Osaka: Wariner 44.02

Unpressed 44.02 by Wariner in Osaka – IAAF World Athletics Tour
Saturday 5 May 2007
Osaka, Japan - Despite easing up somewhat towards the end of the race, the reigning Olympic and World Champion Jeremy Wariner won the men’s 400m as expected with a world leading time of 44.02 at the Osaka stop of the 2007 IAAF World Athletics Tour.

Near sub-44 form for Wariner in May

13.14 for Liu Xiang in Osaka
(Kazutaka Eguchi/Agence SHOT)

Entirely dominating the proceedings, Wariner was well ahead of runner-up and training partner Darold Williamson, who clocked 44.68.

“I love the track here,” said Wariner, a reference boding well for the 11th IAAF World Championships in Athletics, which will be held in Nagai Stadium from 25 August to 2 September. “I’ve never seen this type of surface. It has a very nice spring to it. I hope to come back in August and set a new World record.”

The brand new track, which was resurfaced four month ago, was constructed with speed in mind. The manufacturer of the track is applying for several patents for the new technology used to make the track a very fast one.

Sally McLellan on her way to a 12.71 Area Record in Osaka
(Getty Images)

“My 200m was faster today. I worked on my first 100m and 200m this week,” continued Wariner. “(To break the World record) I need to work on everything.” Wariner’s performance was a Japanese all-comer’s record and the fastest ever recorded in the month of May.

Jackson victorious in a Helsinki final rerun

In the showdown among the Helsinki medalists in the 400m Hurdles, Americans Bershawn Jackson and James Carter and Dai Tamesue of Japan finished in the same order as at the 2005 World Championships. Jackson felt a problem with his left hamstring by the third hurdle but kept on regardless to win in 48.13, with Carter was just 0.09 seconds behind in 48.22.

Solid early-season 48.13 victory for Bershawn Jackson in Osaka
(Kazutaka Eguchi/Agence SHOT)

“Everyone knows that Tamusue gets out fast, so my strategy was to go out hard but I hurt my hamstring after the second hurdle,” said Jackson, whose performance was significantly faster than his season’s debut of 48.75 two weeks ago. “I wanted to slow down, but James (Carter) came up to me fast, so I did what I could to hold on.”

“I am where I want to be right now in terms of training,” said Carter, “and am working hard so I can be back here in August.”

Tamesue, who did not hurdle at all last year because he was working on his speed, was third in 48.73. It was his first hurdles race since the fall of 2005. “I had some small problems during the race, but overall I did run okay,” Tamesue said. “In Helsinki, (Bershawn) Jackson was miles away, but today, I did not feel that way. That is a positive sign.”

Daichi Sawano soars to victory in Osaka
(Kazutaka Eguchi/Agence SHOT)

World leading 13.14 for Liu in season opener

China’s Olympic champion and World record holder in the 110m Hurdles Liu Xiang won his season opener with a world-leading 13.14, comfortably ahead of his teammate Shi Dongpeng whose 13.24 was a career best for the 23-year-old.

“It was my first race of the season,” Liu said, “and I am satisfied with my time. I am also happy for my teammate Shi, who set his personal best.” Shi, the 2002 World junior silver medallist, had a 13.28 to his credit from 2006).

Ivana Brkljacic winning in Osaka
(Kazutaka Eguchi/Agence SHOT)

It was the fourth consecutive win at the Osaka Grand Prix for Liu, who is also eager to return.

“I would like to run here again next year and win it for the fifth straight year. As for the World Championships, I would like to see both of us (Liu and Shi) in the final.”

The best Japanese was Tasuku Tanonaka of Japan was a distant third in 13.59, just shy of his 13.55 personal best.

12.71 Area record for McLellan

Australian Sally McLellan, still only 20, continued her strong first half of 2007 with another Area Record in the 100m Hurdles. Slicing more than then .20 seconds off her previous best, McLellan bested a solid field in 12.71 (w - 0.0m/s), a world-leading effort. It was McLellan’s second consecutive record run after her 12.92 victory at the Australian Championships in March where she eclipsed the previous standard set in 1972.

“I just let it flow," said McLellan, a medallist at both the 2003 World Youth and 2004 World Junior Chamionships. "I really wanted to concentrate on my own race and I really put it all together. I got a great start and just seemed to get faster – I was literally flying.”

“To smash the Australian record is a great feeling and to beat the American’s is always nice. I’ve won a World Tour event, beaten the Americans and broken the Australian record all in the one race, it’s an amazing feeling,” McLellan said.

Americans Lolo Jones (12.86) and Danielle Carruthers (12.90) filled out the top-three.

Mothersill over Williams, Suetsugo defeats Ross in dashes

Cydonie Mothersill upset defending World champion Lauryn Williams in 11.33, well ahead of the American’s 11.44.

“I feel good,” the Cayman Islander said. “I think my winning time, 11.33, is okay at this stage. A win is a win.” said Mothersill.

Japan’s Shingo Suetsugu, the 200m bronze medalist from the 2003 Paris World Championships, won the men’s 100m as expected in 10.23, well ahead of world leader Joshua Ross of Australia who clocked a sub-par 10.37.

