetlana Krivelyova (Russia) started the competition on a solid note by both exceeding the automatic qualifying distance of 18.45 as the day's first two contestants. Two throwers later they were joined by Astrid Kumbernuss (Germany), and Yanina Korolchik (Belarus) and Vita Pavlysh (Ukraine) finished off the first round doing likewise. Korolchik's lifetime best of 19.12 would hold up as the best of the day.

Irina Korzhanenko (Russia) highlighted the second round by reaching 19.10, just 2cm short of Korolchik's leader. Cuba's Yumileidi Cumbá put herself in a near-qualifying position with an 18.42.

In the final round Leija Tunks (Holland) briefly claimed the eighth and final spot in the final with an 18.31 effort, but three putters later she was bounced by Italian Assunta Legnante's 18.35. As the last thrower, Cumbá was already assured a place in the final but threw again anyway,and joined the automatic qualifiers.

Germany's Nadine Kleinert-Schmitt, 4th and 5th in the last two editions of the meet, was clearly limping from a longstanding leg injury and fouled three times.