Brussels: 14 Sept 07

Defar destroys World best in Brussels, Richards and Isinbayeva one step from $1 Million - IAAF Golden League
Friday 14 September 2007
Brussels, Belgium - Meseret Defar’s slicing up of her own World best for the Two Miles was the performance of the night at the King Baudouin Stadium at the 31st edition of the Memorial Van Damme - IAAF Golden League.

A sell-out crowd of 47,500 also witnessed the confident continuation of the US$ 1 Million Jackpot quests of Sanya Richards and Yelena Isinbayeva, who now have just one more meeting victory to accomplish to secure their IAAF Golden League prize.

Meseret Defar on her way to destroying the World best for Two Miles
(Getty Images)

Two Miles World Best

8:58.58 for the women’s Two Miles! A race seldom run, and not an official World record distance but a runner who takes over 11 seconds off the existing fastest time for any event very much deserves the standing ovation of the ferocity and noise which greeted Meseret Defar’s performance tonight. Alone for about 1300 metres of the race, the World and Olympic 5000m champion’s assault on her own World best for the distance (9:10.47 – Carson, USA 10 May 2007) was determined and totally committed. Appropriately in that regard her name in Amharic means ‘bold’.

If anyone in future tries to question the quality of Defar’s effort because this is an imperial distance then they should note she improved the world season lead for 3000m on the way (8:29.52 - Mariem Alaoui Selsouli, 25 July 2007) and her 8:24.81 split was also a national Ethiopian record. Defar now travels to London on Sunday to have a crack at her 5km World best on the road (14:46).

Defar kneels in Brussels next to the clock displaying her World best for Two Miles
(Getty Images)

Of note, Kenya’s Priscah Ngetich Jepleting brought home a national record in second (9:14.09) with another Kenyan in third spot, Silvia Kibet (9:16.62).

Task too great for solo Bekele

The other record bid was in the men’s 10,000m - in fact it had been the more heavily flagged of the two attempts prior to this meeting - and it ended without success. Yet a world season leading time by Kenenisa Bekele, the World record holder, OIympic champion and three-time World title winner at the distance can hardly be called a disappointment.

Asafa Powell dominates in Brussels
(Getty Images)

Bekele’s World record bid was scuppered because with only nine of the 25 laps run he found himself alone in pursuit of the 26:17.53 mark which he had set on this track two years ago. Surprisingly, Bekele despite winning in 26:46.18 was pursued to the line by Kenyan 21-year-old Moses Masai, who crossed in a 26:49.20 PB. Not a bad run for someone who set foot on the track tonight without a reputation and a best of just 27:03.20 (2006).

No one was more surprised than Masai – “When I was closing on Bekele, I got scared. I told myself, ‘What’s happening now? Bekele is running for a World record and I am running on his heels’. I didn’t expect to run a sub-27 race.”

US$ 1 Million comes ever closer

Five down, one to go - Sanya Richards in Brussels
(Getty Images)

Sanya Richards wasn’t leaving anything to chance. Just like her run a week ago in Zürich when she established her previous season’s fastest of 49.36secs, she was up on most of her colleagues immediately from the gun in the 400m. She blew everyone away and in the process also improved her week long world season’s best, with a 49.29 sprint of supreme elegance. ‘Everyone’ included the Osaka silver and bronze medallists respectively Britain’s Nicola Sanders (50.34) and Novolene Williams of Jamaica (50.66).

The World champion Christine Ohuruogu of Britain, heavily beaten by Richards a week ago and absent here, returns to challenge again in the finale on Sunday (16). However, it looks like the 2006 World Athlete of the Year is now unstoppable and at very least a share of the IAAF Golden League Jackpot of US$1 Million beckons for Richards.

“With my illness this year, recovery has been my biggest problem. This (racing in Berlin on Sunday) will be my biggest test after coming back after just one day,” confirmed Richards.

Kenenisa Bekele in Brussels
(Getty Images)

No scares this time

No technical worries this week for Yelena Isinbayeva, and a count-back victory on 4.80m was enough to keep the World Pole Vault record holder in the million dollar chase, though a season’s best by Svetlana Feofanova at that height, albeit on her third try as opposed to her fellow Russian’s first approach clearance, must leave Isinbayeva with some worries about her final competition in Berlin.

