Steffensen returns

Steffensen takes silver in 400mArticle from: Font size: Decrease Increase Email article: Email Print article: Print Submit comment: Submit comment
By Mike Hurst

July 12, 2007 12:00am

AUSTRALIA’S John Steffensen grabbed second in a glamour 400m at the athletics grand prix in Lausanne, Switzerland yesterday in a strong warm-up for next month’s world championships.

The Commonwealth gold medallist beat two fellow finalists (Darold Williamson and Tim Benjamin) from the previous world championships, clocking 45.54sec, just behind winner Gary Kikaya (45.24) of the Congo.

Kikaya won the World Athletics final and the African championships last year and will be a medal contender at the world titles, starting on August 25 in Osaka, Japan.

But while Steffensen shook off the cobwebs in his first race in a month, he would not be lulled into a false sense of security knowing that a couple of his main US rivals - World Cup winner LaShawn Merritt and Olympic and world title-holder Jeremy Wariner - ran fifth and sixth respectively yesterday in the 200m.

Despite chilly conditions not suited to sprinting, newly crowned US champion Tyson Gay won the Lausanne 200m in a red-hot 19.78sec, beating Jamaican Usain Bolt (20.11).

Australia’s male pole vaulters continued to climb the podiums of Europe, with Perth’s Paul Burgess (5.75m) taking second and Melbourne’s Steve Hooker (5.70m) third, behind America’s Brad Walker (5.91m).

Victoria’s Sarah Jamieson, suffering with a throat infection, ran sixth in the 1500m in 4min 06.90sec with Canberra’s Lisa Corrigan (4:10.28) 13th.

Two results of significance included the return from injury of 100m world record-holder Asafa Powell to anchor Jamaica’s victorious 4x100m relay team (38.75sec) over Britain (38.78), and the triumph of Kenya’s outrageously gifted world junior 800m champion David Rudisha (1:45.82sec) over Russia’s Olympic champion Yuriy Borzakovskiy (1:46.01).

Jana Rawlinson (400m hurdles), Kym Howe (pole vault), Robbie Crowther (long jump) and Tamsyn Lewis (800m) will compete this Friday night in Rome’s Golden League meet.

On Sunday in the British Grand Prix in Sheffield, Craig Mottram takes on Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia in a highly anticipated 3000m. Pole vaulters Hooker and Burgess, plus Steffensen (400m), Scott Martin (shot put), Joshua Ross (100m), Mark Fountain, Collis Birmingham and Jeff Riseley (all 1500m) are also competing.