Halil Akkas of Turkey on the medal podium in Bangkok (Christian Pierre / FISU) © Copyright
General News Bangkok, Thailand

Second gold for Akkas, historic wins for Egypt and Portugal and two records fall, WUG 5th day

Halil Akkas of Turkey successfully defended his 3000m Steeplechase title, his second in two days as Amr Seoud and Jessica Augusto gave Egypt and Portugal their first ever golds in the history of the World University Games.

Akkas and Augusto (5000m) broke the first championships records on the fifth and penultimate day of athletics at the 24th World University Games in the Thai capital.

Apart from these three individual feats, Ukraine and Kazakhstan clinched two gold medals each to challenge Russia in the overall medal table.

Dominating run by Akkas

One day after winning the 5000m final on Sunday, the 24-year-old Akkas based his speed to dominate his specialist event in 8:20.83 minutes to break USA's John Gregorek's 26-year Universiade record, set in 1981.

After a slow first kilometre (2:57), Kenya's Barnabas Kirui sped up and took the leading pack to 5:36.38 in the second. Akkas waited for the right time to make his move at the bell and held the challenge of Kirui (8:22.67) and Macedonia's 2005 silver medallist Ion Luchianov (8:23.83).

Akkas, who has a personal best of 8:18.43 from this year, now has three Universiade golds, as he also won the Steeplechase in Izmir 2005.

Augusto - Never challenged

Jessica Augusto made history for Portugal. The fastest woman in the field, Augusto, who broke the 15-minute barrier for the first time earlier this year (14:56.39) improving her personal best by almost half a minute, led from gun to tape and was never challenged during the 5000m. The 25-year-old crossed the finish in 15:28.78, slightly faster than New Zealand's Kimberley Smith's WUG record of 15:29.18, set in Izmir 2005.

Ukraine's Tetyana Holovchenko (15:40.56) repeated the silver she had taken in the 1500, while Russia's Elizaveta Grechishnikova (15:50.58) rounded out the podium.

An Egyptian first too

A Games record in the men's 200m was definitely out of reach as the list shows Italian Pietro Mennea's 19.72 from Mexico 1979, which stood as a World record until 1996.

It was a very special day for Amr Seoud as he gave Egypt its first University gold ever with a 20.74 clocking, just under the B-standard (20.75 ) to qualify for the World Championships in Osaka.

It was not an easy task for the Egyptian, the only men to qualify for the 100m and 200m finals at the Main Stadium of Thammasat University's Rangsit Campus.

Forced to re-run the 100m final, the 21-year-old had to run three races on Sunday and yet managed to move to the semi-finals over the half lap event. After posting the fourth fastest time in the semi-finals, he was allocated in lane seven but overcome all obstacles and ran the race of his life for Arab country's historic gold.

South Africa's Leigh Julius (20.96) made it 1-2 for Africa and so took his second silver after finishing runner-up in the 4x100m. Japanese junior Tomoya Kamiyama (20.97) was third, while Canada's Gavin Ramon Smellie, who led the first round (20.81) and the semifinals also on Monday, faded to finish fifth in 21.09.  

Seoud is a fighter as he challenged malaria –he lost 13 kilos- to win the 100m bronze at the 2005 Francophone Games in Niamey, Niger. He was sixth last year at the African Championships in Mauritius, and 4th at the All Africa Games this year in Algiers.

Ukraine takes women’s 200 and Triple Jump

In the women's race, Ukraine's Iryna Shtangyeyeva won easily in 22.95, ahead of Britain's Kadi-Ann Thomas (23.28-PB) and Belgium's Hanna Marien ( 23.48).

Shtangyeyeva's compatriot, Olha Saladuha, made a tremendous progress and she added 0.38m to her personal best to take the Triple Jump in 14.79m and move to the fourth place on the 2007 World Lists. Fourth at the 2006 European Championships in Gothenburg, the 24-year old came very close to Russian Tatyana Lebedeva's Games record, set in 2001, and sent a clear message about her medal ambitions in Osaka.

Slovakia's Dana Veldakova made up for a disappointing Long Jump final and finished second with a season's best of 14.41, ahead of Cuba's 2006 NACAC Under 23 champion Yarianna Martinez (14.25).

Kazakhstan enjoyed a successful day as Marina Aitova and Tatyana Azarova won the High Jump and 400m hurdles, respectively.

Petrus Koekemoer gave South Africa its first athletics gold here and the second for the continent on Monday as he dominated the 400m Hurdles in 49.06 to regain the WUG crown for the African nation. His compatriot Alwyn Myburgh won in a still standing Universiade record of 48.09 in 2001.

Koekemoer, 25, propelled Kurt Couto to improve his personal best from 50.04 to 49.12 and give Mozambique his first Universiade athletics medal ever. 2006 Iberoamerican champion Javier Culson ran 49.35 for bronze, the second WUG athletics medal for Puerto Rico ever and the first one in 20 years.

