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2nd fast ever for Ngeny and world junior record for Kipkirui in Nikaia 1000m

2nd fastest time ever for Ngeny and World Junior Record for Kipkirui in Nikaia 1000m
Sean Wallace-Jones for IAAF

Noah Ngeny followed his performance in the Rome stage of the IAAF Golden League - where he followed Morocco’s golden boy, Hicham El Guerrouj, across the line in a world record time for the mile – by making a serious attempt at the world record for the 1000m. In the end, the heavy conditions in Nice defeated the efforts of the 20-year old Kenyan, who nonetheless clocked 2:12.66, the second fastest time ever recorded for the distance since Sebastian Coe set the record of 2:12.18 back in 1981. In the same race 18-year old Benjamin Kipkirui set a world junior record with his 5th place time of 2:15.00.

Paced through the first 400m in 51.03, by David Kiptoo, it was Ngeny who then made the running, passing 800m in 1:44.79 on his way home.

In a desperate sprint off the final hurdle, Romania’s Ionela Tirlea had the edge and crossed the finish line half a stride ahead of reigning world champion Nezha Bidouane of Morocco, clocking 53.44, in the women’s 400m hurdles. Tirlea was fast up off the blocks and led throughout the race. Bidouane’s efforts to overtake Tirlea coming out of the final bend and into the home straight proved fruitless, even though the Moroccan looked a lot more comfortable at the finish. Bidouane was timed at 53.48 and Sandra Glover of the USA came in third in 54.07.

Ghana’s Leonard Myles-Mills was the convincing winner of the men’s 100m, finishing 0.08 seconds ahead of second-placed Innocent Asonze of Nigeria and Tim Montgomery (USA) – third in 10.24 ahead of fellow countryman Bryan Lewis, who registered the same time, but was given fourth place by the photo-finish judges.

In the women’s event, the crowd thrilled to the display of power given by Christine Arron. The French star switched into top gear 30 metres from the finish and powered ahead of Glory Alozie (NGR), who had looked as though she was going to walk away with the winner’s bouquet in the early stages. In the end it was no contest as Arron steamed ahead to cross the line in 11.08.

Mark Richardson, Great Britain’s 400m star, totally demolished the competition in the one lap race here in Nice’s Charles Ehrmann Stadium. Running in hot and humid conditions (25°Celsius/85%+ humidity), the Briton, who will celebrate his 27th birthday in 10 days time was uncontested from the start and crossed the line in 44.98, half a second ahead of Sanderlei Parrela (BRA), 45.41 and Derrick Brew (USA), 45.49.

In the half-lap race, Frank Fredericks set a new stadium record of 20.09, as he crossed the line ahead of Nigeria's Francis Obikwelu (20.15) and Kevin Little of the USA, who came third in 20.6O.

Germany’s Astrid Kumbernuss continued her gentle return to the competition circuit after a season’s maternity leave, taking second place in the women’s shot put with 18.60m, behind Valentina Fediuschina (UKR), who assured victory in the competition with her second putt of 18.92m.

Germany’s Florian Schwarthoff won the men’s 110m hurdles, ahead of his countryman Falk Balzer and the USA’s Dudley Dorival. Schwarthoff himself was surprised by his time of 13.48: "I don’t really understand it, I thought that we were running a lot faster." Although Kyle Vander-Kuyp (AUS) was first away at the gun, it was Schwarthoff who lead over the first hurdle and managed to retain his position throughout.

Another Romanian victory in the women’s mile, this time for Violeta Szekely. Leading from 1500m, Szekely stopped the clock in 4:23.44, trailed across the line by Carla Sacramento (POR) 4:23.81 and Switzerland’s Anita Weyermann, 4:24.32. The pack was taken through the first 400m in 1:07.76; 800m 2:13.13, by France’s Fréderique Quentin, with Carla Sacramento taking over the lead and passing 1200m in 3:21.78, only to be passed by Szekely, who kicked into the lead 100m later, retaining her lead to the end.

A superb race from Kenya’s Paul Kosgei gave the Kenyan victory in the 3000m steeplechase. With Ali Ezzine of Morocco heading the leading pack at two laps out, Kosgei loped into the lead and held that position to the line, with Ezzine gamely following at his heels. With a final clocking of 8:09.46 for the winner, pacemaker Josephat Kapkory led the pack through 1000m in 2:42.88, with Ezzine moving up into the lead and timing 5:26.77 at 2000m.

No records in the men’s 3000m: just another stunning demonstration of tactics and power from Haile Gebrselassie. The Ethiopian hung on the heels of Morocco’s Salah Hissou until well into the final lap. 250 metres out, Gebrselassie turned on the gas and left Hissou standing, gaining an incredible 25 metres lead on the Moroccan and crossing the line in 7:30.58: "It’s not a fast time, but it is the sort of race I like," smiled Gebrselassie afterwards. "The weather too is just great for me. I have never been to Nice before and I have really enjoyed it."

In the women’s 3000m, Zahra Ouaziz ran alone for the last kilometre to cross the finish line in 8:30.01, nearly 7 seconds ahead of second-place Fernanda Ribeiro of Portugal. Tatiana Belovol (UKR) made the early running, leading through 1000m in 2:49.25. Ouaziz timed 5:38.96 at 2000m, turning on the pace and gradually increasing her lead right up to the finish, loudly applauded by the 25,000 crowd in the stadium.

Monica Iagar-Dinescu confirmed her domination of this season’s women’s high jump, winning the event with 1.99m after a near-faultless competition. The Romanian had just one fault at 1.96 and another at 1.99, before clearing the height and going on to attempt 2.02 unsuccessfully. Second place went to Zuzana Kovacikova of the Czech Republic and Svetlana Lapina of Russia with 1.96. the same height was cleared by Yelena Gulyayeva (RUS), Hestrie Storbeck (RSA) and Hanne Haugland (NOR), placing respectively fourth, fifth and sixth after countback.

In the men’s javelin competition, world record holder Jan Zelezny (CZE) threw 85.46 with his second attempt to beat Germany’s Boris Henry, second with his final attempt of 82.23. Henry’s countryman Peter Blank took third place with a throw of 79.12.

Maxim Tarasov (RUS) triumphed in the men’s pole vault, winning with 5.90, after failing to clear 6.06. Second place went to France’s Jean Galfione, reigning Olympic Champion, who cleared 5.80, before failing his three attempts at 5.90.

In the women’s event, Stacy Dragila won on countback with a clearance of 4.44 metres, Tatyana Grigorieva (AUS) was second and Nastja Ryshich (GER) third, all three having cleared the winning height.