World Champs top-10


From Times Online

August 29, 2007

Top 10 World Championships moments
David Powell

  1. Mike Powell (Men’s long jump, Tokyo 1991)

Bob Beamon’s 23-year-old landmark world record of 8.90 metres, and Carl Lewis’s 10-year unbeaten streak, came to an end as Mike Powell jumped 8.95 in the fifth round to pass Lewis’s wind-assisted fourth round leap of 8.91. Lewis, four times the Olympic long jump champion, maintained the drama to the last with 8.87 and 8.84, the two longest legal jumps of his career.

  1. Carl Lewis (Men’s 100m, Tokyo 1991)

The greatest 100m in history, if we gloss over the fact it was run on an illegally hard track and it should have been called back for a proven false start by Dennis Mitchell. Five days before he would be involved the finest long jump contest of all time, Carl Lewis ran a world record 9.86sec. Runner-up in 9.88, Leroy Burrell ran faster than his now-fallen world record (9.90) while the next four men – Mitchell, Linford Christie, Frankie Fredericks and Ray Stewart - broke 10sec.

  1. Michael Johnson (Men’s 400m, Seville, 1999)

Having accomplished most honours in his two events – from Olympic and world titles at 200 and 400 metres, and world record at 200 metres, Michael Johnson had one last goal – the 400 metres world record. Clocking 43.18sec, and beating Butch Reynolds’s mark of 43.29, Johnson won by 10 metres, the widest margin in a world or Olympic 400 metres final.

  1. Ed Moses (Men’s 400m hurdles, Rome 1987)

Having blitzed the field in the previous World Championships, Ed Moses arrived in Rome with his 122-race winning streak having been ended by Danny Harris earlier in the season. With Harald Schmid in the form of his life, Moses was under considerable pressure – all the way to the line. At the end of the greatest 400 metres hurdles seen, even to this day, Moses won the closest of finals in 47.46, with Harris second and Schmid third, both on 47.48.

  1. Alberto Cova (Men’s 10,000m, Helsinki 1983)

In a field that read like a Who’s Who of Distance Running of the period – Marti Vainio, Carlos Lopes, Fernando Mamede and Alberto Salazar among them - and before the African dominance took grip, Alberto Cova emerged victorious in a finish that brought the top five home covered by less than a second. Cova sprinted from fifth to the gold medal in the last 30 metres.

  1. Tina Lillak (Women’s javelin, Helsinki 1983)

With a 54,700 home crowd willing her on, Tina Lillak led the qualifying round while Fatima Whitbread scraped into the final in 12th place. Who would have guessed the drama to come? Whitbread’s 69.14 metres in the first round stood as the lead until Lillak’s last throw of 70.82 to land Finland’s first gold medal.

  1. Eliud Kipchoge (Men’s 5000m, Paris 2003)

Hicham El Guerrouj had won the 1,500 metres and Kenenisa Bekele the 10,000 metres in Paris and now each was in search of his second gold medal. But denying both their goal was 18-year-old Eliud Kipchoge, the world junior record holder, who overhauled El Guerrouj in the last 50 metres.

  1. Sergey Bubka (Men’s pole vault, Athens 1997)

At 33, and fighting to regain his fitness after an Achilles tendon operation eight months earlier, Sergey Bubka recorded his best height in a championship to win the world pole vault title title for the sixth time. He had started jogging only in April and had completed only three pole vault training sessions.

  1. Eunice Barber (Women’s long jump, Paris 2003)

It may not have been the best quality of competitions but Eunice Barber, having had to settle for the silver medal in the heptathlon, stole a last-gasp victory for the home crowd. In the last jump of the competition, Barber recorded 6.99 metres in dramatic fashion to give France its first gold medal on the penultimate day.

  1. Marius Corbett (Men’s javelin, Athens 1997)

Ranked only 19th, Marius Corbett produced arguably the greatest upset in World Championships history. Four leading contenders – Raymond Hecht, Tom Pukstys, Seppo Raty and Gavin Lovegrove – had gone out in the qualifying round and many more established names – Jan Zelezny, Steve Backley, Kostas Gatsiouidis and Aki Parviainen – were left stunned as Corbett added almost five metres to his best distance with a gold medal second round throw of 88.40 metres.