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Track & Field (366)

Monday, 07 August 2017 15:06

2017 London WC Diary: Learning from 1,500m rounds

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BY STUART WEIR
 
It was only the heats of the women's 1500 metres but the three races were compelling watching as we sought to glean pointers towards the destination of the medals. Of course tonight was just about securing a place in Saturday's semi-final ahead of Monday's final.
 
With six automatic qualifying places available in each race plus a further six on time, it was fascinating to see how the big guns approached the task.
 
The first heat was won by Genzebe Dibaba in a time of 4:02.67. One of the big questions was how would Caster Semenya fare in the 1500m? She was anonymous for much of the race before making a move with 200 to go to finish second in 4:02.84. Britain's Jess Judd qualified with a PR of 4:03.73 but she achieved it in a strange way. She led the race from start to almost finish but was overtaken by a group of fast finishers to take sixth place.
By Dave Hunter (Aug. 6, 2017, London)
It is difficult to believe that just two years ago, Aires Merritt - the then-reigning Olympic champion and world record holder in the 110 meter hurdles - was, in essence, fighting for his life. Arriving in Beijing to compete in the 2015 IAAF world championships, the American hurdler at last went public with the news release that he had been battling chronic kidney dysfunction and would be speeding back to the States after the Worlds competition to receive a kidney transplant from his sister Latoya Hubbard. Somehow, someway, Merritt - suffering from collapsing focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and competing with a dangerously low level of kidney function - found a way to string together 3 consecutive seasonal bests, including a clean 13.03 in the final, to capture the bronze. After the final, a beaming and somewhat incredulous Merritt proclaimed to the media, "This medal will shine brighter than my Olympic gold medal."
FROM ALFONS JUCK
 
2017 IAAF WORLD ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
 
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Omar McLeod: "I am always confident. It is a privilege - I am getting better and better. I am not limiting myself, so if it [the world record] happens it happens. I have heard that I might run in the 4x100m relay. Let's see what happens, hopefully I will be selected."
Tori Bowie: "“The dive doesn’t feel too good now. But that has saved me at championships in the past. I never give up until I’m over the line.”
 
RESULT OF THE DAY
Stefanidi 491 World lead in pole vault after one not succesful attempt at 489. Also Greek record.
 
SURPRISE OF THE DAY
Elaine Thompson (5th) not winning a medal, first time since 2003 Jamaica no medal in 100m women. Ryan Crouser (6th) first loss since September 2016 and no medal in shot put.
 
MEDALS (20 countries, +11)
USA 2-4-2, ETH 1-2-0, KEN 1-1-2, RSA 1-0-1, BEL, BRN, GRE, GBR, NZL, LTU 1-0-0
 
POINTS (31 countries +14)
USA 65, KEN 54, ETH 33, GBR 22, JAM 21, RSA and NED 18
 
AGENT RANKINGS (by individual gold medals)
Ricky Simms 2, Jos Hermens 2, Lee-Roy Newton, Valentina Fedyushina, Karen Locke, Andy Stubbs, Helena Van der Plaetsen, Kimberly Holland, Marc Corstjens
 
BEIJING 2015 WINNERS (1-5)
yes (1): Farah (10k)
no (1): Bolt (100), Malachowski, Kovacs, Silva, M. Dibaba
 
RIO 2016 WINNERS (4-4)
yes (1): Farah (10k), Ayana (10k), Thiam, Stefanidi
no (1): Henderson, Bolt (100), Thompson (100), Crouser
 
WORLD LEADS (3)
Farah 10k, Ayana 10k, Stefanidi PV
 
 
 
OTHER NEWS
 
LONDON (GBR): Steven Gardiner posted huge 43.89 in men 400 m semifinal what is Bahamas national record. And fourth best in the World 2017. And best ever non final result at World Champs. LaShawn Merritt was out clearly, Matthew Hudson-Smith also but with EL 44.74.
 
LONDON (GBR): Nafi Thiam and Ekaterini Stefanidi as Rio gold medalists, won also golds in London.
 
LONDON (GBR): Anouk Vetter scored a Dutch record of 6636 in heptathlon, the best ever mark for bronze at the World Championships.
 
LONDON (GBR): For the first time ever the IAAF World Championships marathons were held on the same day in back-to-back fashion, with the men running in the morning and the women in the afternoon.  The results were also historic.  Kenya's Geoffrey Kirui (his 4th marathon ever) became the first man ever to win the Boston Marathon and World Championships marathon in the same year, clocking 2:08:27 here and claiming his first world title.  On the women's side Rose Chelimo became the first woman from Bahrain to win a world marathon title, stopping the clock at 2:27:11 after a compelling late-race battle with Kenya's Edna Kiplagat. Silver medalist Tola needed medical attention immediately following the race, said he was sick and also had an Achilles injury. From RRW.
 
