Karlsruhe, GermanyThe grudge match expected in the mn’s 60 Metres Hurdles between Liu Xiang and Dayron Robles had all of the drama that had been anticipated. The outcome evened the indoor season score between the two hurdling standouts as the Chinese star won a narrow decision over the Cuban, 7.42 to 7.44. It was but one of many notable moments at the BW Bank Meeting - IAAF Permit - on Sunday afternoon, a meeting which saw four world-leading marks.
Xiang improves to 7.42
The two had both walked through the finish line in their respective heats (Liu 7.58 and Robles 7.61), and it was clear there was a lot left for the final, where Liu appeared to get away marginally ahead of Robles. The two matched each other stride for stride over all five barriers. Dipping low at the finish, Liu actually stopped the photocell timer in 7.39 with his head, but when the photo was read, his torso clipped the finish in 7.42, a Chinese national indoor record.
American Ron Bramlett finished third in 7.53, only 0.01 off his own personal best. The same time was earned by fourth-place Sergey Demidyuk, who set a new Ukrainian record in the process.
Olsson reaches 17.44m
After a leadoff 17.16 in the men’s Triple Jump, Christian Olsson saw his lead disappear as David Giralt of Cuba posted leaps of 17.19 and 17.25 in the next two rounds. After a momentary delay to correct a computer malfunction in the fourth round, the Swede came back with a powerful (and world-leading) 17.44 to dash all hopes that the others may have had.
A second Cuban, Osniel Tosca, in his first season on the big circuit, showed a moment of “sartorial vertigo” as his start number of 68 read “89” for the initial rounds. It mattered not to his jumping, as his 17.25 PB equaled the mark of Giralt, although only placing him third on a countback.
Ceplak dips below 1:59
Apparently not satisfied with Sasha Spencer’s pace in the women’s 800 Metres, Jolanda Ceplak bolted to the lead just before the 400 mark (59.61), and muscled her way to a 1:58.99 win, her fourth-straight sub-2:00 clocking of the year and her best of this season.
It was an impressive bit of negative splitting for the World-record holder from Slovenia, as she passed 600 metres in 1:29.32.
Svetlana Usovich of Belarus also kept a strong pace behind Ceplak, running a PB 2:00.53 for second, ahead of the 2:01.32 of Aneta Lemiesz, also a career best.
4:05:44 world lead for Chojecka
Lidia Chojecka later kept the track warm in the women’s middle-distance events, powering away with 150 metres remaining for a world-leading 4:05.44 win in the women’s 1500 Metres. The European indoor 3000 champion was in the lead behind the pacemaker throughout, and crafted a superb performance even after the desired 800 metre tempo had been more than two seconds off.
Sonja Roman of Slovenia managed to shake off the lap-counting problems which affected her race last Tuesday and scored a PB 4:08.61. In fact, behind Roman, the next three runners all saw career bests, with Maryem Alaoui Selsouli of Morocco’s 4:09.58 leading the group for third place.
Powerful 6.46 world lead for Brunson
On paper, Marcus Brunson had no real challenger in the field of the Men’s 60 metres, and he proved it on the track as well, overcoming a so-so start and accelerating to a world-leading 6.46.
Fredy Mayola of Cuba appeared to spring forth from the start ahead of the American, but after 15 metres, the race had been decided. Simone Collio of Italy, also in the first group out of the blocks, managed to give a push at the end to claim second over Mayola, as both were clocked in 6.63.
Lagat beats back unexpected challenge in 1000m...
The men’s 1000 Metres was an odd race, as American Bernard Lagat seemed to relax too much on the penultimate lap and allowed Arnoud Okken of the Netherlands to take the lead coming into the bell. Okken pushed strongly ahead with an upset in mind, and it was not until the final turn that Lagat could again regain the advantage, as he won in a world-leading 2:18.12. As the first indoor kilometre of Lagat’s career, it was an automatic PB, but it missed the American record of 2:17.86 by 0.26 seconds.
Okken’s clocking of 2:18.75, also a personal best, held off the Algerian pair behind him, as Tarek Boukensa (2:19.47) and Anter Zerguelaine (2:19.54) were third and fourth.
... and Isaac wins battle of the Songoks in the 3000m
Isaac Songok sprinted away from his compatriot Boniface Songok over the last 300 metres of the Men’s 3000 Metres for a PB 7:39.32 win. Also in a career best, Boniface clocked 7:41.80 in second, as third-place Ahmed Baday of Morocco was far back with 7:50.30.
The pacemakers had delivered a tempo worthy of a world-leading time, with Laban Rotich finishing the first two kilometres in 5:03.88 after Marc Andre Kowalinski’s 2:30.96 opening kilometre, but the two frontrunners were unable to finish the final five laps with the same intensity.
6.68 leap enough for Lebedeva
Valencia? Russian Championships? Karlsruhe? Olympic Long Jump champion Tatyana Lebedeva created a mystery over where she would materialize this weekend. But it turned out to be the Europahalle, where she registered a 6.68 win in the women’s Long Jump. The Russian started slowly, as her opening 6.32 had to yield to Bianca Kappler’s leadoff 6.40. But with her own 6.40 in the second round, Lebedeva was in charge the rest of the way.
Kappler improved to 6.57 after the break and the German held on to her second-place claim, which survived a last-jump 6.52 of Sweden’s Carolina Klüft, who was third.
The women’s 60 Metres Hurdles saw Jamaica’s Lacena Golding-Clarke hold a lead through most of the race, up until Lolo Jones made her move over the final hurdle. The American powered to the tape in a PB 7.87, equaling the 18-year-old meeting record by Yordanka Donkova.
Golding-Clarke’s time of 7.91, a season best, easily held for second ahead of the 8.03 times of Poland’s Aurelia Trywianska and Kirsten Bolm of Germany.
The men’s Pole Vault saw three jumpers head the results at 5.70, the winner on a countback being Danny Ecker of Germany, with compatriot Tim Lobinger and Jeff Hartwig of the US taking the next two places.
LaVerne Jones took a commanding lead over the first 100 metres of her women’s 400 Metres race, but coming into the bell, Germany’s Claudia Hoffmann had cut the advantage and was right on the back of the US Virgin Islands runner, who hit the halfway point in 24.55.
That was enough encouragement for Jones to move to the next gear, as she again dipped under 52 seconds with 51.91 in her first season seriously attempting the two-lap race. Hoffmann’s second-place time was 52.50.
The earlier section was won by Shereefa Lloyd of Jamaica in 52.55, ahead of the 52.91 posted by Poland’s Grazyna Prokopek.
The pair of men’s 200 Metres races included in the afternoon programme fell into the hands of German runners. Former European 400 champion Ingo Schultz won the first section in 21.09, while Sebastian Ernst controlled the second race with 21.04.
Ed Gordon for the IAAF