THIS FINE REPORT BY BRITISH FORMER TANK COMMANDER, CAPT. DAVID MARTIN, FIRST APPEARED WITH ACTION PIX ON THE IAAF WEBSITE www.iaaf.org
An Afternoon of Best Performances in Marrakech
Saturday 16 July 2005
Marrakech - Adam Mohammed Al-Nour and Nawal El Jack after showing rock solid consistency in their preliminary rounds, were crowned IAAF/Maroc Telecom World Youth 400 metres champions.
The pair of Sudanese rookies running with the abandonment their lack of experience has yet to curtail, scored a glorious double for their nation in Marrakech.
El Jack was phenomenal in all three of her races. On Tuesday she set a world leader for the year of 52.22 seconds then 24 hours later smashed the four-year-old championship record belonging to the USA’s Stephanie Smith.
Her fluent short but speedy steps, carried her to to a mark of 51.83sec when winning her semi-final which bettered Smith’s four-year-old time of 52.19sec.
Whether she could go quicker after two hard races was a talking point of the anoraks before the final - but she proved the doubters embarrassingly wrong.
El Jack, head focused on the finishing line when hitting the home straight, found herself for the first time under pressure.
Daniela Grgic was desperately trying to come onto her shoulder, but a short spurt from the pre-race favourite, quickly rid her of the challenge.
However the Croatian’s formidable presence acted as a spur and the championship record came tumbling again to a highly respectable 51.19 seconds.
Grgic’s reward for making it a tough race, saw her set a personal best of 51.30sec while Cuba’s Aymee Martinez although out of contention, claimed the bronze medal in 52.04sec.
Shortly afterwards Al-Nour confirmed his impressions of being best of a good group in the earlier rounds, when clinching his 400m race in 46.56sec.
Coming off the bend, his steady acceleration blew away the challenges of Kenya’s Julius Kirwa and Bryshom Nellum, the Kenyan and American like himself setting personal bests of 46.70sec and 46.81sec.
There was an outstanding world youth’s 2000m steeplechase best performance when Bahrain’s Tareq Mubarek Taher foiled the Kenyan pair of Abel Kiprop Mutai and Bisluke Kipkorir Kiplagat to win in 5min 23.95sec.
Mutai and Kiplagat with times of 5min 24.69sec and 5min 24.87sec, also bettered the former best performance of 5min 27.64sec set by their fellow countryman Ronald Kipchumba Rutto in Liege, Belgium, 18 years ago.
Ebony Collins who ran her fastest-ever 100 metres when claiming the silver medal on Thursday night, was in even better form in her specialty 400m hurdles.
The American with a superlative display of hurdling, dominated the race from start-to-finish, winning in a superfast 55.96sec.
That decimated the championship record of 57.54sec achieved two years ago in Sherbrooke by the Czech Republic’s Zuzana Hejnova.
It easily brought her home well clear of Australia’s Lauren Boden who clocked 58.30sec and Aya Miyahara from Japan who finished in 59.62sec.
There was a a Kenyan 800m one-two and a championship record for Gilbert Kipkurui Keter who with Jackson Kivuna jumped third placed Jan Masenamenla on the crown of the final bend.
Keter struck 0.37sec from Mohammed Al-Salhi of Saudi Arabia’s two-year-old mark of 1min 48.79sec with Kivuna running a personal best 1min 48.37.57sec.
Masenamela of South Africa, disqualifed in his heat but then reinstated, after leading until the final 120 metres finished in 1min 49.73sec.
World 1500m leader Yuriko Kobayashi gallantly ran from the front in her event and only Sheila Chepkirui in a talented field, managed to stay with the blistering pace pounded out.
The Kenyan with 300m remaining eased into the lead with Kobayashi desperately trying to stay in contention with a spirited fightback.
But Chepkirui in the last 100 metres powered away to win in a championship record 4min 12.29sec, easily smashing Australia’s Georgie Clark’s four year-old championship record of 4min 14.08sec.
Kobayashi who had ran 4min 14.55sec in early June, lowered her personal best to 4min 13.96sec with Ethiopia’s Bizunesh Urgesa Mohammed doing likewise, with a time of 4min 19.34sec.
Chris Noffke sealed up the long jump title with a fourth round leap of 7.97m but with it wind-assisted, it was not recognised as a championships record.
However Noffke with his final attempt flew out to a legal mark of 7.95m which bettered by 15 centimetres the performance achieved six years ago in Bydggoszcz by Sheng Yapeng of China.
Tiberiu Talnar of Romania took the silver medal clearing 7.53m while octathlon bronze medallist Cleiton Sabino from Brazil, won another with a legal lifetime best leap of 7.49m.
Biwei Gu won an uneventful high jump with a clearance of just 1.87 metres. Behind the Chinese girl Australia’s Sophia Begg took silver on countback ahead of Kazakhstan’s Yekaterina Yevseyeva both clearing 1.85m.
Sandor Palhegyi with a huge hammer throw of 81.89m set a championship record, erasing the former mark of 80.11m achieved by his fellow Hungarian Joszef Horvath four years ago.
Ukrainian Artem Vynnyk claimed the silver medal with a best effort of 77.88m while with his last throw Alex Smith won the bronze medal for Great Britain, throwing 73.77m.
The men’s 400 hurdles heats saw David Klech of the USA set a world leader for the year of 51.84sec which was then matched by Robert Kigan from Kenya and Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Daak who both ran 51.40sec.
Russia’s Yana Panteleyeva and Tatyana Chernova were the pacesetters when the heptathlon’s first day of four events came to a conclusion.
Panteleyeva with a score of 3388 points, was leading her team mate by a margin of just 26pts, with Germany’s Diane Rach on maintaining a challenge with a tally of 3355pts.
Dave Martin for the IAAF