ASAFA Powell Takes First Crown: CWG 100m

Sydney Morning Herald
By Jacquelin Magnay :rolleyes:
March 21, 2006

COULD Asafa Powell have made his Commonwealth Games 100 metres victory look any easier? He led from the start, was briefly challenged mid-race by the eventual silver medallist :eek: Aziz Zakari of Ghana and then, quite incredibly, eased up over the line to clock a super-slick 10.03 seconds.

Any chance of the roaring crowd witnessing Melbourne’s first sub-10 race was denied, in part by the cool conditions, in part by the lack of competition to test the world record-holder.

Still, it was obvious just why the Jamaican son of a preacher is the man of the moment in athletics: his lightning start and smooth style makes it all look so rhythmic and matter of fact. He floated down the track while the rest were pumping their legs furiously.

“It is a really good feeling. I am happy I could do it for my country. I am really excited and I know the people in Jamaica are really excited,” he said.

When asked if it was as easy as it looked, he said simply: “Yes, it was.” He said he knew he had the title from the start.

Trinidad and Tobago runner Marc Burns snapped up the bronze. Australia’s sole finalist, Patrick Johnson, was still way off his 2003 time of 9.93, and this season’s best of 10.18 in Canberra, but wasn’t disgraced, coming sixth in a time of 10.26.

Powell, who was spotted by coach Simon Francis as a runner with potential in the heats of a school athletics carnival five years ago, had missed the world championships last year because of a groin injury but there was no sign of any impediment during his Games appearances.

There was some speculation he may get somewhere near his world-record time of 9.77, which he set in Athens last year, but the 16-degree temperature put paid to that. It was the slowest Commonwealth Games winning time since Edinburgh when Ben Johnson won.

Powell said he also missed the impetus of his training partner Michael Frater, the world silver medallist who was sensationally eliminated after breaking the start in his semi-final. English Olympic relay medallist Mark Lewis-Francis was also pulled from the field for breaking in the next attempted start.

“It just makes no sense, no sense,” said Lewis-Francis. “The first false start, that was ridiculous. I do think the rule should be changed. It was set 20 minutes, on your marks 20 minutes then go. I can’t work with that.”

Australians Josh Ross and Ambrose Ezenwa failed to make the final.


GOLD Asafa Powell (Jam)
SILVER Soji Fasuba (Ngr)
BRONZE Marc Burns (Tri)

GOLD Sheri-Ann Brooks (Jam)
SILVER Geraldine Pillay (RSA)
BRONZE Delphine Atangana (Cmr)

Jamaican rockets to title
Email Print Normal font Large font By Jacquelin Magnay
March 21, 2006


Jamacan’s Sheri-Ann Brooks last night
Photo: Wayne Taylor

JAMAICAN sprinter Sheri-Ann Brooks rocketed well clear of the rest of the field to dominate the women’s 100 metres final.

In a race that most commentators found difficult to predict, Brooks emerged as a new face to watch, having improved following a switch in training from Jamaica to the Florida International club.

Brooks, 23, slashed half a second off her previous best to draw well away from South African Geraldine Pillay and Cameroon’s Delphine Atangana and clock a superb 11.19 seconds.

Australia’s only finalist Sally McLellan was seventh in 11.50 and appeared slightly overawed by the big occasion and a bit slower than the personal best time she clocked in the semi-final of 11.36.

McLellan, 19, from the Gold Coast, took much heart from the race and said it was a great experience for her 100 metres hurdles event, which starts Thursday.

Asafa survives drama to cruise


March 21, 2006

ASAFA Powell’s manager said on Sunday the Jamaican planned to “put on a show” in last night’s Commonwealth Games track 100m.

It was an understatement, for the champion sprinter didn’t stop at a mere “show”, he provided a compelling drama.

Having survived a semi-final that nearly had him disqualified – he finished the race in lane five having started it in lane six – as well as enduring three false starts before it began, Powell stayed switched on in the final to win easily in 10.03sec.

The victory secured Powell his first major championship, having been outrun in the 2004 Athens Olympics final and missing last year’s world championships in Helsinki with a groin strain.