LONDON (GBR): Briton Callum Hawkins said that the cheers of the crowd in the final kilometers were so loud that he couldn't even hear his footfalls, finished fourth in a personal best 2:10:17.  It was a bittersweet result for the Scotsman, who had finished tenth in the Rio Olympic Marathon last summer.  It would have been a dream come true to win a medal on British soil. "I don't know if there's much I can actually say about it without ruining the interview," Hawkins said.  "It was tough.  It was crazy." From RRW.
 
LONDON (GBR): Reigning world champion, Mare Dibaba of Ethiopia, finished eighth in 2:28:49.  She limped badly as she made her way through the mixed zone, holding the back of her right leg." Best European was Charlotte Purdue as 13th in 2:29:48. From Britain as in the men competition.
 
LONDON (GBR): Estonian European medalist Rasmus Magi did not compete in the 400 m hurdles heats due to hamstring injury not healed 100%. He still hopes to compete later in the season.
 
LONDON (GBR): The sun is shining in London once more, with Jess Trengove of Australia crossing a stunning ninth place in the women’s marathon on day three of the 2017 IAAF World Championships. Stopping the clock at 2:28:59, the fastest ever by an Australian woman at the world titles, the performance is also the best ever female placing. She joins Rob de Castella and Steve Moneghetti as one of three green and gold athletes to finish among the top-ten at the IAAF World Championships.
 
LONDON (GBR): Some important names not qualifying, for example in 400 m hurdles heats McMaster because of lane violation, Culson and Stigler, in women 400 m US Kendal Ellis, in steeple 2008 Olympic winner Brimin Kipruto, in hurdles heats Jamaican Levy injured, in semis out for Pozzi and US duo Allen and Harris. Kenyan WL holder Emmanuel Korir out in 800 m semifinals.
 
LONDON (GBR): Top result in women javelin qualification was a new Asian record by Liu Huihui with 67.59. Cuban Yargelis Rodriguez with 6594 in heptathlon got CAC record.
 
LONDON (GBR): A streaker who sprinted down the home straight shortly before the 100 metres men final has been released without being charged, insidethegames has been told. The long-haired man managed to leap on the track moments before participants including Usain Bolt and eventual winner Justin Gatlin entered the stadium for the blue ribbon event. He had the words "Peace and Love" written on his chest and "For Mum" on his back.
 
LONDON (GBR): Czech team was considering protest after a video on twitter suggested Tomas Stanek´s best effort of 21.41 was wrongly measured. But an explanation about not fully correct position of camera gave the explanation that everything was all-right and no protest was filed.
 
 
 
SAD NEWS
 
MELBOURNE (AUS): Athletics Australia is saddened to confirm the passing of Olympic legend, Betty Cuthbert, after a long battle with multiple sclerosis. An icon of athletics in Australia and around the world, Betty shot to fame at the Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games, winning gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay.
 
 
CORRECTION
 
LONDON (GBR): Thiam and Rodriguez HJ result was 195.
JURY OF APPEAL DECISIONS
6 August 2017
 
Event: 3000m SC Round 1, Heat 2
 
A protest was presented by the Moroccan team following the 3000m Steeplechase Men,, Round 1, Heat 2, claiming their athlete Hicham SIGUENI had been the victim of obstruction by Algerian athlete Hichem BOUCHICHA.
 
The Moroccan team requested that their athlete be advanced to the Final under Rule 163.2 (Obstruction).
 
The Jury of Appeal examined the video evidence and rejected the appeal.
 
RULE 163 (The Race)
 
Obstruction
 
2. If an athlete is jostled or obstructed during an event so as to impede his progress, then:
 
(a) if the jostling or obstruction is considered unintentional or is caused otherwise than by an athlete, the Referee may, if he is of the opinion that an athlete (or his team) was seriously affected, order that the race be re-held or allow the affected athlete (or team) to compete in a subsequent round of the event;
 
(b) if another athlete is found by the Referee to be responsible for the jostling or obstruction, such athlete (or his team) shall be liable to disqualification from that event. The Referee may, if he is of the opinion that an athlete (or his team) was seriously affected, order that the race be re-held excluding any disqualified athlete (or team) or allow any affected athlete (or team) (other than any disqualified athlete or team) to compete in a subsequent round of the event.
 
In both cases Rule 163.2(a) and (b), such athlete (or team) should normally have completed the event with bona fide effort.
 
