Niclas Sandells in Lappeenranta (Antti-Pekka Sonninen) © Copyright
General News Lappeenranta, Finland

Sandells shines in rainy Lappeenranta

The very rainy Finnish summer of 2012 showed its worst sides at the Elite Games 3/5 in Lappeenranta on Wednesday (18). The rain ruined the field events, and as the temperature was only 15 degrees, only the long distance runners reached their normal results.

Much was awaited from the men´s 1500m, and the home crowd got something to cheer for when Niclas Sandells surged into a valuable victory over the USA's Garreth Heath, Craig Miller and John Bolas.

Australia´s Matt Fox did a good job as the pace maker and Sandells opened his kick with some 300 metres to go and took first place quite easily. His winning time 3:38.44 was the third best in his career while Heath clocked 3:38.63.

"I got the Finnish national record of 3:36.30 in my sight, but the weather was a bit too cold,' said Sandells, who fell in the 1500m final at the European Championships in Helsinki. "I'll run the 3000 at the Kuortane Elite Games on Sunday and hope to perform better then. The most important thing now is to stay well and recover from the training and competitions before the London Olympic Games."

Kenya´s Josephat Menjo ran to a solid solo victory in the men´s 3000m in 7:44.07. Australia´s Ben St. Lawrence was left as much as 20.55 seconds behind. In the women´s 1500m Russia´s sub-four-minute runner Yekaterina Gorbunova placed surprisingly only third behind Kenya´s Peril Nengambi (4:09.96) and Australia´s Zoe Buckman (4:10.57).

Jacques Harvey, eighth at the Jamaica´s Olympic trials this year, easily won the men´s 100m in 10.25, a solid result in the rain and 0,7 m/s headwind. Turkey´s Ramil Guliyev placed second in 10.40 but won the 200m in 20.53.

The women´s 100m hurdles was won by Katsiaryna Papklauskaya was clocked 13.12 ahead of Kazhakstan's Natalya Ivoninskaya (13.38). Italy´s Leonardo Capotosti´s finish was strong in the men´s 400m Hurdles and he passed The Netherlands' Thomas Kortbeek 50.96 to 51.00.  The women´s event was won by the USA´s Tiffany Williams, who was fourth at the US Championships in June, in 57.14 as Russia´s Svetlana Gogoleva clocked 57.34.

In the men´s Javelin only one throw over the 80m line was seen in a quite heavy rain. It was thrown by Ukraine's Oleksandr Pyatnitsya, who set 81.38m in the third round. Finland's Olympic team member Antti Ruuskanen produced a 79.03 throw in the final round.

Bermuda´s Tyrone Smith´s leap of 7.85m in the third round was enough for the first place in the Men´s Long Jump. Finland´s Roni Ollikainen, sixth at the European Championships, jumped four fouls and only 7.50m with his better white-flaged one. Mikko Kivinen placed second with 7.56m.

Anastasiya Shvedova of Belarus topped 4.45m to win the women´s Pole Vault.

Antti-Pekka Sonninen for the IAAF