Turner gets rub of the bronze

The men’s 110m hurdles final

When the Oscar nominations are made early next year, the scriptwriters of the World Championships in Daegu may stand a good chance of being named in the category of Original Screenplay as the wild twists and turns of the plot never fail to stun even the most demanding of spectators and viewers. Blended, in an subtle intriguing manner, with a growing ‘urban legend’ of the program cover that seems to grip the top stars of the championships who will be waiting the next morning in dread to find out who goes next.

Dayron Robles, the Olympic champion and world champion, thought he had cheated the jinx as he managed to survive the start unlike Usain Bolt or Steve Hooker the previous two days. However, he didn’t survive the end. He crossed the line first but already knew deep inside that things had gone wrong and his immediate reactions could give his throughts and feelings away. Shortly after he contrived to start a lap of honour along with American runner-up Jason Richardson, the replays of the race started playing in the large scoreboards hanging above to reveal what had happened and draw his parade to a premature end.

It was at the peak of the action as he and former Olympic champion Xiang Liu were fighting stride for stride for gold in the late stages that he – rather inadvertedly – twice impeded the Chinese by brushing his hand, eventually knocking him off balance over the final hurdle as he powered off to cross the line first. Liu let up and fast-finishing Richardson, challenging close all along, came  through for silver to compound his misery. But the Chinese team lodged a successful appeal shortly and the curse of the world championships manifested itself to haunt the Cuban once more, swiftly deprived of his new-earned rank. Memories are still fresh of him left stuck in his blocks during the heats of the previous championships in Berlin.

Richardson, almost reduced to tears kneeling down after the finish, suddenly found himself on top of the world, maybe by way of a fair reward of fate for an astonishing display of a 13.11 secs clocking into a -1.6m/sec in the semifinals, Liu was elevated to silver medal and Andy Turner, who couldn’t have possibly imagined how important sneaking ahead of David Oliver on the line in 13.44 secs would actually be, was promoted to a most surprising bronze to add to his European and Commonwealth titles from last year.

In fairness, that wasn’t quite the best of showings from the European champion who made it to the last eight only as a fastest loser, by contrast to a smooth opener of 13.32 secs in the first round heats, but he kept going and fought all the way to the wire from the far side in lane one. But lucky as it may have been for Andy, a medal is always a medal and such turnrounds have seen people soar to the very top so many times and fortune could be smiling on the Briton, having fallen from grace just a couple of seasons ago. On top of that, that medal is going to shape a huge mental boost ahead of the Olympics next summer and bolster up faith that he could make his way into the medals over there as well.

Incidentally, that was Britain’s first medal since Colin Jackson‘s golden campaign in Seville 1999 and ninth won in the event overall (2-4-3) to make the high hurdles the most successful event for the country in the history of the championships, featuring also Tony Jarrett and Jon Ridgeon among medalists.

Britain’s joy was enlarged as a stuttering-most-of-the-season Will Sharman suddenly found his feet to sweep over the hurdles to an astonishing third in the second semifinal in 13.51 into a strong headwind of -1.6m/sec, very much in the same pattern as his staggering emerge on the international scene in Berlin two years ago, and returned in the final later to complete the turn-up by picking up a superb fifth in 13.67 (-1.1m/sec) and get his international career back on track in earnest.

 

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DAY III evening session lead-up

Andy Turner is looking for a spot in a first global final in his hurdling career when he settles in his blocks in the first semifinal of the 110m hurdles. As he has said, it may be a sign of good luck that he has drawn lane six, the same as in the last 16 en route to winning his European title in Barcelona last summer. Olympic champion Dayron Robles (CUB) and former title holder Xiang Liu (CHN) are the two heavyweights contesting this flight of hurdles in the two adjacent lanes on his inside and Aries Merritt (USA) will be another name to keep an eye on going in three.

Berlin finalist William Sharman will be hoping to conjure up a top eight place out of virtually nowhere just as he did two years ago as he showed some improved form in the preliminary heats. He is in lane two just inside season revelation Jason Richardson (USA) while David Oliver is drawn further afield in five. Three first of each heat and two fastest losers make the final so both Brits could make it through.

Jessica Ennis is pitted in the A group of the heptathlon shot and she will be out to make up for a slight disappointment in the earlier discipline, the high jump, and force her way past a surprisingly strong Hyleas Fountain (USA), having forged a lead of 41 pts after the first two events. She will have to keep checking out the B group, though, to find out how she has done compared to her American rival, where an upbeat Louise Hazell will be looking fo fashion a third individual PB on the trot to consolidate a fabulous start to her campaign.

Steve Lewis competes in his second world final in a row, having squeezed through in qualification, and will be hoping to emulate his top 8 placing in Berlin while Jeanette Kwakye is faced with a very tough first semifinal heat against Merchevet Myers (USA) and Kerron Stewart (JAM) in particular.

