Monday, August 17, 2009

World Championships Day Three

Track and Field: 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics

A very mixed bag today, and somewhat of a let down after yesterday. Very hard to top that men's 100 meters. Though the women had their final today - and it too was very fast.

But before that there was excitement of a sort, as World Record Holder Yelena Isinbayeva no heighted in the pole vault and failed to gain a medal of any color! Perhaps the biggest shock that this meet will see. We knew there was a small chink in her armor as she recently took second on count back to today's eventual winner Anna Rogowska (POL), but no one expected a no height from what has been the queen of the pole vault! Her failure was a US gain, however as it opened the door for Chelsea Johnson to move up and tie for the silver medal off of her season's best 15' 3".

Which marked a pretty good day overall for our troops. We got three qualifiers to the final in the men's 1500 with Lopez Lamong, Bernard Lagat, and Leonel Manzano all turning the trick. Excellent showing, and perhaps we have a shot at medaling! We also got an American Record performance from Jenny Barringer - a super 9:12.50 that garnered her 5th place in a very fast final won in a world leading 9:07.32 by Marta Dominguez (ESP) in an upset of Russian Gulnara Galkina who had to settle for 4th just ahead of Barringer.

We did have our share of disappointment today as none of the ladies in the 800 made it through to the final. Rather shocking considering that Maggie Vessey had shown to be in the class of these ladies. But Vessey never got untracked today as she started in last place in her heat and stayed there! Never moving up and seemingly never making an attempt to do so. She was eliminated in a race that she easily could have won as the wining time was only 2:00.62.

The highlights of the day, however, were the men's 10000 and the women's 100 - both finals. In the 10000 a swift pace throughout, found Zersensay Tadese taking the lead at 6000 meters and leading Kenenisa Bekele into the gun lap. Tadese clearly had dreams of upsetting Bekele, but Bekele quickly turned that into a nightmare as he took off at the bell and cruised away in a new meet record of 26:46.31 - making it his record tying 4th title at the distance.

And that win set the stage for the day's final event - the women's 100 meter dash. Through the rounds some favorites had emerged - Kerron Stewart (JAM), Shelly Ann Fraser (JAM), Carmelita Jeter (US) and Veronica Campbell Brown (JAM). And while the race was not as otherworldly as the men's it was one hot race. Bursting out from the gun was Olympic champion Shelly Ann Fraser, with Stewart and Jeter in hot pursuit. It was a three woman race that turned into two by the 50 meter mark as Stewart began to close on the diminutive Fraser. Stewart kept inching closer and closer as they approached the line, but Fraser out leaned her 10.73 to 10.75! A world leader for Fraser. Jeter was able to nail down bronze for the US cause in 10.90. So the day ended on a good note.

Tomorrow the finals start to come hot and heavy as we are approaching the mid way point of the meet. Biggies in the women's 400 with Ohuruogu v Richards; and a hot 400 hurdles. But tomorrow is also the beginning of the second Usain Bolt and Tyson Gay showdown with the first round of the men's 200 on tap.

Full results of today's action plus tomorrow's start lists and schedule can be found here.

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