It was another good night for the hosts on Day Five of the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in the Berlin Olympiastadion.
With virtually the last throw of the competition – and the gold looking destined for Piotr Malachowski of Poland, who had had a magnificent series, with two national records and a best of 69.15m, Robert Harting of Germany delivered the coup de grace – a pesonal best 69.43m! The Pole had the final throw, but could only manage just over 67 metres. And Harting’s last throw had won a second gold for Germany, after last night’s for Steffi Nerius, achieved on her first throw in the javelin. Malachowski won silver, and favourite Gerd Kanter of Estonia rescued a late bronze, with 66.88m.
Kamel following father’s footsteps
Anything dad can do, I can do…. just as well. He might be competing for Bahraini but Yusuf Saad Kamel began life as Gregory Konchellah of Kenya, son of Billy Konchellah, double world 800m champion (1987/91). Kamel won the world 1500m title using the exact same tactics that won Billy the second of his world golds, in Tokyo 1991.
Kamel was not one of the favoured athletes in the 1500m final, but after Augustine Choge of Kenya had led most of the way, and the pair closely tracking him, defending champion Bernard Lagat of the USA and Deresse Mekonnen of Ethiopia took over and began a drive for the line, it was Kamel who launched a winning sprint from behind. Just like dad liked to do.
It worked just as well. Kamel won gold with 3:35.93, Mekonnen who had emerged this season as a genuine contender justified that expectation, taking silver in 3:36.01, and Lagat added bronze to the silver he won in Edmonton 2001 (as a Kenyan), and the gold he won in Osaka, with 3:36.20. The much-favoured Olympic silver medallist, Asbel Kiprop of Kenya lingered at the back of the field until 300 metres to go, leaving himself far too much to do, and in fact did well to get up to fourth.
Semenya over Jepkosgei
Women’s 800 metres running has been going through some serious changes in the last couple of years, with the advent first of Janeth Jepkosgei of Kenya, running away with the world title in Osaka. Her young colleague Pamela Jelimo took up the baton, to set world junior records, and win the Olympic title, ahead of Jepkosgei. Now, here comes recently crowned African junior champion, Caster Semenya of South Africa, winning the world title, with a superlative time of 1.55.45.
Semenya tracked Jepkosgei through a torrid first 200 metres in 26.81sec, and a 400m in 56.83. Semenya then took up the lead, and as the field was gathering on her shoulder with 200 metres to run, she simply ran away from them. Jepkosgei managed to stay ahead of the pack, to secure silver, in 1:57.90, while Britain’s Jenny Meadows had the race of her life, coming from fifth with fifty metres to run, to snatch bronze in a personal best 1:57.93.
Jamaican momentum continues with Foster Hylton in 100m Hurdles
The Jamaicans are having a magnificent championships. After two golds, a silver and bronze in the short sprints, the women’s high hurdles swung into action, and won gold and bronze. Brigitte Foster Hylton easily outpaced the opposition, to win virtually unchallenged in 12.51sec. Priscilla Lopes-Schliep of Canada just got the better of second Jamaican, Deloreen Ennis-London, by one hundredth, with 12.54sec.
Bolt - Chapter II
And there is doubtless more to come for Jamaica on Day Six. Because Usain Bolt again made it look easy, in winning the first semi-final of the 200m, and the only questions seem to be - how fast can he run the final, and who will finish second and third? Alonso Edward has already replaced Lloyd La Beach as the sprinter to think of when Panama is mentioned. And the way Edward followed Bolt home suggests that there will be even more mentions of his name in future. Shawn Crawford of the USA, the Athens Olympic champion was third, and his colleague Wallace Spearmon won the second semi in 20.14sec, ahead of Bolt’s colleague Steve Mullings.
With Olympic champions Roman Sebrle of Czech Republic far from top form, and Brian Clay of the USA injured, there was no outstanding favourite for the Decathlon, which made for a tantalising contest. At the end of the first day, Oleksiy Kasyanov of Ukraine had scored 4555 points, whose highlight was a 7.80m long jump, and very solid performances in the other four disciplines. Yunior Diaz of Cuba came through to second place, after a much delayed 400m (due to a competitive High Jump), which he ran in 46.15sec. He is on 4512, one point ahead of early leader, US champ, Trey Hardee whose best was a 7.83m Long Jump. Sebrle is seventh on 4324 points.
Pat Butcher for the IAAF