Tag Archive: Jason Richardson

Lawrence Okoye and Shara Proctor staged spirited late comebacks to come away impressive winners in the discus and the long jump respectively at the Hanzekovic Memorial in Zagreb, applying a gloss finish to the close of their summer campaigns.

Both athletes seem to be treading on parallel trails in recent weeks as they made their respective finals in style but could not quite follow through to slip outside the top eight places in London so maybe it shouldn’t come as casual they earned their spurs on an identical pattern.

Okoye was enjoying a solid outing lying in third place on a second-round 64.51m, Dutchman Erik Cadee narrowly leading from Piotr Malachowski (POL) through a 65.67m in his fifth, but hardly anything in the build-up had suggested what was about to come as the giant 20-year-old Brit stepped into the ring for a final time.

This time round his throwing came all together to let fly the implement way beyond to a powerful 67.25m, his third farthest mark ever, and stun his rivals at the death as they were barely left with any chance or time to respond in a manner reminiscent of Manchester United’s renowned late winners.

A ‘continent’ best and meeting record on his part, the Croydon thrower marked a return to winning ways for the first time since July and he will be brimming with confidence heading to his last major fixture in Brussels, the formal curtain drawer of the Diamond League series and the Olympic season.

Cadee, closing out the competition with only 63.43m, had to do with second in the end and Malachowski remained third on a fourth-attempt 65.64m while Indian Vikas Gowda came fourth at 64.06 further behind.

Likewise, UK record holder Proctor was stranded down in the 6.50m region and fourth place up to her fifth attempt, a best of 6.58 (-0.2) in round four, as the main action was played out between Natassia Mironchik-Ivanova and season find Chelsea Hayes (USA) at 6.68 (-0.3) and 6.64 (0.0) up front in the long jump pit.

Yet, the Briton somehow drew inspiration to grind out a last-ditch 6.79 (0.3), a meeting record at that, and steal an unlikely victory out of the hands of a shell-shocked Belarusian, who could reach no further than 6.49 in her last effort, to bow out of the term on a winning note and smile – as ever, nothing is over until is over!

Funmi Jimoh was fourth at 6.59 and a very quiet Darya Klishina, a major absentee from London, faltered well below in sixth at just 6.39m.

Martyn Rooney had added a third British win in between in the men’s 400m as he controlled the race through in lane five and never left the final outcome in doubt. Building up nicely round the top bend, he carved out plenty of distance on the field to ease down the home straight to 45.78 secs on top with 1:42 800m man Duane Solomon back in third in a decent 46.39 secs.

Jeneba Tarmoh, a member of the world record-breaking US sprint relay in the Olympics, put up some decent fight over the first 60m or thereabouts but world champion Carmelita Jeter had too much in the final third of the women’s 100m to draw away to a clear victory in 11.06 to 11.30 secs into a slight headwind (-0.6).

Anyika Onuora just managed to dodge last spot by a hundredth of a second from Hayes, before taking up her long jump duties, in 11.59 but fared much better over the 200m to take fourth in 23.17 as sprint superstar Allyson Felix dominated with ease in a professional 22.35 (-0.2), another meeting landmark in the process.

Aileen Bailey and Charonda Williams battled stride for stride down the home straight and it was the Jamaican to sneak the runner-up spot in 22.95 to 22.96 on the line.

In the men’s dash, Ryan Bailey returned to winning ways as he weathered evergreen Kim Collins’s trademark blast as far as around 70m fabulously to power through to a convincing victory in 10.02 secs against the former world champion’s 10.14 at the end, while Mario Forsythe got third in 10.25 ahead of Darvis Patton and Michael Frater who were tied in 10.31.

Nickel Ashmeade, sadly, pulled up around 60m into the race apparently due to a hamstring injury and that could signify a slightly early end to a sound season of his.

Jason Richardson didn’t get off to the best of starts but his neat hurdling saw him swiftly restore order to storm through to a commanding 13.08 secs (-0.4) and well ahead of US record holder David Oliver in the 110m hurdles, the latter leaving a trail of disaster in his wake as he clattered no less than six hurdles with his trail leg on the way – and still managed a very respectable 13.22 secs!

The Olympic silver medallist, as well as the reigning world champion, has been enjoying a fabulous season, having posted 12.98 secs three times, save that he cannot find a way past an imperious Aries Merritt who looks invincible these days.

South African Lehann Fourie was third marginally off his PB in 13.28 followed by Ryan Wilson in fourth in 13.43, Jeff Porter and Beijing silver medallist David Payne tied in 13.55 secs.

Kellie Wells was first out of the blocks but slipped over hurdle two never to recover thereon, Kristi Castlin enduring a nightmare of a race in the adjacent right lane, which opened the way to the in-late-form duo of Ginnie Crawford and Queen Harrison to notch up the top two slots in 12.68 and 12.74 respectively in the women’s equivalent of the 100m hurdles, with Canadian Priscilla Lopez-Schliep third in 12.86 secs.

Reese Hoffa has taken the bit between his teeth since his defeat in London to dominate over double Olympic champion Thomasz Majewski (POL) nonchalantly once more as he pounded the 21m region of the sector relentlessly through the six rounds of the shot put; 21.34. 21.76, 21.56, 21.80, x and 21.70m to tell the tale as any of his valid five efforts would have claimed the spoils comfortably.