Chasing American quartet, Japanese women land 4x400 national record

For the fans in Osaka, the meet got underway with a bang. In the women’s 4 x 400m Relay, the Japanese quartet of Mayu Kida, Asami Tanno, Satomi Kubokawa and Makiko Yoshida ran to a new national record of 3:30.53 behind a winning US team, who clocked 3:29.38.

“I am so happy for the record,” said Kida, who ran the lead-off leg. “I have been running on the national team since my sophomore year in college, and finally I am a part of the national record setting team.”

“I thought we could break 3:33, but did not expect 3:30 out of us, because I was not running well recently, said the anchor Yoshida. “When I was chasing the American, I could run like the old days when I was running my best.”

Kubokura, who recently set the national 400m Hurdles record, took the lead in the third leg.

Tanno, who ran the second leg, returned to run the individual event, and finished second to American Mary Wineberg 51.20 to 52.17, a career best for the 29-year-old winner.

“I wanted to run 51 something, so I am disappointed,” said Tanno. “After the national record in the relay, I thought I could go for the record (51.80), but the wind was just too strong at the beginning. Perhaps, if the condition was better.”

Again, Sawano over Walker as clash fizzles early

Daichi Sawano won the men’s Pole Vault with a 5.60m effort. The anticipated duel between Sawano and American Brad Walker, the World champion indoors, ended early. Walker began the competition with a 5.50 clearance, while Sawano began with an opening height success at 5.60m. However, Walker missed twice at his next height, 5.70m, and then decided to take his last attempt at 5.75m. When Walker missed - as did Sawano - the competition was over.

“I was in shape and my warm up went well, so I was hoping for good results, but I did not chose the proper pole at 5.75m,” Sawano said. “However, it was good that I did not have a cramp,” Sawano added, referring to an ailment which affected his outing in Shizuoka on Tuesday (1).


Other top Japanes stars producing wins included Naoyuki Daigo, the national record holder at the High Jump, with a 2.30m leap, and Kumiko Ikeda, a national record holder in the Long Jump, with a 6.73m best effort.

“The winning distance was not very good, but considering my increased speed was giving me a problem at the takeoff, I did quite well by jumping over 6.70m,” said Ikeda, who is now among the medal hopefuls for Japan at the upcoming World Championships.

Other performances of note included Croatian Ivana Brkljacic’s 72.15m winning effort in the women’s Hammer Throw, and South African Godrey Mokoena’s 8.18m (+2.1) leap in the Long Jump.

The 2007 IAAF World Athletics Tour continues on Friday 11 May at the Qatar IAAF World Super Tour 2007 - IAAF Super Grand Prix – in Doha.

Click here for complete results

Click here for the current World Athletics Tour standings

Ken Nakamura (and Athletics Australia) for the IAAF

Athletics: Wariner on fast-track to greatness

OSAKA: World and Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner said on Friday he could be regarded as the greatest 400 metres runner of all time if he breaks the 43-second mark. The 23-year-old American is among a quality field at Saturday’s IAAF Japan Grand Prix in Osaka, a dress rehearsal for this year’s world athletics championships at the same venue. “I’m not thinking about after my career is over,” Wariner told Reuters. “I’m looking at defending my titles but[b] I want to break the world record and run the first sub-43 race[/B].” The heir apparent to Michael Johnson, Wariner can join his compatriot in the pantheon of greats if he secures a second world title in August and another Olympic gold in Beijing next year. “I’ve still got things I want to accomplish,” said Wariner. “But if it all falls into place and people call me the greatest ever…it doesn’t matter as long as I achieve all my goals.” Johnson set the current 400m world record of 43.18 in 1999 while Wariner’s personal best stands at 43.62. The men’s 400m hurdles contains the deepest field in Saturday’s meeting with the top three medallists from the 2005 world championships all present.

Quick race: Helsinki gold medallist Bershawn Jackson promised a quick race and warned his rivals that he would be looking to lay down a marker for this year’s worlds. “This race will be a statement for what happens at the world championships,” said the American. “But I have to make sure I can keep injury free – only the strongest survive.” Jackson should be the slight favourite to win despite the presence of Helsinki runner-up James Carter and Dai Tamesue of Japan, who took bronze in Finland. American Lauryn Williams should encounter little resistence in the women’s 100 metres, the world champion admitting she would be using the race to get used to the surroundings in Osaka. “Being defending champion there will be definitely be pressure on me to defend my title,” said Williams. reuters

Peoples thoughts on Wroe?

The young lad is going places! He is still a bit younger than the others and seems to have shaken the ‘one year wonder’ tag quite successfully.

How fast can he go?

Depends how he trains to a big degree. Who coaches him? He has run about 45.3 hasn’t he??? Does the coach have the background experience to take him somewhere a lot more foreign than that. I mean, consistent 44 , not to mention low 44, is something else again.

Sean Wroe is coached by Eric Hollingsworth.