Martyn Rooney has got an excellent lane in five as he will be vying for a top two place leading straight to the men’s 400m final with Kirani James (GRN) and Chris Brown (BAH) his main opponents running in the immediate two lanes inside him.

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Morning session as it unfolds

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Perri Shakes-Drayton is easily through the third preliminary heat of the 400m hurdles as she powers round the second half of the race into second in 55.90 secs well behind a flowing Lashinda Demus, who sets a smooth 54.93 secs. Nice job!

Tougher work for Eilidh Child from the inside lane but she delivers a solid run to go through the fourth heat in third in 56.18 secs, Vania Stambolova getting this one in 55.29 secs. The Jamaican top duo of Kaliese Spencer and Melaine Walker also catch the eye with prominent displays in winning their heats in 54.93 and 54.86 secs respectively.

Results

http://daegu2011.iaaf.org/ResultsByDate.aspx?racedate=08-29-2011/sex=W/discCode=400H/combCode=hash/roundCode=h/results.html#detW_400H_hash_h

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Unfortunately, Ennis can’t overcome 1.89m for a slightly disappointing performance in the high jump to leave the field open to Fountain, who makes the most of the Brit’s earlier than anticipated exit to grind out a third-time clearance and move 41pts away.

Well, it seems that Ennis is going to keep everyone on edge all the way as she fails twice at 1.86m, just a mere attempt left… But she summons up her strength to go over that at the third and settle nerves among the British supporters. Hyleas Fountain has already cleared that height at the first, maintaining a clean sheet so far, while Chernova, Dobrynska and Oeser all go out.

Jessica Ennis clears 1.86m at the third attempt

Jessica Ennis is over 1.83m at the second time of asking again and back on track, hopefully she is going to embark on a smoother trail over the following heights.

Jessica encounters a few problems as she clears 1.80m at the second and misses 1.83m at the first, getting too close to the bar. Fabulous follow-up for Louise Hazell with a PB of 1.74m in the high jump!

Standings (after 2 disciplines)

http://daegu2011.iaaf.org/ResultsByDate.aspx?racedate=08-29-2011/sex=W/discCode=HEP/combCode=hash/roundCode=2/summary.html#detsum

Results

http://daegu2011.iaaf.org/ResultsByDate.aspx?racedate=08-29-2011/sex=W/discCode=HJ/combCode=HEP/roundCode=u/results.html#detW_HJ_HEP_u

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Brett Morse squeezes into the men’s discus final through a second-round 62.38m to snatch the 12th and last place available as some big names like Zoltan Covago (HUN) crash out! Carl Myerscough can’t follow through on a best of 60.29m on the day but it’s great news that Britain will have a male thrower in a final.

Results

http://daegu2011.iaaf.org/ResultsByDate.aspx?racedate=08-29-2011/sex=M/discCode=DT/combCode=hash/roundCode=q/results.html#detM_DT_hash_q

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Dai Greene comfortably qualifies from the opening heat of the men’s 400m hurdles as he gets first place in a smooth 48.52 secs tied with South African Cornell Frederics, breezing through in the late stages after a conservative first 300m.

The men’s 400m hurdles morning heats

Jack Green falls well behind the main pace over the first 200m in the fourth heat but makes good ground round the top bend to come through into third, yet stumbles badly over the last hurdle and has to hold himself inside his lane to come an eventual fourth in 50.39 – won’t help him much in getting a good lane in the semis though. Nathan Woodward executes nicely from the outside to come second in the fifth in 49.06 secs and go safely through behind American Jeshua Anderson (48.83).

Results

http://daegu2011.iaaf.org/ResultsByDate.aspx?racedate=08-29-2011/sex=M/discCode=400H/combCode=hash/roundCode=h/results.html#detM_400H_hash_h

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Some excellent steeplechasing on show in the virtual semifinal heats, in particular the second run where Ezekiel Kemboi drifts past outwards in 8:10.93, a slight shortcut out to the dressing rooms (!), after a brave Ruben Ramolefi (RSA) has done all the ‘dirty’ work from the front but still hangs on nicely to go through a convincing second in a national record of 8:11.50. Third is Hammid Ezzine (MAR) in a SB of 8:11.81 and Nahom Mesfim (ETH) fourth in a PB of 8:12.04, where Bouabdellah Tahri makes it easily through as a fastest loser in  8:13.22. Superb times for a morning heat!

Results

http://daegu2011.iaaf.org/ResultsByDate.aspx?racedate=08-29-2011/sex=M/discCode=3KSC/combCode=hash/roundCode=h/results.html#detM_3KSC_hash_h

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The first of the three British discus throwers, Abdul Buhari (x, 60.21, 58.37), goes out early with 60.21m for 13th in the A pool. Hopefully, Brett Morse and Carl Myerscough will fare better in the other group but the British team need to get steadily on an upward trail having suffered already quite a few casualties on the way.