In the final last night, Nigeria’s Soji Fasuba (10.11sec) was second and Trinidad’s Marc Burns (10.17sec) third.

“This feels real good,” said world record holder Powell.

“I am really excited and I know the people in Jamaica will be excited and happy too.”

While Powell’s effort in the final was expertly clinical, in many ways, the events of the semi-final overshadowed it.

As Powell eased down in that event and began watching himself on the MCG’s big screen, he drifted outside his lane six and in to lane five.

While some track experts, including former English middle distance champion Steve Ovett, suggested there were significant grounds to disqualify Powell, event officials deemed his infringement irrelevant.

Powell finished the semi in the same time he recorded in the final 10.03sec – the quickest 100m run in Melbourne, bettering Maurice Greene’s 10.06sec at Olympic Park in 1999.

Greene holds the Australian all-comers record of 9.87sec, achieved in winning the gold medal at the 2000 Olympics.

Powell had to work hard in the final, which was run with a 0.9m tailwind, for the first 60m, but he knew he had the race in his keeping by that point and he ran to the line in controlled fashion.

Powell’s Jamaican teammate Michael Frater, silver medallist in the 100m at last year’s world championships, and England’s Mark Lewis-Francis, a gold medallist in Athens in the 4x100m relay, were sensationally disqualified from the semi-final for false starts.

Lewis-Francis was shattered by his mistake, which may have been contributed to by the starter holding the runners for an extended period.

“I am gutted, a bit shaken, I was fully in the zone then the false start got to me and I know if I got to the final something could have happened,” Lewis-Francis said. “The rule doesn’t make any sense. I think it should be changed.”

Men’s 100m

GOLD: A Powell (JAM), SILVER: S Fasuba (NIG), BRONZE: M Burns (TRI)

Powell wins 100m

March 20, 2006

JAMAICA’S 100 metres world record holder Asafa Powell won the men’s 100 metres title tonight.

The 23-year-old timed 10.03 seconds to take his first major individual championship beating Nigeria’s Soji Fasuba while Marc Burns of Trinidad and Tobago took the bronze.

Powell became the first Jamaican since Don Quarrie in 1978 to win the 100m crown, though, he needed a large slice of luck to do so.

Powell had come close to being disqualified in the semi-final when he ran into the lane of another athlete but was allowed into the final because the runner did not protest and he was believed not to have impeded him.

However there was no such problem in the final itself as he ran straight as a die to dispel notions that he did not have the big race mentality after a succession of failures in the finals.

He did, though, have to fight for the title as he was way down on Fasuba for over half the race before he let go and from then on the Nigerian was consigned to silver.

Burns, who had won his semi-final, battled hard to overcome the 2002 silver medallist Uchenna Emedolu to just take the bronze.

Australia’s Patrick Johnson came sixth in a time of 10.26.

Men’s 100m final

  1. Asafa Powell (JAM) 10.03

  2. Soji Fasuba (NGR) 10.11

  3. Marc Burns (TRI) 10.17

  4. Uchenna Emedolu (NGR) 10.22

  5. Aziz Zakari (GHA) 10.22

  6. Patrick Johnson (AUS) 10.26

  7. Anson Henry (CAN) 10.28

  8. Marlon Devonish (ENG) 10.30

Brooks wins women’s 100m

March 20, 2006

JAMAICA’S Sherri-Ann Brooks emulated her idol Merlene Ottey as she won the women’s 100 metres title.

The 23-year-old ran a personal best of 11.19 seconds to see off Geraldine Pillay of South Africa while Delphine Atangana of Cameroon took the bronze.

Brooks was always in command and led the field from start to finish to record her first major success, punching the air in delight as she crossed the line.

She still has a way to go to live up to Ottey’s reputation, who collected two Commonwealth 100m titles among the many other medals the Jamaican legend accrued in her career.

Australia’s Sally McLellan came seventh in a time of 11.50.

Women’s 100m final

  1. Sheri Ann Brooks (JAM) 11.19

  2. Geraldine Pillay (RSA) 11.31

  3. Delphine Atangana (CMR) 11.39

  4. Laura Turner (ENG) 11.46

  5. Tahesia Harrigan (IVB) 11.48

  6. Erica Broomfield (CAN) 11.49

  7. Sally McLellan (AUS) 11.50

  8. Emma Ania (ENG) 11.51

March 21, 2006

ASAFA Powell made winning his first major 100m title look so easy at the Commonwealth Games last night, it was almost disappointing.

