Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Post Berlin - Zurich and Gateshead
With the season winding down, we have just a handful of meets left to the season. The best of the past few days have been Zurich and Gateshead. And clearly the level of competition in Berlin has taken a toll on the athletes as the level of results has dropped dramatically.
All save for one Yelena Isinbayeva who clearly had something to prove after her performance in Berlin. An overwhelming favorite in Berlin who went home with nothing, Isinbayeva came to Zurich and merely set a new WR clearing 5.06m (16'9")!
And finally getting the monkey off her back has seemed to do wonders for Sanya Richards as she continued to dominate the competition in the 400 and set a world leader in Zurich with her 48.94 victory well ahead of World 200 champion Allyson Felix who ran a nice 49.83 of her own.
The distance runners continued to shine in Zurich as Kenenisa Bekele ran to an outstanding 12:52.32 world leader in the 5000, but the real headline was Dathan Ritzenhein fighting his way to third and a new American Record 12:56.21 finally taking down Bob Kennedy's 12:58.21 from 1996!
Elsewhere in Zurich we got another glimpse of Usain Bolt, but his 9.81 win in the 100 seemed to lack the "oomph" of Berlin - the Bolt Bar has been set high. But in the women's 100 Carmelita Jeter defeated her Berlin conquerors with another solid 10.85 to win going away with Kerron Stewart well back in 11.04 for second.
In Gateshead strong winds negated any really fast performances but we got strong wins from several American athletes starting with Tyson Gay with a 10.15 in the 100. Gay has one or two races left before he gets surgery on his injured groin and has vowed to come back strong next year. His female counterpart, Carmelita Jeter once again ran away from the women's 100 field - running 11.07 and winning by .19.
World champions Allyson Felix, Dwight Phillips and Lashawn Merritt continued their winning ways in Gateshead with modest performances. While Shawn Crawford, Nick Symmonds, David Payne, Andra Manson and Christin Wurth Thomas all found their way to the victory stand. Making this a pretty good meet for Americans.
For results go to Zurich and Gateshead