DOHA GP -14May04- Five go sub-10 windy


Crawford dashes to 9.86 and leads another four to windy sub-10 in Doha
Friday 14 May 2004

USA’s Shawn Crawford, this winter’s World Indoor 60m silver medallist flew to two windy sub-10 second 100m race clockings this evening at the Qatar Sports Club, Doha, Qatar, the venue for the first of this year’s seven IAAF Super Grand Prix meetings, the Qatar Athletic Super Grand Prix.

In blustery, and at times gusty wind conditions which brought on sand storms during the meeting, all possibility of legal sprint times were lost. However, the final of the men’s 100m with a +2.6m per second wind was one of the calmest readings of the night, and produced a staggering five sub-10 second clockings.

Crawford who won the World Indoor 200m title in 2001 and took a tied outdoor bronze the same year in Edmonton, had a marvellous indoor season this winter at the 60m dash which ended with his silver behind Britain’s Jason Gardener in Budapest, and has obviously lost none of his indoor sharpness.

This was the 26 year-old’s first outing of the 2004 summer and he blasted to a 9.90 second heat win ahead of fellow American Justin Gatlin, who was also under 10 with 9.92 in a windy 3.6m/s conditions.

Moments before Marcus Brunson had made it under 10 too, with 9.95 in heat one, with even stronger wind assistance (+4.2).

With such fast preliminaries, the omens looked good for the final, and it did not disappoint. Crawford blasted to 9.86, which even with the assisting wind was a significant show of form for a man with a 9.94 legal best (2001). The current legal world season’s lead is Olympic champion Maurice Greene’s 10.02.

Crawford’s win was emphatically taken from Gatlin (9.95), Brunson followed (9.96), Portugal’s double European championships sprint silver medallist Francis Obikwelu Francis (9.97) was fourth, and Nigeria’s 2002 World Cup winner Uchenna Emedolu was fifth in 9.99.

”These days I try to focus on one race at a time,” Crawford said. “I am very happy with the time I registered today. I have been here for the last four days and that helped me to get acclimatized. I must admit I have never raced in sandstorms before and it was quite dusty and windy today.”

Area record for Shaheen but Kipchoge still comes away with the win

This evening in Doha ended up essentially being about two contests, the men’s 100m and the 3000m.

In the latter, it came down to the expected fight between ‘home’ star Saif Saaeed Shaheen and Eliud Kipchoge in the battle of the World champions, Steeplechase versus 5000m, on the vaguely neutral territory of the flat 3000m.

This middle distance battle between the Qatar’s Kenyan import Shaheen and Kenya’s Paris ‘godsend’ Kipchoge lived up to expectations, with the pre-organised pace condemning Australian Craig Mottram’s previous world season’s lead (7:49.30) to oblivion, as five men went below 7:40!

In a tight sprint to the line, Kipchoge prevailed in 7:33.37, Shaheen was second in 7:34.67, with Kenyan’s John Kibowen (7:37.23), Richard Limo (7:38.92) and Paul Kipsiele Koech (7:39.40) following them across the line.

It was a matter of mixed fortunes for Shaheen, who had remained in second position throughout most of the race, as his finishing time was a personal best and a new Area Record. While running as the Kenyan Stephen Cherono before his change of allegiance to the Gulf state, he had set a personal best of 7:46.03 (2001).

“I am extremely happy with my performance today,” Kipchoge told The Associated Press. “I was under a bit of pressure to start with but I told myself not to panic and then I settled into the race nicely. I hope I can carry my good form right until the Olympics. I am greatly delighted to have beaten Shaheen, who is a
great runner,” Kipchoge added. “I beat him in Qatar, his country.”

Said-Guerni heavily beaten

World champion Djabir Said-Guerni of Algeria was found wanting in the final burst for the line in the men’s 800m. The 27 year-old Olympic bronze medallist, making in his season’s opener, finished fourth (1:46.88) behind Kenyan Justus Koech’s world season’s lead (1:45.37). The Kenyan also took the scalp of last summer’s world’s fastest, compatriot Wilfried Bungei (second, 1:45.47) and Joseph Mutua (third, 1:46.31).