Feofanova, 27, as a former World champion and World record holder is a realistic threat to her two-year’s younger opponent who since 2004 has taken over her mantle by becoming World champion (twice), and an even more prolific World record breaker and an Olympic winner. In Isinbayeva’s present form – her World record attempts at 5.02 were not close – if Feofanova can climb back up to her PB level of 2004 which is 4.88, then Berlin may still witness a Jackpot upset.

Vlasic again - soaring 2.03 in Brussels
(Getty Images)

Vlasic a more realistic hope for a record

While Isinbayeva has been making all the right World record moves after each of her victories this season none have been very convincing. By contrast Croatia’s Blanka Vlasic seems to be on a more realistic approach to her particular record bar. The 2.09m World High Jump record of Bulgaria’s Stefka Kostadinova is now 20-years-old and ripe for picking, and in each of her competitions this summer the Croatian, who in Osaka took the World title, has exuded confidence in each attempt, and if she can sustain her prodigious levels of energy a week or so longer the record remains a credible target.

Vlasic has the reassurance that she is presently in a class of her own, whatever her opponents can do – Olympic High Jump champion Yelena Slesarenko put in a 2.01 leap today for second – she seems able to respond. Tonight that response was based on the secure foundations of a perfect scorecard through five heights up to and including her winning 2.03m.

Convincing victory for David Rudisha in Brussels
(Getty Images)

Fluent magic from Kallur and Powell

There is nothing like rubbing it in! After denying double World champion Michelle Perry the chance of joining Richards and Isinbayeva in the final Jackpot chase when beating her in Zürich, European champion Susanna Kallur of Sweden ran just 100th outside her personal best to take a 12.52 secs victory in the women’s 100m Hurdles. Whereas in all previous races this season Perry had been on equal racing terms with the technically fluent Swede, tonight she wasn’t seriously in the play for the victory at all, and eventually finished third (12.61) after losing out in a photo-finish on the same time with Jamaica’s Delloreen Ennis-London.

Fluent is also an apt description of the race of World 100m record holder Asafa Powell in which he set a 9.84 sec meeting record. It’s unfortunate now that the standard he has set himself (9.74 last Sunday) now makes even such a rapid sprint seem everyday. That’s not taking anything away from Powell who showed a manner of graceful acceleration from the mid-race point which was a joy to watch, but which was something so obviously lacking from his arsenal of talents when beaten by Tyson Gay in Osaka.

Daniel Kipchirchir Komen wins big in Brussels
(Getty Images)

Confident Campbell

Veronica Campbell has nothing to prove. Her Osaka campaign was a peach in comparison with Powell’s below-par bronze, with a title in the women’s 100m and a silver in the 200m, the distance at which she is Olympic champion. Tonight, in her first race since Japan, even the resurgent Christine Arron of France, who had somewhat made up for her own Osaka disappointment with a marvellous win in Zürich last week, was no match for the Jamaican. Campbell crossed in a confident looking 11.11 with Arron and former World champion Torri Edwards of USA finishing in 11.22, though split by the camera into second and third in that order.

The two 200m races this evening were also entertaining - the women’s division for the cacophony of noise which greeted local heroine Kim Gevaert’s 22.75 sec victory over Edwards - 22.01 - who was doubling, and the men’s for the 19.88 run of World bronze medallist Wallace Spearmon which defeated Zürich winner Xavier Carter and Osaka runner-up Usain Bolt. Both races were similarly secured with strongly run bends that opened-up an initial advantage on their opponents which was subsequently never narrowed enough to threaten either Gevaert or Spearmon in the latter part of their races.

Kim Geveart brings down the house in Brussels
(Getty Images)

Sub-8 for unlucky Koech

A solo run by the world’s only sub-8 mins steeplechaser of 2007 saw Paul Kipsiele Koech, who missed out on a place in the Kenyan squad for Osaka - which incidentally came home with a medal sweep - was enough to kill off the hopes of the Osaka World champion Brimin Kipruto, not that the latter ran bad (8:02.89 PB for second). Koech was the class act taking the race through 2000m in 5:21.24 and bringing home the win in 7:58.80 which was inside his season’s lead of 7:59.42. There was a PB also for the distant third placer Willy Komen (8:11.18).