Group A results

http://daegu2011.iaaf.org/ResultsByDate.aspx?racedate=08-29-2011/sex=M/discCode=DT/combCode=hash/roundCode=q/results.html#detM_DT_hash_q

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Jessica Ennis gets off to a sound start to her campaign as she finishes a narrow runner-up in 12.94 secs (0.4m/sec) for 1133pts behind Hyleas Fountain, running on the far side, and was unlucky to hit hurdles two and eight hard with her trail leg, she could have won that in a low 12.8s – a good start nonetheless! Fountain’s time was a SB of 12.93 secs (1135pts) and the two of them get straight into the lead in the standings.

Hyleas Fountain sneaks the 100m hurdles from Jessica Ennis on the line

Great start for Louise Hazell to grab a PB of 13.24 secs for 1089pts from the outset which augurs well for a new total PB! Jennifer Oeser (GER) runs 13.33 secs.

Equal PB for Tatiana Chernova (RUS) in 13.32 secs behind Karolina Tyminska‘s (POL) big PB of 13.12 secs in the second heat (0.9m/sec), while Natalya Dobrynska (UKR) runs a PB of 13.43 secs in the fourth (1.7m/sec). Apparently, Jessica was least favoured by the wind, which has shifted into a steady tailwind since yesterday, compared to her major rivals but she has still gained a considerable early advantage.

Standings after one discipline

1.Hyleas Fountain (USA) 1135

2.Jessica Ennis (GBR) 1133

3.Jessica Zelinka (CAN) 1123

4.Karolina Tyminska (POL) 1106

5.Louize Hazell (GBR) 1089

6.Tatiana Chernova (RUS) 1077

7.Jennifer Oeser (GER) 1075

9.Natalya Dobrynska (UKR) 1060

100m hurdles Results

http://daegu2011.iaaf.org/ResultsByDate.aspx?racedate=08-29-2011/sex=W/discCode=100H/combCode=HEP/roundCode=u/results.html#detW_100H_HEP_u

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DAY III morning session lead-up

Jessica Ennis begins the defence of her global title in the heptathlon and will be out eager to stamp her authority and set a searing relentless pace from the off, heaping up the pressure and stretching her rivals all along. Setting off the third day of action, first stop is traditionally the 100m hurdles, a stronghold of hers, where she will be looking to translate her excellent recent PB of 12.79 secs into a solid straight lead to have the others chasing hard, with an unconvincing this term Hyleas Fountain (USA) her main opposition in the opening heat.

The American holds a PB of 12.78 secs, a SB of 13.12 secs, and could push the Briton to a fast time where headwinds down the home straight hopefully won’t be a feature as have been most of the first two days in Daegu. Berlin medalist Jennifer Oeser (GER), a PB of 13.14 secs, figures as well.

Commonwealth Champion Louise Hazell is also involved in that one hoping for a solid start to a campaign that could help haul up into a top eight placing, the next stepping-stone towards gaining a footing in the international centre of affairs in the event, with a useful SB of 13.32 secs.

Among Ennis’s main rivals, Tatiana Chernova is rather surprisingly drawn in the following heat and Natalya Dobrynska (UKR) will have to wait further till the fourth and closing run to enter the fray.

For the first time in the history of the championships, three British thowers will be lining up in the discus qualification and all three could make the mark on their day having gone over 65m this season. UK champion Abdul Buhari, on his international debut, goes first in the A group against the mighty likes of Robert Harting (GER), Virgilijus Alekna (LTU) and Gerd Kanter (EST) while Welsh record holder Brett Morse sets the ball rolling in the B pool with seasoned campaigner Carl Myerscough in that as well. The gualifying standard is 65.50m but a top 12 finishing with both groups combined could suffice too.

The heptathlon will be picking up later in the high jump where Ennis and Hazell will be separated into pools A and B respectively this time round. The former is strong on this end as well boasting a SB of 1.91m, a PB of 1.95m, and will be eyeing to considerably add to a potential early lead whereas the latter will be struggling to secure a safe passage through a discipline that constitutes her main weakness.

European champion Dai Greene (48.20) launches his campaign in quest of global glory in the men’s 400m hurdles and should qualify comfortably from an opening preliminary heat that also contains South African Cornell Frederics (48.14), going in lane two, while European U23 champion Jack Green (48.98) should have not trouble to progress from the fourth running just inside Bershawn Jackson (USA) in lane four, Jehue Gordon (TRI) relieved to has made the starting-line in two, and Nathan Woodward is second fastest behind Jeshua Anderson (USA) in the closing heat although he will have to tackle the outside lane.

The four first-past-the-post from each section and four fastest times progress to the semifinals.

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