****************************
 
Event: 110m Hurdles Round 1, Heat 5
 
A protest was presented by the Serbian team team following the 110m hurdles Round 1, Heat 5, where their athlete Milan RISTIC was disqualified under Rule 168.7(b) (Deliberately knocking down a hurdle)
 
The Serbian team claimed their athlete had knocked down the hurdles after being destabilised by the athlete in the adjacent lane, Authorised Neutral Athlete Sergei SHUBENKOV.
 
The Jury of Appeal examined multiple video evidence, and deliberated that the Serbian athlete's loss of balance, in their opinion, was not related to any contact which may have happened earlier in the race.
 
The Jury of Appeal rejected the appeal.
 
 
 
RULE 168 Hurdle Races
 
7. each athlete shall jump each hurdle. Failure to do so will result in a
 
disqualification.
 
in addition, an athlete shall be disqualified, if:
 
(a) his foot or leg is, at the instant of clearance, beside the hurdle
 
(on either side), below the horizontal plane of the top of any
 
hurdle; or
 
(b) in the opinion
 
IAAF
Aug. 4, 2017, London
By Dave Hunter
 
On opening night of the 2017 IAAF World Athletics Championships, the rabid British track & field fans - and indeed most of the capacity crowd that packed London's Olympic Stadium - got their wish as the incomparable Mo Farah fended off a multi-national assault by a squad of African athletes and utilized a blistering finish to win his third straight world championship 10,000 meter crown.
 
After a tantalizing undercard which included the Bolt-featured opening rounds of the men's 100 meters, the restless audience was sufficiently amped for the only final of Day One, the night's closer: the men's 10,000 meter final. As the 24 distance warriors were led out onto the track behind juvenile standard bearers, the athletes walked with determination up the homestretch. All except one. Farah - who has never lost in this stadium - joyfully skipped into lane three. Almost giddy, the two-time defending champion waved his arms to exhort on his legion of adoring followers as he danced to the starting line. One thing was clear: he was ready to roll.
 
As the runners towed the line, many observers reflected on the dominant question: Would Farah's opponents allow the pace to linger, desperately clinging to an ill-advised championship strategy that had never led to a Farah defeat? Or would one or a group of his adversaries be bold enough to employ a different upbeat tactic, one inclined to push the Brit out of his comfort zone.
 
Shortly after the crack of the starting pistol, the answer was clear. It was so on. The Africans charged to the front with Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei splitting the opening 400 in 61. The crowd roared. This was going to be a bona fide, no-holds barred, 25 lap blood bath. Joining the Ugandan up front were Ethiopia's Adamlak Belihu and Kenya's Geoffrey Kamworor, a long-time Farah nemesis. After an opening kilo in 2:39, the 5-time world championship gold medalist was nestled into 15th place, unfazed by the brisk early race tempo. The tri-national combine soldiered on, passing 2K in 5:25 and 3K in 8:09. As laps rolled by, it was clear that the Ethiopian athletes were the backbone of this African continent assault as Abadi Hadis and countryman Jemal Yimer joined the front-packers pushing the pace.
 
Approaching 4 kilometers, Farah gently revved the engine, easily moving from the back of the pack to join the leaders while the partisan onlookers roared their approval. A 61 second pick-up just before halfway softened up the field and strung out the racers as they sped past 5 kilos in 13:33.
 
At 6K - passed in 16:17 - the lead pack had been reduced to 15. The African combine knew they had to press on. With 8 laps remaining, Cheptegei unleashed another body blow: a 65 second circuit with another 63 second lap that followed. With 1200 meters remaining - the African plan was unshaken: Hadis was flying in the lead with Kamworor in 2nd and Paul Tanui in 3rd . Covering those moves, but still in 6th, Farah was dialed in and appeared prepared for what he knew would be a furious finish.
 
Mo Farah winning 10,000m, photo by PhotoRun.net
Coming up on 2 laps remaining, Farah - knowing it was time to go - moved up into the lead. Controlling the race now from up front, Farah took the bell followed closely by Cheptegei, Tanui, and Kenya's Bedan Muchiri - 4 superb athletes fighting for 3 medals. As the bunched quartet approached the top of the backstretch, the crowd gasped as Farah was soundly clipped from behind, nearly falling. Only Farah's ballet-like balance prevented another Rio-like fall. The tussle seemed to energize the defending champion as he sped down the backstretch. Now in full flight with fans hitting record decibel levels, Farah took one quick backward glance in the homestretch to affirm he was safe. A final stumble-filled circuit in 56 seconds sent Farah across the line in 26:49.53 for the hard-fought victory. With a final 2000 meters in a punishing 5:07, Farah rang up his fastest championship clocking and his second best 10K mark ever. While the bold African race strategy could not deny Farah his third consecutive world 10,000 meter title, the aggressive pace-setters who set up this electrifying race were rewarded as the 28-year old Cheptegei took silver [26:49.94] and Tanui [26:50.60] grabbed the bronze.
 