The world record holder ensured a Jamaica double in the event when he strolled home in 10.03sec, teammate Sheri-Ann Brooks having earlier won the women’s race in a personal best time of 11.19sec.

But it was Powell last night’s 79,000 had come to see. His semi-final run - clocked at he the same time as his final as it turned out - had promised so much, but Powell didn’t seem interested in putting on a show when it came to the crunch.

His laid back win was met with a mild groan of disappointment inside the Melbourne Cricket Ground as the clock ticked past 10 seconds.

Silver went to Nigeria’s Soji Fasuba in 10.11sec, while Trinidad and Tobago bullet Marc Burns took the bronze in 10.17sec.

Australia’s sporting public likes to see the best put in, but this crowd had every right to feel it had been short-changed.

So many had hoped for a sub-10-second time, and had Powell even remotely exerted himself, he would have dipped well under that mark, probably somewhere in the 9.8s.

But his over-confidence is his charm, and his ability remains without question. In this form, he will surely break his own world record when the European summer season comes around. He is taking it so easy, it’s laughable enough to be excused.

“It’s my first competition of the year,” he said afterwards.

“Further on in the season, I’ll try (to break world record).”
But it was abundantly clear last night and the heats before it have been nothing more than a warm-up for Powell, who has a big summer on the European circuit ahead.

“Actually, I wanted to get (the final) over with,” he admitted.

Australia’s Patrick Johnson was sixth in 10.26sec, perhaps slowed by the Australian flag he had stuck to his right cheek.

Joshua Ross, the national champion, had failed to make the final, finishing an agonising fifth in his heat and missing the crucial fourth spot in the race out by less than 0.01sec.

In the women’s race, Powell’s teammate Brooks, was far more ebullient about her efforts.

“Its my first Commonwealth Games. I can’t believe it,” she said after powering home for the gold in 11.19sec, a new personal best.

"It’s just amazing. I’m just happy with the result. I got a really, really good start and then I stumbled a bit.

“It was a really good race and I’m happy with it.”

In fact it was Australia’s Sally McLellan who had got the best start of the finalists, recording a slick reaction time of 0.156sec to put her in front a split second from the gun.

But she was run over almost immediately, and finished back in seventh in 11.50sec.

Silver went to the fastest qualifier of the night, Geraldine Pillay of South Africa in a time of 11.31sec, while Cameroon’s Delphine Atangana took the bronze in 11.39sec. While the feud with Jana Pittman is over for the night’s other big star, Tamsyn Lewis, so too is her 400m campaign. She failed to negotiate her semi-final last night, finishing fourth in the third qualifier as she tired badly for a time of 52.88sec.

World champion Tonique Williams was way ahead for second place in 50.97sec, while England’s Christine Ohuruogu, fourth at the Athens Olympics but failing to make last year’s world championship final, won the race in 50.87sec.

Lewis pinpointed her failure immediately after the race as going too fast too soon.

“I’m just hurting. I went out hard. Too hard, I think,” she said.

“I gave it everything out there. I had nothing left to give. I put myself in a position to win but the other girls were too good.”

In the two other semi-finals, the other girls proved too good for Australia, too.

Teenager Jaimee Hoebergen, a world junior bronze medal winner three years ago from Wollongong in New South Wales, finished sixth in her race clocking 53.26sec.

It was a disappointing run considering she has been well under 53 seconds in the past, most recently while racing in November last year. Rosemary Hayward, at least, snuck into the final as a fastest loser.

The tall 25 year old from the New South Wales Central coast will run the final tonight, the last race on the athletics program at the MCG for day six of the Games.


After all our posting, KitKat, only to see this? :smiley:

PS only kidding…

Shows that haft the stuff is written in advance to meet deadlines, to be fleshed out after the race if the writer hasn’t fallen too far into his cups to “clean up” his copy.