Two over 8000

A strongly contested Decathlon led the gold and silver medallists to break the 8000 point barrier: Jacob Minah of Germany and Hans Van Alphen of Belgium.

Leader after the first day (4340), 25-year-old Minah maintained a consistent performance in the first three events on Monday, including 4.80m in the Pole Vault, to total 8.099 and became the first German to win the WUG Decathlon in 20 years.

Fourth after the first day (4.121), Van Alphen finished strongly to finish second in 8047 while Carlos Eduardo Bezerra (7930) gave Brazil its third bronze medal here.

Semis and qualifiers

Apart from the finals, Algeria's Nabil Madi (1:47.34) and Yuliya Krevsun (2:00.71) led the 800m semifinals as Brazil's defending champion Fabiano Peçanha, who ran a PB of 1: 44.60 in the first round, also made it to the decisive race in 1:48.14.

Korea's Kim Deok Hyeon led the Triple Jump qualifiers with 16.71, followed by China's Wu Bo (16.66 ) and Belarus' Dzmitry Platnitski (16.62).

Russia continues to dominate the tally with five gold, three silver and three bronze medals, ahead of Kazakhstan (4-1-0) and Ukraine (3-6-3) as 44 countries have achieved at least one medal. The United States, one of the athletics powerhouses, did not send a team.

On the sixth and last day of athletics at the World University Games, the remaining 10 finals will be contested: men's 800m, 10.000m, Triple Jump, Shot Put, Hammer Throw and 20km walk, and women's 800m and Javelin Throw, as well as both 4x400m relay races.

Javier Clavelo Robinson for the IAAF

Top Results:


200m (-1.3)
1. Iryna Shtangyeyeva           UKR    22.95  
2. Kadi-Ann Thomas             GBR    23.28  
3. Hanna Marien                    BEL    23.48  
4. Galyna Tonkovyd UKR    23.75   
5. Sabina Veit                       SLO    23.77  
6. Jutamas Tawoncharoen THA      23.88 

5000m Final
1. Jessica Augusto               POR     15:28.78  UR 
2. Tetyana Holovchenko       UKR    15:40.56  
3. Elizaveta Grechishnikova RUS 15:50.58  
4. Ryoko Kizaki                     JPN      15:58.19  
5. Kazue Kojima                    JPN      16:04.55  
6. Sonja Stolic                       SRB     16:08.91  

400m Hurdles
1. Tatyana Azarova               KAZ     55.52  
2. Anastasiya Rabchenyuk  UKR  55.98  
3. Jonna Tilgner                     GER     56.27 
4. Ranta Ilona                         FIN       56.48 
5. Julia Mulyukova                 RUS     56.79  
6. Ozge Gurler                       TUR     57.11  

High Jump
1. Marina Aitova                    KAZ    1.92  
2. Ariane Friedrich                GER     1.90
2. Anna Ustinova                   KAZ    1.90
4. Svetlana Shkolina             RUS    1.90
5  Viktoria Leks                     EST    1.85
6. Alexandra Shamsutdinova RUS 1.85

Triple Jump
1. Olga Saladukha                UKR     14.79
2. Dana Veldakova               SVK     14.41
3. Yarianna Martinez             CUB    14.25
4. Simona La Mantia            ITA      13.87
5. Oleksandra Stadnyuk       UKR    13.84
6. Patricia Sarrapio              ESP     13.81


200m (+0.2)
1. Amr Seowd                       EGY    20.74 
2. Leigh Julius                       RSA    20.96  
3. Tomoya Kamiyama          JPN     20.97  
4. Jan Schiller                        CZE    21.07  
5. Gavin Ramon Smellie      CAN    21.09   
6. Darren Chin                       GBR    21.11  

400m Hurdles
1. Petrus Koekemoer           RSA    49.06  
2. Kurt Couto                         MOZ    49.12 
3. Javier Culson                    PUR    49.35  
4. Ockert Cilliers                   RSA    49.36  
5. Eugeni Meleshenko          KAZ    49.86  
6  Vladimir Antmanis            RUS    50.48  

3000m Steeplechase
1. Halil Akkas                        TUR  8:20.83   UR
2. Barnabas Kirui                  KEN  8:22.67   
3. Ion Luchianov                    MDA  8:23.83   
4. Steffen Uliczka                  GER  8:33.93   
5. Augustus Maiyo                KEN  8:35.13   
6. Tomasz Szymkowiak       POL  8:37.87   

1. Jacob Minah                      GER 8099 
(10.75, 7.87, 13.80, 1.92, 47.79/14.38, 42.38, 4.80, 52.66, 4:41.11)
2. Hans Van Alphen BEL 8047 
3. Carlos Eduardo Bezerra BRA 7920  
4. Oleksiy Kasyanov             UKR 7858   
5. Mikalai Shubianok            BLR 7721   
6. Alexei Chivas                    CUB 7685  

UR- World University Games Record