What’s not likely to uplift the winner’s mood regarding missing the World champs is the fact that silver medallist and Olympic champion Ezekiel Kemboi was 12th tonight (8:36.11)…oh what might have been in Japan for Koech!

Considering only one man - a certain Kenenisa Bekele - had been below 13mins this summer, the men’s 5000m which finished with seven men below that barrier was by far and away the best quality race of the year. Yet none of the seven could better Bekele’s season best (12:49.53), though his Ethiopian compatriot Sileshi Sihine, the World 10,000m silver medallist behind him in Osaka, came close with a last straight dash taking him past Kenya’s World 5000m silver medallist Eliud Kipchoge to finish in 12:50.16. A whisker behind, Kipchoge, who was the 2003 World champion, notched-up a season’s best (12:50.38) which just saw off the Ugandan national record of Moses Kipsiro in third (12:50.72). The next eight runners all registered either PBs or season bests.

The head to head clash between the Osaka World championship 1500m gold and silver medallists Maryam Yusuf Jamal and Yelena Soboleva didn’t quite live up to that billing because the Bahraini again blew away Soboleva in the last lap of tonight’s women’s Mile. Jamal’s victory brought an Asian record of 4:17.75 with her Russian opponent nearly four seconds behind (4:21.16).

The men’s 1500m looked to be going Rashid Ramzi’s way at the bell but the 2005 World champion, who took silver last month in Osaka, was in no physical condition to cope with the assault of Daniel Kipchirchir Komen when it was begun by the Kenyan just before entering the last bend. As Ramzi’s legs fell apart in the final 100m relegating him to fifth (3:35.94), chasing the Kenyan home was Morocco’s Mohamed Moustaoui who finished strongly as the runner-up (3:34.38). Komen, who fell over in the semi-final round stage in Osaka, however was never in danger finishing in 3:32.67.

A jewel for the future

World Junior champion David Rudisha, who Meeting Director Wilfried Meert had yesterday indicated was the ‘dark horse’ of the men’s 800m, justified such a prediction with an exceptionally smooth gazelle like stride which kept the 18-year-old clear of all threats madxe down the home straight by Olympic silver medallist Mbulaeni Mulaudzi of South Africa (1:44.10) and former Kenyan Youssef Saad Kamel of Bahrain (1:44.40). Rudisha’s winning time was 1:44.15, a personal best (previous 1:45.10), and one feels he has the hallmark of a future global senior champion in his style.

Robles who won the men’s 110m Hurdles in the intense cold and wet conditions of Linz mid-week took the victory here in balmy weather conditions by comparison. The 20-year-old Cuban came away from USA’s Anwar Moore with two thirds of the race run, and with veteran Allen Johnson, the multiple global champion shadowing the pair throughout, that was the top-three home in that order – 13.21 seconds to 13.25 to 13.27.

Pitkämäki back on top, Evora takes a step down again

There were mixed fortunes for two of the Osaka World champions who had lost in Zürich a week-ago. There was a further backward step for Portugal’s Nelson Evora (3rd – 17.14m) in the Triple Jump at the feet of 2005 World champion Walter Davis (17.27m) and another American Aarik Wilson (17.20). In contrast Tero Pitkämäki in the Javelin Throw bounced back from his loss with a last round 87.30m to 86.14m (4th round) defeat of Olympic champion Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway who had been his vanquisher last week.

Chris Turner for the IAAF

Four men in the 26s for the 10K! I’m not much of a follower of the joggers, but that does seem exceptional.

And does anyone care to take a stab at comparing the first sub 9min 2-mile run by Defar with the sub-8min 2-miler by Komen from a few years ago? Both WRs - which is “superior”?