Hollingsworth had been involved with the VIS before becoming the head coach in New Zealand athletics.

He left NZ about 12 months ago and returned to Victoria.

Hollingsworth is a good 'un. What he doesn’t know, he’ll find out from people who do. He’s a guy who gets it done. Wroe is lucky to have him. Respect.

The comments I have heard about him haven’t been that complimentary.

I hope Warriner does break the WR, good to see him calling it as he sees it, more sports people could follow his lead.

Gotta differentiate between a guy’s personality and his outcomes. This guy get some good results.

John, I was under the impression his outcomes in NZ were pretty good? No? (I mean in terms of admin, because I think that was his job there, to enable your coaches to do their best)

Agree 100%.

His job was High Performance Director

The role of the Performance Director is to provide strategic direction and operational leadership for all aspects of Athletics New Zealand’s High Performance Programme. Specifically:

  1. Finalise and implement the current strategy to ensure New Zealand athletes maximise their talent and achieve excellence on the international stage.
  2. Implement the strategy and encourage the buy-in of all key stakeholders.
  3. Establish excellent lines of communication between Athletics New Zealand, Coaches, Athletes, Clubs, Centres and other relevant domestic and international organisations.
  4. Maximise all opportunities available through partner organisations such as the NZAS, NZOC, SPARC, corporate sponsors and members of the Charities Gaming Association.
  5. Continue with a High Performance Programme that is benchmarked on international excellence but adapted to maximise New Zealand talent.
  6. Reinforce a performance culture that encourages athletes and coaches to train and prepare like winners and that will also facilitate the taking of risks in order to achieve personal excellence.
  7. Continue to foster and create a culture where athletes and coaches value the Association and the input it provides.

they have recently appointed someone to the role. It is actually discussed in another thread

Just an interesting sidenote about Wroe & Hollingsworth - At the Charlie Francis seminar in Melbourne held in January, the Saturday practical session was held at Sandringham. When we arrived for the session, Sean Wroe was doing a few flying 30’s under the watchful eye of Eric Hollingsworth on the front straight.

Out of courtesy to Eric and his group, Charlie and the seminar attendees went to the back straight.

I sort of knew him when he first arrived in Australia around 1991 because he joined and trained at the Williamstown Athletic Club where the Jim Bradley stable trained. Bradley and Hollingsworth had a few differences over how to train sprinters and you could say they didn’t get along.

He’s moved round a bit in the last 10 years, having been with the ACTAS, the AIS, the VIS, NZ and I think he’s been recently involved with a football (soccer) academy. He doesn’t seem to stay too long in the one job.

On Tuesday 7th March 2000, I attended a Sprint Training seminar at SANTOS stadium (Adelaide) where Esa Peltola, Michael Khmel, Peter Fortune and Eric Hollingsworth each spoke about their speed training philosphy.

This is my notes from the seminar:
Hollingsworth: He said he looked at the athlete, work out their strengths and weaknesses and develop a program according to the individual’s needs. He was keen on developing strength and power through weight training. He said that speed was crucial to the multi-event athlete and hence he was working on improving the strength & power of Jagen Hames (1998 Commonwealth Decathlon Gold medallist).

He wrapped up Hames, suggesting he was on track to medal at the Olympics. This was some 6 months before the Sydney Olympics.

History shows that Hames (in his prime at 25 years of age) broke down whilst at the AIS and did not get to compete at the Olympics. In fact he never competed at a major international competition after the 1998 Commonwealth Games. He did win the Australian Decathlon title under Hollingsworth in early 2000. But nothing else other than that. Hames was effectively finished by 2001.

I don’t know how many athletes he’s been the personal coach of, but there do not appear to be too many Hollingsworth success stories.

It looks like Wroe seems to be the best athlete he’s had. Wroe is a terrific & class athlete who is obviously responding to the Hollingsworth training regime.

Youngy, I don’t wish to sound like an apologist for Hollingsworth. But there is always two sides to every story. And, as you imply, coaching “can be” as much personality-driven (charisma etc) as knowledge-driven. There are some very bright coaches out there who never get the highest talent to work with because they’re either insipid, cranky or arrogant types which turn athletes off. Then again, some athletes, whether because of circumstance or preference, will be fine about teaming up with a “difficult” coach.
Anyway, as you say, Wroe looks very talented and he is moving forward under Hollingsworth which is all anyone could ask.


I don’t know Hollingsworth that well to make a forthright judgement, so i’m only going on his history of floating from one organisation to another, where he has left athletes in the lurch a bit. He left Wroe and the VIS to take up the NZ job.

He has had a string of paid coaching positions and that’s where someone like me likes to see value for the dollar.

I’m a little sceptical of his motives. Up until recently it’s as if he’s been more interested in filling his CV with high profile appointments and associations with high profile athletes than getting his hands dirty finding the raw material and seeing it develop.

He’s obviously competent or he wouldn’t have been appointed to the gigs he’s had.

Now he’s back with Wroe and hopefully he sticks with him and is in it for the long term. We won’t know if it will really work until Beijing in 2008.

But so far so good.