Berlin 2009 - Day 2 SUMMARY - 16 Aug

08/17/2009 - 00:01

Stewart_KerronQ-WChs098-16-09.jpgfrom IAAF - Berlin, Germany - Ultimately it was no contest. Usain Bolt of Jamaica cast aside the clowning for 9.58sec*, the World record time it took to win the World title at the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics, beating Tyson Gay of the USA and an Asafa Powell, also of Jamaica, who took the bronze medal as he had done two years ago in Osaka.

Defending champion Gay had actually said prior to the race that if he was with Bolt at 30 metres, “you got a race”. It was both wishful thinking, and in its way, an admission of defeat. Bolt just blasted out of his blocks and was gone. The lead built with every stride, and so, commensurately did Gay’s advantage over Powell. The American ran 9.71sec, for a national record, and Powell finished with a season’s best 9.84sec.

Bolt paid Gay the compliment of running the race flat out, and even glancing right a couple of times in the last 20 metres, to ensure that the American, in the lane beside him was not threatening. But just the possibility of it had propelled Bolt to break the World record he set in winning Olympic gold by 0.11sec, a massive margin at this refined level of the sport, but telling testimony to Bolt’s massive talent.

US$60,000 was Bolt's prize for the gold and with a US$100,000 bonus for the World record.

It was an electrifying finale to a marvellous weekend’s athletics. And there’s plenty more, both of Bolt (and Gay) to come with the 200 metres, and the relays; and other athletics contests of the highest order to come. There was already a lot on Day Two of these 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics.

Vili thunders out her second gold; Germany rejoice with silver

When Valerie Vili put 19.40 metres in he first round of the women’s Shot Put, it looked as if the New Zelander had placed a strong option on another gold. But the defending champion was in for a shock. First Gong Lijao of China replied with 19.69m, then home favourite, Nadine Kleinert equalled her personal best with 20.06. When Nataliia Mikhnevitch hit 19.66m, Vili was out of the medals. And that was only round one.

It ended up as intriguing as the men’s contest the night before. Gong improved her personal best with 19.89m in the second round, before Vili retook the lead with 20.25m in round three, and Kleinert responded with a big personal best of 20.20m. Vili then ended any conjecture with 20.44m (and another 20.25m for good measure) and the gold was hers, again. Kleinert was second, and Gong, with a wonderfully consistent series of throws was third.

Ennis unchallenged from start to finish; Oeser takes another silver for Germany

Jessica Ennis may have been disappointed with her 6.29 metres Long Jump in the fifth Heptathlon discipline, but with her principal rival, Olympic champion Nataliia Dobrynska of Ukraine only picking up 38 points of over 300 deficit, the gold was as good as won if the Briton could throw a reasonable distance in the Javelin, and get close to 2.10 in the 800 metres.

Ennis achieved it easily, with 43.54 metres, even beating Dobrynska, who dropped out of medal contention. When Ennis ran 2:12.22 (after a 61sec first lap) for the final event, the gold had been long in the bag. The Brit racked up a world season leading 6731 points, beating her personal best by well over 100 points. Jennifer Oeser won Germany’s second silver of the night with a personal best of 6493 points, and an excellent Javelin Throw of 48.72 metres assured Kamila Chudzik of Poland the bronze, with 6471 points.

Russian walking gold again

As you were in the 20km Race Walk! Olga Kaniskina picked up where colleague and sometime training partner, Valery Borchin left off the day before, winning the women’s event in 1:28.09. Both Russians also won in Beijing, by where Kaniskina is the senior member of their team in Saransk, 650k east of Moscow, is that she successfully defended the title she won in Osaka, while Borchin did not finish.

In temperatures which reached 30C by the end, some 3-4C warmer than for the men’s race, Kaniskina waited until five kilometres to take the lead. But the move was so decisive that by halfway she was 25sec ahead, a lead she exactly doubled by the finish. Surprise silver medallist was Irish veteran, Olive Loughnane, who credited her daughter Eimer with inspiration for her performance. Going one better than in Beijing, Hong Liu of China won bronze, to add to the silver of compatriot Wang Hao in the men’s event.

There were no major upsets in the first two rounds of the women’s 100 metres. Carmelita Jeter of the US ran fastest in the morning session, with 11.22sec, and turned it on to beat Olympic champ, Shelly-Ann Fraser in the evening, with a 10.94sec clocking into a headwind of 0.4 metres per second. Fraser went into cruise control at 90 metres when she saw that Jeter was determined to win, and the Jamaican was an easy qualifier with 11.02sec.

Lauryn Williams of the US won heat two in 11.06sec, but the other two Jamaicans with claims to Monday’s title both went sub-11sec. Kerron Stewart won heat one in 10.92sec, fastest of the night, and defending champion Veronica Campbell-Brown, the double Olympic 200m champ (who didn’t even make the cut for the 100 in Beijing) ran 10.99sec, to win heat three.

Sanya Richards was again drawn alongside nemesis Christine Ohuruogu, in the semi-finals of the 400 metres. The American caught the Briton within 50 metres, then ran alongside, seemingly sizing her up before drawing away to a 10 metres lead. Richards then slacked off, such that Ohuruogu almost caught her. Richards ran 50.21sec to Ohuruogu’s 50.35sec. But in the other two semis, Shericka Williams, with 49.51sec, led four other women under 50 seconds.

Pat Butcher for the IAAF

*NOTE - World record subject to usual ratification process

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