Later, in the press conference, the re-crowned champion - with an ice bag affixed to his left knee - was gracious with the media. "It was amazing tonight, I had to get my head around it," declared the victor. "I got a bit emotional at the start and then I just had to get in the zone." Farah dispelled any notion that the race was stress-free. "It wasn't an easy race though. It has been a long journey where I have worked very hard on long distance but also speed." Farah, whose global distance domination has spanned nearly a decade, cites his championship race experience as aiding him in his win. "I knew at 12 laps to go when they went hard from there it was going to be tough. It was about believing in my sprint finish and knowing that I have been in that position before. It helped a lot having that experience." Sir Mo did take time to summarize his view on the evening. "What a way to end my career in London. This was very special."
 
Before leaving to receive a little treatment on his tender knee and to begin preparing mentally for the defense of his 5000 meter title, the incomparable champion took a moment to address the love affair he shares with the British fans. "It makes me proud to be British. This crowd is amazing," he notes. Pressed to explain the secret to his unparalleled success in global championships, Farah is candid. "It's been hard. I guess I'm just mentally strong." It's also helpful if you just happen to be the greatest distance running track racer of all time.
Friday, 04 August 2017 17:26

EME NEWS (AUG 4, 2017) LONDON SPECIAL

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16th IAAF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS HEADLINES
Full Stadium (60 000) - Bolt´s farewell - During the week only evening sessions - Interesting doubles Van Niekerk, Miller-Uibo, Ayana, G. Dibaba, Farah - First time without official Russian team - Debut of women 50 km walk - Record number of entered athletes 2034 - 4000 volunteers - New event presentation elements - Medal ceremonies for athletes who will get it after doping discqualifications - All walking events on one day - 48 events for first time - Huge anti-doping operation via newly established Athletics Integrity Unit - In 11 events the title defender is not competing.
Thursday, 03 August 2017 14:58

Weekly Roundup form USATF (July 31, 2017)

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TEAM USATF WOMEN REIGN VICTORIOUS AT 2017 THORPE CUP
Dusseldorf, Germany-- Team USATF women reigned as the 2017 Thorpe Cup champion, an international track and field competition between USA and Germany in which male and female athletes compete in multi-events.
 
Seven women competed in the heptathlon, taking home the victory win over Team Deutschland for the second consecutive year. Team USATF totaled 17, 461 points compared to Germany’s 16,281. 
 
Team USATF swept the top five spots as Alex Gochenour (Missouri Valley, Iowa) won with a score of 5,898 points, followed by Allison Reaser (El Segundo, California) with 5,782 and Chari Hawkins (Rexburg, Idaho) in third with 5,781.
 
On the men’s side, Team USATF fell short of the prize, totaling 37,321 points in the decathlon to Germany’s 38,642. 
 
Top finishers for Team USATF were Scott Filip (Bloomingdale, Illinois), with a fourth place finish at 7,632 points, followed by Kurtis Brondyke (Clinton, Iowa) in fifth with 7,595, Daniel Golubovic (Los Angeles, California) in seventh with 7,432, Gabriel Moore (Freeport, Florida) in eighth with 7,370 and Tim Wunderlich (Westminster, Maryland) in tenth with 7,292 points. 
 
 
THREE TEAM, TWO INDIVIDUAL MEDALS HIGHLIGHT WORLD MOUNT RUNNING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Premana, Italy -- To say Team USATF had an amazing day on the rugged trails of Premana, Italy at the 33rd World Running Championships would be an understatement, as they finished the day earning a total of five medals. 
 
The day started with a bronze medal for USA’s Talon Hull, representing the junior men, who cranked out a time of 28:01 on the challenging 6.5-kilometer course, which boasted over 1800 vertical feet of climbing. For the junior women, Lauren Gregory added a second bronze to the medal collection with a time of 33:33, while also leading her squad to a silver medal. 
 
On the 13 kilometer course, the senior women took home team gold, with Allie McLaughlin (Nashville, Tennessee) finishing fifth with a time of 1:06:06, followed by Addie Bracy (Longmont, Colorado) in eighth with a time of 1:07:46, Kasie Enman (Huntington, Vermont) in 13th with a time of 1:09:11 and Caitlin Patterson (Craftsbury Common, Vermont) in 23rd with a time of 1:12:14.
 