The writer was a SHE as it happens, but it’s really an inexcusable mistake. And it’s in the first sentence of her report in the very self-important Sydney Boring Herald :rolleyes:


79,000 witness Powell saunter to 100m gold - Commonwealth Games, Day Two
Monday 20 March 2006

Melbourne, Australia - Jamaicans proved their sprinting prowess on the second day of the athletics programme at the 18th Commonwealth Games being held at Melbourne Cricket Ground, taking both the men’s and women’s 100m titles through World record holder Asafa Powell and Sheri-Ann Brooks.

Victory with ease

Asafa Powell (JAM) after his 100m win - Melbourne
(Getty Images)

Powell won the men’s final with ease, clocking 10.03. But surely he would have broken 10 seconds if he hadn’t pulled back on the throttle in the last 10 metres with the gold already in his grasp.

Impressive as Powell was, you could sense the disappointment among the 79,000 spectators. The Jamaican had strolled through his semi effortlessly in the same time and something really special seemed to be on the cards in the final.

The silver went to Nigeria’s Soji Fasuba :slight_smile: in 10.11, just two hundredths outside his personal best, while Trinidad and Tobago’s Marc Burns claimed the bronze in 10.17.

Sheri-Ann Brooks (JAM) - assured women’s winner of the 100m - Melbourne
(Getty Images)

Fasuba was out of the blocks the quickest, but Powell¹s pick-up was superb and he led the race after 40 metres. Fasuba tried to stay with him but Powell had power to spare. Burns suffered from a poor start and left himself too much to do.

“My start let me down but I can’t complain,” said Burns. “It’s a medal.”

One of the favourites, World silver medallist Michael Frater, ruled himself out of the final when he was disqualified for false starting in his semi-final. England’s Mark Lewis-Francis soon followed him into the sin bin, while the first false starter, Australia’s Patrick Johnson, then qualified in third place.

Augustine Choge triumphant over 5000m - Melbourne
(Getty Images)

Not that any of them would have challenged Powell.

Personal best smashed

Brooks was almost as dominant in the women’s race. She smashed her personal best to take the gold in 11.19. The Jamaican’s previous best was 11.24, but she was the class of the field, and won with daylight to spare over silver medallist Geraldine Pillay of South Africa who clocked 11.31. The bronze went to fast-starting Delphine Atangana of Cameroon in 11.39.

Jane and Natalie Saville after the 20km Race Walk - Melbourne
(Getty Images)

Pillay had been the fastest qualifier from the three semis earlier in the evening with 11.32, three hundredths quicker than Brooks. But the Jamaican clearly had something in reserve.

Choge holds off Mottram

The race of the night was the highly anticipated men’s 5000m final, billed as a clash between World champion Benjamin Limo of Kenya and Australia’s pin-up boy of distance running Craig Mottram.

Nathan Deakes (AUS) celebrates his 20km Race Walk win - Melbourne
(Getty Images)

It didn’t turn out quite like that. Mottram beat Limo all right but another Kenyan, Augustine Choge, clung to the Australian’s heels over the last two laps and was too good in the sprint for home. He took the gold in 12:56.41, smashing the Games record by more than 17 seconds.

Mottram had the huge crowd on their feet as he fought of all but one of the Africans. But even the roar of nearly 80,000 Aussies couldn’t drive him past the Kenyan. He took the silver in 12:58.19, while Limo came home third in 13:05.30.

“I’m a bit disappointed,” said Mottram. “I wanted to win, but that’s the nature of running. You win some, you lose some. I am happy I ran under 13 minutes. I didn’t think I would be able to do that in Australia.”

Brooke Krueger (AUS) - Hammer Throw winner - Melbourne
(Getty Images)

It was a spectacular race, controlled until the last kilometre by a trio of Kenyans, Choge, Limo and Joseph Ebuya. The kilometre split times were 2:39.54, 5:14.60, 7:53.86 and 10:29.80.

Mottram sat patiently in fourth until just before the 4k mark when he made his move, injecting enough pace to drop Limo and Ebuya. But he couldn’t shake Choge who attacked with 250m to go and opened a gap that grew to 15 metres by the finish.

Perhaps the crowd’s deafening noise even worked to the Kenyan’s advantage.