C’mon “Boldwarrior” this may help you plan your “attack” on that road 10K:p

Komen’s is as it rates better compared to both the mile and and 3000m records. (214.5% v 237%, and 103.89% v 109.6% respectively)

Komen = 7.58.61 (478.61 sec)
Defar = 8.58.58 (598.58 sec)

2 miles = 3218.688m

1 mile records
M = 3.43.13 (223.13 sec)
W = 4.12.56 (252.56 sec)

M = 7.20.67 (460.67 sec)
W = 8.06.11 (546.11 sec)

BRUSSELS, Sept 14 Reuters - Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell failed in his bid for a second 100 metres world record in less than a week although he still powered his way to victory at the Van Damme Golden League meeting on Friday.
Powell, who broke his own world record with a time of 9.74 seconds in Italy last Sunday, finished in 9.84 after a restart following a mistake by Briton Marlon Devonish out of the blocks.
Norway’s Jaysuma Saidy Ndure was second in 10.11 seconds with Powell’s compatriot Michael Frater third (10.12).
American Sanya Richards remained in contention for the Golden League jackpot when she cruised to a season’s best of 49.36 seconds in the women’s 400 metres.
The US athlete, who failed to make the final at the world championships in Osaka last month, outclassed Britain’s world silver medallist Nicola Sanders who finished second again.
Victory for Richards in Berlin on Sunday will see her secure at least part of the $US1 million ($A1.2 million) Golden League prize.
Russian pole-vaulter Yelena Isanbayeva who was still competing later on Friday, is the only other athlete still in the frame for the jackpot.
Earlier, Ethiopia’s Meseret Defar set a women’s two-mile world best of eight minutes 58.58 seconds to beat her own world mark of nine minutes 10.47 seconds which she ran in May.

BRUSSELS, Sept 14 AFP - Jamaican Asafa Powell remained upbeat after unfavourable conditions compromised his bid to break his world 100 metres record at the fifth leg of the Golden League meeting here today.
Powell posted a winning time of 9.84sec to finish ahead of Norwegian Jaysuma Saidy Ndure and Jamaican Michael Frater, the field racing in a headwind of 0.3 m/s in temperatures of 17C.
Powell had set a new 100m world record of 9.74sec in Italy last Sunday and said he could go faster, possibly as fast 9.68sec.
But the combination of a false start and the unfavourable conditions conspired against him.
I was unsettled by the false start, and the weather really wasn't very favourable. Given the circumstances 9.84sec is a great time,'' said Powell. American sprinter Sanya Richards clocked a world's best this year of 49.29sec on her way to victory in the 400 metres and improving her previous best of 49.36. I’m going to have to recover well because Berlin (the last round of the Golden League) is on Sunday. That won’t be easy because the season has been long,’’ said Richards.
Victories by Richards and Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva kept the pair on course for a share of the Golden League’s million dollar jackpot, for which they will have to compete in the Stuttgart finals on September 22 and 23.
Isinbayeva is the only other athlete who remains unbeaten in the Golden League this year.
The Russian won with a modest effort, by her standards, of 4.80m to defeat her compatriot Svetlana Feofanova.
Other notable performance were the world best time for the year set by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele in the 10,000 metres with a time of 26min 46.19sec.
Bekele, 25, is the current world record holder over this distance with a time of 26min 17.53sec which he set here two years ago.
Earlier, Ethiopian Meseret Defar set a new world best time for the two miles event by clocking 8min 58.58sec.
Defar, the Olympic 5000 metres champion, smashed her previous world best of 9:10.47, set on May 20 in Carson, the United States.
Kenyan Paul Kipsiele Koech also set a world’s best this year, for the 3000m steeplechase in a time of 7min 58.80sec.
The 25-year-old thus bettered his time of 7:59.42, set on August 7 in Stockholm - an achievement that did not prove sufficient for the Kenyan federation who did not select him for the world championships in Osaka, Japan.
Australia’s Sally McLellan finished sixth in the 100m hurdles in a time of 13sec, while Sarah Jamieson was seventh in the mile in 4min 25.95sec.

Massive times for sure, totally insanne.
My attack on the Road 10k was looking good, Seems around a sub 33min should produce a Best time of the day (im running in a Teams Triathlon - so no mass start - Noose Tri)
Was looking good- well up untill yesterday, the heat has hit here, and man, it does slow you down somewhat… however, it will be no excuse, am looking into Ice Vests, The Miners use them to Continue working in such heat, However, i want the Weight kept down, and it dont need to last 3-4hrs like in the mines, 20min will do.

20 minutes. man that’s one hot 10k. Geb eat your heart out, my man will take you down

bwaaaa, lol. I can run for 20min then chuck it off for the last 10min… After all, drop that 1kg with 10min to go, ones bound to finnish off ok (and sprint past a few at the end ey?)