The 2013-2016 IAAF Strategic Plan has six Core Values: universality, leadership, unity, excellence, integrity and solidarity, and a Vision Statement: “To lead, govern and develop the sport of athletics in all its forms worldwide, uniting the Athletics Family in a spirit of excellence, integrity and solidarity.”
Newcastle, UKBritain’s athletes produced some of the best performances of the Great North City Games with Dwain Chambers taking the 100m in 10.04, Chris Tomlinson winning the Long Jump with an event record of 8.18m and Anyika Onuora clocking 16.70 for the 150m. But it was team USA that won the match versus Great Britain with a convincing score of 6-3. Each winner of the nine disciplines collected one point.
The Americans, who repeated their win from last year, had their best results from Wallace Spearmon (150m in 15.13), Jason Richardson (110m Hurdles in 13.41) and Jeneba Tarmoh (100m in 11.17).
In warm and dry weather conditions with plenty of sunshine around 20,000 spectators watched the events staged on both sides of the river Tyne in Newcastle and Gateshead.
Men’s events: Brewer chases Lagat to the line
It was Chambers, who collected the first point for Great Britain.
“The score was 0:4 so I had to do something,” Chambers said. “I got the first point and we were crawling behind.” It was Darvis Patton who had the best start in the 100m but the Briton caught up in the middle of the race and then moved ahead, holding on to a lead of around one metre. Chambers ran 10.04 seconds (+ 1.0 wind), followed by James Dasaolu (Great Britain/10.15) and Patton (10.16).
There was bad luck in the 150 metres for Ryan Bailey. The American burst out of the blocks and looked to go for a very fast time when he pulled up and dropped out injured. It was then Briton Marlon Devonish who was in the lead and almost looked like the winner. But with a tremendous finish Spearmon burst past him, taking victory with 15.13 from Devonish (15.20) and Christian Malcolm (Great Britain/15.50).
The Americans scored another good victory on the track with Richardson’s 110m Hurdles win in 13.41 (+1.2 wind) from Ryan Wilson (USA/13.48) and Lawrence Clarke (Great Britain/13.57), who was leading for the first couple of hurdles.
In the mile race Britain’s James Brewer surprisingly gave Bernard Lagat a much tougher race than expected. The 24-year-old chased the former World Champion right to the line, clocking 4:01.81 a step behind Lagat (4:01.62).
In the Long Jump, which took place on the Newcastle side of the river, it was Tomlinson who showed a great jump in the third of the four rounds. Improving Greg Rutherford’s event record by one centimetre he achieved 8.18m. It was the only jump beyond the eight-metre mark in the competition, in which Britain’s Olympic champion Rutherford took second with 7.89m. The Olympic Tripe Jump champion Christian Taylor (USA) was third with 7.74m while Will Claye (USA) took fourth (7.60).
Women’s events: Onuora with British 150m record
It was all Jeneba Tarmoh in the 100m. The 22-year-old American burst out of the blocks and there was never any doubt who would be the winner. Clocking 11.17 (+ 0.6 wind) she was well ahead of Miki Barber (USA/11.37) and Britain’s Anyika Onuora (11.31). Tarmoh, who had run in the first round of the women’s 4x100m in London and got a gold medal for the team’s later win in the final, was not far away from her PB of 11.07. “This is a great meeting,” said Tarmoh. “And it was nice to come here as an Olympic champion with the relay. It was a perfect race for me. Now it is time to rest until next year.”
For Onuora there was another event to come: In the final third of the 150m race she surged ahead, overtaking Shayla Mahan for a British record of 16.70. She improved her own mark of 16.90 set here at Tyneside a year ago. Mahan finished second in 16.99 while Miki Barber (USA/17.02) was third.
Partly due to the course, which led over two bridges and had some ups and downs, times in the mile races were not that fast. But the women’s one mile race was a great one to watch. It was Jenny Simpson (USA) who had a lead of around 20 metres in the middle part. But then she started to fade and the field caught her in the final third. Great Britain’s Julia Bleasdale and Hannah England set the pace at the front of the group. It was then England who surged ahead and looked like the winner, but surprisingly Brenda Martinez (USA) came through and caught her on the final 50 metres. Martinez clocked 4:34.99 while England followed with 4:35.56 and Anna Pierce (USA/4:36.44) was third. The Pole Vault went to the Americans as well: Mary Saxer won with 4.25m.
Farah ends season on a high
Mo Farah ended his sensational season on a high, winning the 2 Mile race in 8:40.0. The event was an invitational race, which did not count for the Great Britain versus USA match.
“I really had to work for this. The first mile was pretty fast,” said Farah, who had to cover an attack from Australia’s Collis Birmingham at around half way. He stuck behind Birmingham with the field 20 metres behind. About 500 metres from the finish Farah attacked and opened a small gap on the Australian, who kept the pressure on the British double Olympic gold medal winner. It was only on the final 150 metres run on the track when there was no more danger for Farah.
Behind him Bobby Curtis (USA) snatched second with 8:42.8 from Birmingham (8:43.0). “The Olympics are done, this one was to enjoy. I will now have a two week break,” Farah said.