Koech finished sixth in Paris last August when the Algerian won his title, and later took a bronze at the All-Africa Games in Abuja, Nigeria.

Jolanda Ceplak of Slovenia, the World Indoor record holder and 2004 World Indoors silver medallist won the women’s 800m (2:01.27).

Casandra runs 9:45

Cristina Casandra, 26, the Romanian champion and record holder won the women’s 3000m steeplechase in a world season’s lead of 9:45.67, which bettered USA’s Kassi Andersen’s 9:48.74 (30 April). Belgium record holder Sigrid Vanden Bempt was second in 9:52.37, heading Morocco’s best Bouchra Chaabi (third, 9:52.99, a national record). The more fancied Justyna Bak of Poland, a former World record holder, and European Junior champion Catalina Oprea of Romania, were back in sixth (10:08.70) and ninth (10:34.60) respectively.

Issac Songok, the former World Youth champion was the victor in the men’s 1500m with 3:35.80, ahead of his Kenyan compatriots Alex Kipchirchir who was second (3:35.84) and World Indoor champion Paul Korir Paul (3:37.57) adrift in third.

Francique is headed

Grenada’s World Indoor 400m champion Alleyne Francique was beaten in the men’s 400m finishing second to Jamaican Brandon Simpson (45.50) in 45.56, someway off his world season’s lead of 44.47.

Delloreen Ennis-London who took second place a week ago in the Kingston international in 12.69, improved her personal season’s fastest to 12.51 to beat USA’s Danielle Carruthers (12.88) in the women’s 100m Hurdles. Nigeria’s Angela Atede was also under 13 seconds with a 12.96 clocking for third.

American Dominique Arnold won the men’s sprint hurdles in 13.31, and Periklís Iakovákis of Greece, the surprise World Championships bronze medallist won the one lap hurdles in 49.33.

Former American Todd Matthews’ 13.64 was a national record for Sudan in the sprint hurdles.

World Athletics Final 5000m winner Elvan Abeylegesse of Turkey won the women’s 3000m in 8:35.83, a dominating performance ahead of Kenya’s Leah Malot (8:51.65) and Fernanda Ribeiro of Portugal (8:51.92).

America’s LaTasha Colander-Richardson won a low key 200m in 22.50 (+0.6m/s), the only athlete under 23 seconds. Kelli White was down in sixth (23.42).

Sadova throws 66.40m

In the field, India’s World bronze medallist Anju Bobby George was in good form in the wind aided conditions with a best of 6.82m (+2.3m/s), comfortably ahead of Latvia’s Valentina Gotovska (6.70m / +4.5).

“I had cleared seven metres with my second jump but unfortunately it was declared illegal,” said George.

Natalya Sadova the 2001 World champion won the women’s Discus with 66.40m throw, so improving on New Zealander Beatrice Faumuina’s early world season lead of 66.08m. She saw off her sixth competitors with some ease, as the next best was USA’s Aretha Hill with 62.51m.

1999 World champion Charles Friedek (GER) took the men’s Triple Jump with a legal 17.11 (+1.1), while Romania’s Marian Oprea who was fifth in Paris last summer at the Worlds was second with 17.05 (+2.2).

Finland’s World championships finalist Ville Tiisanoja took the men’s Shot with a 20.37m heave, and was the only competitor on or over the 20m sector line during the event. Al-Suwaidi Khalid Habash of Qatar set a national record in second (19.93m).

Zelezny - fourth

In the windy conditions the men’s Javelin was below par, with Boris Henry, the Paris bronze medallist winning with just 82.06. That’s not taking anything away from the German who saw off three-time reigning Olympic champion Jan Zelezny who was back in fourth with 77.46m!

IAAF (text)

Agencies (quotes)