One thing we knew about the women’s 60 metres final was that the defending champion Veronica Campbell-Brown would not be in front at the half-way point.
She was not.
One thing we wondered about the 60 metres final was whether Campbell-Brown would be in front at the line.
She was - by a mere 0.03 seconds from the Ivory Coast’s Murielle Ahoure.
The Jamaican champion used up pretty well every bit of the 60 metres to get to the front. Campbell-Brown’s winning time of 7.01 seconds was a world lead. World champion and fastest in the world - despite the narrow margin, you cannot do much more than that.
Ahoure ran 7.04, her silver medal being the first medal for Ivory Coast at a World Indoor Championships. She came into the championships with a best of 7.08, so ran both a personal best and took a medal.
Tianna Madison of the USA took the bronze in 7.09. Madison held the world lead at 7.02 coming into Istanbul, but had not impressed in either the heat or semi-final round. She lost to Ahoure by 0.04 in the semi-final and 0.05 in the final, so Istanbul form prevailed over lead-up form.
The World champion at Long Jump in Helsinki in 2005 and a silver medallist in that event at the 2006 Moscow World Indoor Championships, Madison is the first woman to medal at both 60 metres and Long Jump at the World indoors.
Campbell-Brown’s start had been her weakest link in the heat and semi-final. Her reaction time was quicker in the final – faster than the other two medallists, in fact – but she still trailed Madison to her left and Ahoure to her right through 40 metres.
She got past the American, but it was still touch and go whether Campbell-Brown would catch Ahoure before the line. She drew alongside, then threw herself at the line. It was a matter of centimetres, but a centimetre is as good as a kilometre in a world championship sprint final.
Madison’s teammate, Barbara Pierre, finished just behind her in fourth place in 7.14 with the ageless Chandra Sturrup fifth in 7.19.
Gloria Asumnu (NGR), Aleen Bailey (JAM) and Ivet Lalova (BUL) completed the field.
Despite the ever-present threat of Carmelita Jeter, the World champion at 100 metres, and Allyson Felix, Campbell-Brown is surely the pre-eminent sprinter of this generation. She has now twice been World Indoor champion at 60 metres, twice Olympic champion and twice World champion at 200 metres and World champion at 100 in 2007.
She has also won at every level of IAAF competition, World Youth, World Junior, World and World Indoor.
That is some record and Campbell-Brown is by no means done yet.
Len Johnson for the IAAF