TATYANA GETS THE MONEY: Lebedeva wins $1M Golden League jackpot in Berlin - 4Sept05 -

Last round scare but Lebedeva secures the Million – TDK Golden league, ISTAF Berlin
Sunday 4 September 2005
Berlin, Germany – Tatyana Lebedeva duly won the TDK Golden League Jackpot of One Million Dollars, though there was a brief scare for the 29-year-old Russian in the last round of the women’s Triple Jump at this afternoon’s ‘ISTAF Berlin’, the final TDK Golden League meeting of the summer.

Tatyana Lebedeva completed her task of ‘six wins out of six’ with a second attempt of 14.85m taking what until the final round seemed would be another straightforward victory. Until the fifth series of jumps Cuban Yargelis Savigne was her closest opponent with 14.57, but then Sudan’s Yamile Aldama, the World Indoor silver medallist, showed she meant business with a 14.75m leap. However, with Lebedeva having passed the chance of her fifth attempt, Aldama surprised everyone with her next huge effort. For a moment the impossible seemed to have occurred but as the score of 14.82 flashed on the screen, Lebedeva was relieved to find she had become a millionaire.

Tatyana Lebedeva leaps to one million dollars in Berlin
(Getty Images)

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Spearmen produce absorbing battle

If the women’s Triple Jump made the obvious meeting headlines, then another field event, the men’s Javelin Throw produced the best competition of the day, with the lead chopping and changing throughout, as on 14 occasions spears sailed past 84m.

IAAF President Lamine Diack , Tatyana Lebedeva, Mr. Donadoni (TDK Europe)
(Getty Images)

Quality rained out of the sunny Berlin sky, as Tero Pitkämäki (FIN), Sergey Makarov (RUS) and Andreas Thorkildsen (NOR), the first three athletes for the event in the IAAF World Rankings, swapped the lead round by round. Makarov took pole position in the first round with 85.21m, which was snatched back immediately in the next series of throws with 85.35 by Pitkämäki. In the third, it was Thorkildsen’s turn, who was throwing last of the three, his 85.92m release taking the lead and holding on to the last throwing spot for the final three throws.

Makarov responded in the fourth with 86.91 to move back to the top of the table but with the very next throw of the competition Pitkämäki rejoined the party with 86.96, only to see his advantage taken by the Norwegian with 87.75m.

But it wasn’t over yet. Makarov blasted out an even mightier one in the fifth (88.14m) to which the Finn responded with 87.69, and the Norwegian in turn, 86.76m. Yet the last ace was still in Pitkämäki’s hand, and with his sixth and final effort his spear soared to 89.32m for the win. Still Thorkildsen responded well, just as one would expect of an Olympic champion, his 87.75m throw a new national record for Norway.

Tero Pitkämäki (FIN)
(Paula Noronen)

Mark Frank’s 84.88m personal best release (4th place) in the fifth round was lost in this epic battle but should not go without notice.

Komen ready to make up for Helsinki

With less than a week to go until the World Athletics Final in Monaco (9 / 10 September) Daniel Kipchirchir Komen signalled that he is ready to face World 1500m champion Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain (who was running the 800m today). The Kenyan is seeking to compensate for his dismal display at the World Championships in Helsinki last month where he didn’t proceed past the opening round.

Daniel Kipchirchir Komen in Berlin
(Getty Images)

This afternoon the 20-year-old followed the designated pace of his countrymen David Lelei (800m – 1:50.85) and Elkanah Angwenyi (1200 – 2:47.77) but was otherwise running alone, ultimately crossing the 1500m finish in 3:29.72, a personal best. Following home hard but too far away ever to be a threat was Isaac Songok (3:31.72), with a third Kenyan Suleiman Simotwo, completing the podium in a personal best of 3:31.85. Komen’s time was the second fastest clocking this year behind Bernard Lagat’s 3:29.30 run last Sunday in Rieti.

Lagat – 5000m PB

Lagat’s 1500m time last week was an Area record, as he is now representing the USA, and though his personal best is actually 3:26.34 (Kenyan record), he is of course in great form at the moment. This he proved in the 5000m today which he won in a personal best of 12:59.29, better than his 13:14.71 from earlier this summer (15 April). The 30-year-old former Kenyan was one of a pack of 6 runners at the bell, but with a little over 200m to go Lagat made his miler’s speed tell, flying away from his opponents. World champion Benjamin Limo was second (13:01.45), with Sammy Kipketer (13:01.55) and World Junior champion Augustine Choge (13:01.62) finishing tightly behind.

Bernard Lagat after his 5000m PB in Berlin
(Getty Images)

Olympic champion beats World gold medallist

Local heroine Franka Dietzsch, who this year at the age of 37 years took her second World championship career gold in the women’s Discus Throw, could not manage the win today despite having by far the most consistent series of efforts of the nine woman field. Olympic champion Natalya Sadova, who she had bested in Helsinki, was the winner with a second round 64.20m. The German’s response was 63.38 in the next round, with her second furthest coming with her final effort just 4 centimetres shy of that mark. So it was Russia’s win, and behind Dietzsch in second, came Czech Vera Pospislova-Cechlova (61.77).

Adere – first of a series of unchallenged solo runs

Zulia Calatayud after her 800m victory in Berlin
(Getty Images)

Berhane Adere, the outright favourite for the women’s 5000m, delivered in the most dominant fashion with a 14:47.56 victory, having run alone with about 3000m to go (8:47.49). Following the Ethiopian World Championship 10,000m silver medallist home was Tanzanian record holder Zakia Mrisho (14:58.88), who just managed to out-sprint Norway’s Susanne Wigene (14:59.04). The 27-year-old has had a very promising series of top-8 TDK Golden League results this season (5 Oslo, 7 Zurich, 5 Brussels), and stands second on the national 5000m all-time list behind the great Ingrid Kristiansen.