Team USATF’s final medal came from the senior men with a bronze-medal podium finish. First across the line was Joseph Gray (Lakewood, Washington) with a fourth-place finish timed in 55:35. Patrick Smyth (Santa Fe, New Mexico) finished in eighth place with a time of 57:19, followed by Brett Hales (Layton, Utah) in 22nd with a time of 59:30, and Andy Wacker (Boulder, Colorado) in 30th place with a time of 1:00:52. 
 
For more information, check out the full event recap, final results and race day photos. 
 
Contributed by Nancy Hobbs, USATF MUT Chair
 
 
 
MARIA MICHTA-COFFEY HIGHLIGHTS USATF NATIONAL RACE WALKING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Manalapan, NJ -- Some of the nation’s elite race walkers competed in the annual 10k USATF National Race Walking Championship, a 25 lap event, held at Manalapan High School on Sunday.
 
Highlighting the event was Olympian Maria Michta-Coffey (Farmingville, New York) of Walk USA who dominated competition, crossing the finish line in 45:31.40, a full ten minutes ahead of second-place. The men’s victory came from Anthony J. Gruttadauro (Brockport, New York) of Shore AC who finished in 45:27.34. 
 
Shore AC swept the team competition for the men, while Walk USA took home team gold for the women. 
By Dave Hunter (July 30, 2017)
 
In the wide-sweeping mosaic of collegiate track & field, there definitely are recognized pockets of event excellence. When you think about high jump proficiency, you think of Cliff Rovelto's program at Kansas State. The 400 meters? Well, Baylor's Clyde Hart and his one-lap thoroughbreds led by Michael Johnson and Jeremy Wariner certainly come to mind. Top flight hurdling encourages many to reflect upon South Carolina's Curtis Frye and his prodigies Lashinda Demus and Terrence Trammell. And terrific sprinting and horizontal jumping immediately prompt thoughts of Florida's Mike "Mouse" Holloway and his legion of dash men and sky pilots at the University of Flight.
 
Well there may be a new university poised to join this fraternity of event excellence. The University of Akron - with 5 NCAA pole vault championships since 2014 - is making quite a name for itself in this vertical jump and is increasingly being recognized as an incubator of collegiate pole vault superiority. Canadian Olympian Shawn Barber kicked off the current streak when he captured the 2014 NCAA indoor vault crown. German athlete Annika Roloff followed suit for the Zips when she was victorious in the 2014 NCAA outdoor championship vault. Barber kept it rolling in 2015 - his storybook year - when he successfully defended his NCAA indoor title, captured its outdoor vault crown, and later won the world championship pole vault gold medal in Beijing.
INDIANAPOLIS -- The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has extended World Championships invitations to Olympic hammer throwers Kibwé Johnson and Rudy Winkler, as well as Team USATF rising stars Alex Young in the men’s hammer throw and Ariana Ince in the women’s javelin throw. All athletes have accepted and will compete in London early next month.
 
Johnson, who with the invitation has made his fourth IAAF World Championships team, is a two-time Olympian with a season’s best of 74.32m/243-10. Johnson is a two-time Pan American Games gold medalist and five-time USATF champion.
 
The 2016 Olympic Trials gold medalist in the men’s hammer throw, Winkler won the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Championships crown to become Cornell’s first NCAA throws champion. The 2016 and 2017 USTFCCCA Northeast Regional Men's Field Athlete of the Year, Winkler is a three-time First Team All-American and competed for Team USA at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where he finished 18th.
 
Young is a two-time USATF Champion in 2017, winning the men’s weight throw and men’s hammer throw at the USATF Indoor and Outdoor Championships this year. Young recently finished his collegiate eligibility at Southeastern Louisiana University and his personal best of 73.75m/241-11 came from USATF Outdoors in Sacramento this year.
 
Ince was the runner-up at the 2017 USATF Outdoor Championships and finished eighth at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in the women’s javelin. Ince is now a volunteer assistant coach at her alma mater, Rice University, and holds a personal best of 61.38m/201-4 from earlier this month.
 
Team USATF opens up competition on August 4 at Olympic Stadium in London. Fans can follow along with #TeamUSATF at #London2017 on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.
Friday, 28 July 2017 19:32

Spikes Skype Bot is launched

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SPIKES, the official Skype Bot for the world of international track and field athletics, is launched today to mark ‘One Week To Go’ to the start of the IAAF World Championships London 2017 (4-13 August).

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