“I don’t know how to describe myself I’m so happy,” said Choge. “When I heard the crowd cheering I felt them pushing me, and I thank them.”

Race walking medal fest for the hosts

The host nation may not have won that one, but they dominated the first two athletics events of the day, sweeping the medals in both the men’s and women’s 20km Race Walks.

Jane Saville exacted some revenge for being disqualified within sight of the finish line at the Sydney Olympic Games five and half years ago by obliterating the field in the walk this morning. The Australian won her third Commonwealth Games title in a row and led a trio of Australians across the line.

It was a family affair for Saville, who smashed her own Games record in 1:32:46, as her sister Natalie took the silver in 1:33:33. Cheryl Webb claimed the bronze in 1:36:03.

“It means a lot to me, especially to do it at home in Australia,” said Saville who led virtually the entire race. “I was never sure I’d won. You know what race walks are like, you haven¹t won until you’ve crossed the line.”

Three hours later Nathan Deakes led from the front to turn the men’s race into a virtual carbon copy of the women’s. Deakes also retained his title and, like Saville, he too smashed his own Games record with a time of 1:19:55.

The silver went to Adam Luke in 1:21:38 and the bronze to 21-year-old local lad Jared Tallent in 1:23:32. All three beat Deakes’ old Games record, with Deakes himself beating his old mark by five minutes 40 seconds.

“I’m a Melbournian at heart and we couldn’t have scripted it better,” said Deakes. “An Aussie trifecta in the women¹s and men¹s, and obviously me getting the gold.”

Aussie’s hammer home success

Mottram’s defeat apart, it was a fantastic day for Australia. Even the women’s Hammer Throw went to the host nation. Brooke Krueger took gold with a Games record of 67.90m, ahead of Canada’s Jenny Joyce. Joyce had set a new Games record herself at 67.29 only minutes before but had to watch as it was eclipsed by the Australian in the fourth round.

”I wasn’t expecting to throw so far so early,” said Krueger, a primary school teacher, afterwards. ‘It’s bloody amazing with the home crowd. I never knew it would be so amazing. It¹s a dream come true.’

Defending champion, and previous Games record holder, Lorraine Shaw of England had to be satisfied with the bronze in her last ever competition. Shaw threw a season’s of 66.00 despite suffering from an inflamed disc for the last six months.

A poor standard men’s Shot Put competition was won by South Africa’s Janus Robberts. None of the competitors could get beyond 20 metres, and Robberts won by one centimetre with 19.76 from Jamaica’s Dorian Scott. Australia’s Martin Scott took the bronze with 19.48.

Macey comeback

England’s Dean Macey leads the Decathlon after the first day by 187 points from Australia’s Jason Dudley with pre-Games favourite Maurice Smith of Jamaica in third. Macey started tentatively in the 100m and Long Jump, but produced a personal best of 15.83m in the shot put, pushing him into first place.

“It took bloody four years but what a time to do it,” said Macey, who injured his hamstring just two weeks before the 2002 Games in Manchester, and thought he’d done the same thing just before boarding the plane to Melbourne.”

Last week Macey credited his team medical staff with getting him to the start line in one piece. “The old dog has still got his tricks,” he said. “I should have been a boxer after the Shot Put, I’m so full of adrenaline.”

He went on to jump 2.08 in the High Jump, extending his lead to 184 points, with a four-event total of 3423. The former World Championships medallist then ran a gutsy 49.63 in the 400m to take a healthy lead into the second day.

“I’m chuffed,” said Macey. “I’m in the premium position with just a few boys breathing down my neck. I’m in a pretty good position tonight compared to where I thought I would be,” he added. “But today was hard. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I normally would.”

The heats…

World and Olympic champion Tonique Williams Darling got a shock in the women’s 400m semi-finals when England’s Christine Ohuruogu overhauled her in the home straight to clock the fastest time of the round, 50.87. Williams may not have been firing on all cylinders, but she wasn’t far off, running 50.97.

Grenada’s double World Indoor champion Alleyne Francique qualified fastest from this morning’s men’s 400m heats, running a season’s best 45.60. And Wales’ Hayley Tullett was quickest in the women’s 1500m heats.

Matthew Brown for the IAAF