There were another two emphatically taken solo victories in the two women’s Hurdles. In the one lap, Sandra Glover (USA), 36, destroyed the field, coming home in 54.17, a distant second was Poland’s Anna Jesien (55.09) and Andrea Blackett (BAR) was third, 55.27. In the 100m Hurdles, it was Brigitte Foster-Hylton from the gun (12.63), with a wide margin over fellow Jamaican Delloreen Ennis-London (12.74), with Germany’s Kristen Bolm, third (12.81).

Back to a longer distance, and World champion Zulia Calatayud (CUB) was as dominant a winner as any of the three victors just mentioned. Russia’s Natalya Lavshuk took the women’s 800m through 400m (58.56) and about 150m later the Cuban took the lead, and though not switching into top gear until about 200m to go, came off the final bend with an 10 metres advantage, her turn of speed crushing her opponents’ hopes. The season’s fastest runner Tatyana Andrianova (RUS) was second (2:00.50) and Spain’s Mayte Martinez, the surprise winner a week ago in Brussels, was third (2:00.52).

Tim Lobinger on his way to 5.93m in Berlin
(Getty Images)

Olsen in form ahead of Monaco

Dane Joachim Olsen took a good 21.10m win in the last round of the men’s Shot Put snatching the victory from American Reese Hoffa who had held top spot with 21.06m since the second attempts of the day. Olsen had built his form gradually through the competition – foul, 20.32, 20.53, 20.77, 20.93, 21.10 – and now can go to the World Athletics Final (9 / 10) in Monaco, as defending winner, knowing he has got back into top groove. Third to the delight of the audience was Ralf Bartels of Germany, the Helsinki bronze medallist, who put 20.93m.

Arnold shows the way again

Dominique Arnold has surprised many this season. The 31-year-old American has had a new lease of life this season at the 110m Hurdles, and has shown many of the younger generation the way, with TDK Golden League wins in Rome, Zürich and now today. 13.20 seconds was enough to see off his opponents, with World champion Ladji Doucouré of France wilting under the American’s attack and nearly taken down while negotiating the seventh hurdle, which slowed him to a 6th place finish (13.82). Second was Germany’s Thomas Blaschek (13.33) and Sweden’s Robert Kronberg, third (13.55).

In the women’s 100m, another French athlete had better luck. With a late drive to the line, Christine Arron caught the long time race leader Chandra Sturrup just a matter of a metre or two before they crossed. Arron won 11.01 to 11.02, with USA’s Melisa Barber in third (11.16).

Three Jamaican men’s sprint winners

In the men’s “A” 100m, Dwight Thomas took a comfortable win over France’s Ronald Pognon (10.08), who just caught Britain’s Jason Gardener, third in 10.09, with the latter clutching his right hamstring as he finished.

Jamaican Christopher Williams took the men’s 200m in 20.33, and along with USA’s Tyree Washington (20.43) and Trinidad’s Jacey Harper (20.66) disappointed the home crowd, who had hopes for their World and Olympic finalist Tobias Unger, who was fourth this afternoon (20.71).

The “B” 100m was won by Ainsley Waugh of Jamaica in 10.26, separated from Nigeria’s Olusoji Fasuba, on the same time, by the photo-finish.

Back to 1:44

After a week of 1:43 promise in Rieti and Rovereto, the men’s 800m drifted back into 1:44 territory in Berlin, Olympic silver medallist Mbulaeni Mulaudzi was the victor with 1:44.26 despite stumbling at the line. It was enough to hold off a late dash from Spain’s Antonio Reina (1:44.30) with Saad Youssef Kamel, who went sub-1:44 in Rovereto on Wednesday, third in 1:44.36.

World champion Rashid Ramzi looked tired in fourth 1:44.99. The Bahraini will contest his other World Championship title distance, the 1500m, at the World Athletics Final next weekend in Monaco (9 / 10).

In the men’s High Jump, European champion Yaroslav Rybakov (RUS) with 2.32m on his second attempt took the win ahead of Cuba’s revelation of the season Victor Moya (2.30), who in turn beat Olympic champion Stefan Holm (SWE) on count-back at that height, with World gold medallist Yuriy Krymarenko (UKR), fourth, 2.27m.

World record attempt…of sorts

Coming towards the end of a long season, this understandably was not a meet for World record attempts. Well, that was what we had all thought until 33-year-old Tim Lobinger, having already secured a home win in the Pole Vault to the delight of the crowd with a second time clearance at 5.93 - the best by a European this summer – decided to spice up the celebrations a bit.

After making two lack lustre attempts at 6.01, Lobinger who was competing in his 23rd meeting of the summer (!) asked for the bar to be raised to 6.16m, one centimetre above Sergey Bubka’s best ever (6.15m indoors in 1993; outdoor World record is 6.14 from 1994). With the rest of the meeting finished, much of the 50,000 strong crowd stayed behind to urge on their man, but it was not to be, as Lobinger was left a top of his pole for a moment having exited from the vault before he had made any true attempt at negotiating the bar.

Still it was an unexpected extra moment of drama on an absorbing afternoon of athletics. Italy’s Giuseppe Gibilisco was second (5.83m) and Germany’s Björn Otto, third with 5.73m.

Chris Turner for the IAAF