There’s nothing like being haunted by one bad race to get you out of the blocks.
Lolo Jones was out of hers with a bang in Glasgow today before skipping over the hurdles with her customary grace to record her first sub-8 second time of the year.
Jones clocked 7.95 at the Aviva International Match at Kelvin Hall, equalling the world lead set by Canada’s Priscilla Lopes-Schliep yesterday.
She pulled away over the final three barriers to beat Britain’s Sarah Claxton and then admitted she is still driven by the nightmare of her tumble in the Olympic final last summer.
“I didn’t want to come here and get second place. I had to win it,” she said. “I know I was world number one last year but because of that one bad race I feel like I still have to prove myself again and again every time.
“I really don’t feel like number one now. That one stupid race nearly destroyed everything. But the thing about this race today is I was competing for my country, so it’s a good way to get back on the right track.”
Jones secured maximum points for the USA team in the annual five-way match against Great Britain, Sweden, Germany, and the Commonwealth Select, won this year by the Commonwealth team with 60 points, three ahead of the hosts. Germany finished third, with USA fourth.
World indoor champs Christopher and Williams collect wins, Mokoena settles for runner-up
There were mixed fortunes for the other three World indoor champions on show. Tyler Christopher and Anglea Williams both secured wins while South Africa’s Godfrey Mokoena had to be satisfied with second.
Christopher’s victory in the 400m was far from impressive, however, as the Canadian looked sluggish after a bout of flu. He won in 47.20, doing just enough to hold off Britain’s Richard Buck.
Williams was in better form and the American won with ease from Chandra Sturrup of the Bahamas, although without setting the world on fire. Williams won in 7.32, 0.02s ahead of Sturrup.
Mokoena was largely unconcerned about his defeat at the hands of Sweden’s Michel Torneus. He leapt 7.92m to finish second, but the Olympic silver medallist struggled to find his rhythm, starting with two no jumps and only snatching second in the last round.
Torneus was a surprise winner with 7.95m, a personal best by 25cm. The Swede described his performance as “a great start” after a very good winter training with a new team.
Britain’s Greg Rutherford was third, just 1cm behind Mokoena in his first indoor competition for four years.
Farah runs to 7:40.99 national record
The highlight of the day for the 3500 crowd was a superb 3000m from Mo Farah, who bounced back from a torrent of criticism after failing to make the Olympic 5000m final last summer to break John Mayock’s seven-year-old British record with 7:40.99.
Farah won by nearly nine seconds from Kenyan Gideon Gathimba to set the best time in the world this year. He also beat Paul Bitok’s two-year-old stadium record by nine seconds and smashed his own PB by nearly six. Clearly his recent training trip to Kenya and Ethiopia has paid dividends.
“I knew I was in good shape, but not that good,” said Farah who intends to compete at the European Indoor Championships in Turin, but not at the World Cross Country in Jordan.
“That was a great start to the indoor season. To break the British record is a real bonus, I never expected that,” he added. “I know there is a lot more to come and I expect to run even faster as the season progresses.”
Pickering dashes to third Glasgow win
There was also a confident victory for Craig Pickering in the 60m, his third in three years in this fixture. Pickering had to fight hard for the win but came through strongly in 6.57, third quickest in the world this year.
“People were around me and close to me so I had to dig deep, which is important to do,” he said. “It’s good to know you can do it when you need to.”
Andra Manson won a ‘cat-and-mouse’ high jump competition from Britain’s Samson Oni with a best clearance of 2.31m. Oni cleared 2.29m but skipped 2.31m to go for victory at 2.33m. Germany’s in-form Raul Spank could only clear 2.27m and settled for third.
Jones wasn’t the only sprint hurdler in form. Shamar Sands of the Bahamas equalled his personal best in only his second race of the year, clocking 7.59 to beat Britain’s Andy Turner by 0.05s in the men’s race.
Johan Wissman won the men’s 200m, his fifth victory in this meeting on his eighth appearance here. Wissman clocked 21.05 before declaring that he’ll be “going for gold” over 400m in Turin after taking silver at the world indoors last year.
Former World champion Kim Collins was fifth in 21.39, and later finished fifth in the 60m in 6.70.
There were some good performances in the women’s distance races too. Zakia Mrisho of Tanzania won the 3000m in a personal best 9:00.55, two seconds ahead of USA’s Amy Begley, who also ran a PB.
Britain’s Susan Scott won the 1500m in 4:14.66, ahead of her compatriot Katrina Wootton, and there was another British one-two in the 800m where Marilyn Okoro outran Jenny Meadows, clocking 2:02.53.
Rene Bauschinger won the men’s 800m in 1:49.18, a personal best for the German, while Sweden’s Moa Hjelmer was a “totally unexpected” winner of the women’s 400m in 54.24m, coming from behind to beat Britain’s Kim Wall with a dip on the line. It was a PB for her by 0.39s.
There was disappointment for Britain’s in-form pole vaulter Steve Lewis who failed to get higher than 5.35m after setting a PB this year at 5.75m. Alexander Straub of Germany took a comfortable victory with 5.65m, his best of the year.
Germany’s Sophie Krauel won a low quality women’s Long Jump with a best of 6.36m, and Virgil Hodge of St Kitts and Nevis took the women’s 200m in 24.29.
Matthew Brown for the IAAF