“What if” must be turning through the American’s mind, unbeaten since the Olympics, as the Pole could not mount any sort of response at any point to come a distant second over a metre down at 20.70 with world indoor champion Ryan Whiting in third at 20.52m.

Local heroine Sandra Perkovic had no trouble whatsoever to boss the women’s discus on a second-attempt 65.79m, plus two more throws in that province, while in-late-peak Jamaican Rosemarie Whyte was a runaway winner over the women’s quarter-mile in a meeting record and SB of 50.08 secs.

Denisa Rosolova was second in 52.07 and Marilyn Okoro came through strongly in the late stages to grab third in 52.67 secs in another solid performance.

Elsewhere, Olympic champion Taoufik Makhloufi comfortably put away a quality men’s 1500m in 3:32.58 with a familiar surge over the last 300m, Jairus Birech saw off Abel Mutai in 8:11.80 (MR) to 8:12.47 over the men’s ‘chase and Maggie Vessey shadowed the women’s 800m in 1:59.61 although her let-up at the end almost cost her the win to fast-finishing compatriot Brenda Martinez, who shattered her PB into 1:59.63.

Full Results


Costas Goulas


The Great North City Games up in Gateshead, Tyneside, on Saturday followed by the Great North Run from Newcastle to South Shields (13.1 miles) today provide the main athletics attraction on British soil, while the international meeting Notturna di Milano in Milan (Italy), featuring some Britons in action, and the two-day multi-venture of Decastar in Talence headlined by Tatiana Chernova , trailing Olympic champion Natalya Dobrinska in the heptathon overnight, are the most important events around the continent this weekend. So let’s start picking up the action around:

Great North City Games, Newcastle Gateshead, Saturday 17 September

A large crowd turned out in the streets of a damp Gateshead to hail Daegu hero Mo Farah on his first outing since claiming gold over 5000m in Daegu and the world champion returned the welcome home by means of a romp to an easy victory over 2 miles in 8:37.72, pulling away from American Brian Olinger in the late stages to win by over four seconds. A household name after his heroics in Korea, the Briton is enjoying large acknowledgement and deep affections among people around the country and even received a standing ovasion when recently presented to the crowd during the interval of a game of his beloved Arsenal at the Emirates.

Mo Farah wins the 2 mile race in Gateshead

That was the one of only three wins of a depleted British team against seven of an always superior American outfit that boasted the likes of Carmelita Jeter, Jason Richardson, Dwight Phillips, Bernard Lagat and Walter Dix among their ranks as Hannah England employed her trademark kick to come away from a spirited Helen Clitheroe for a convincing victory over the women’s mile in 4:39.49 to 4:40.65 respectively, a fitting follow-up on her recent exploits on the international stage.

The global 1500m silver medalist has got a further race scheduled in a road rematch against Americans Jenny Simpson and Morgan Uceny in the 5th Avenue Mile in New York on Sunday before she calls time on her season.

Jenny Meadows, on a rare outing overdistance, came a decent fourth in 4:44.99 to split the American girls behind the top two but Emma Pallant could finish only last way adrift in 4:53.45, still looking to find her way.

Harry Aikines-Ayreety and Christian Malcolm made a second one-two for Britain in the men’s dash in 10.27 and 10.45 secs respectively (1.5m/sec) ahead of makeshift sprinters Jeff Porter (Tiffany‘s husband) and Omo Osaghae, over to the flat from the high hurdles. From there on, however, it was all USA across the board.

Fresh from an electrifying 19.53 over 200m behind Yohan Blake in Brussels the previous night, Walter Dix had bundles of pace in his legs to tear away to a sizzling 14.65 secs (1.4m/sec, 10.11 through 100m) for a striking victory over the rare ‘straight’ 150m, as Marlon Devonish set a British best ever in 14.87 secs (10.19 at 100m) well behind in second. Arguably, this looks to form the Briton’s best distance on the quality of his runs over the last couple of years but such a shame he cannot translate his times into the 200m, having lost that final third that could render him a real force on international level.

Rising young American Maurice Mitchell came third in 15.08 (10.22 at 100m) and James Ellington filled the last spot in a personal best of 15.18 (10.30 at 100m).

In the women’s version, new world 100m champion Carmelita Jeter made light work to dominate in 16.50 secs (1.5m/sec, 11.31 at 100m), a world best over a ‘straight’ 150m, as Anyika Onuora (16.90, 11.42 at 100m) and Abi Oyepitan (16.98, 11.48 at 100m) trailed a long way behind, with high hurdles Olympic champion Dawn Harper deputizing over the flat in 17.19 secs (11.62 at 100m).

Jason Richardson, the new world champion, demolished a field that involved last summer’s global topper David Oliver with aplomb in a fast 13.16 secs (0.7m/sec) to wrap up a sensational season in style, the latter setting 13.36 secs for runner-up – apparently carrying a complaint though. Britain’s Andy Turner hit a hurdle hard early into the race to stumble out of contention and eventually let up off the final flight in 14.08 secs for last as William Sharman swept past in 13.82 secs.

Elsewhere, Bernard Lagat romped to an easy victory over the men’s mile in 4:06.01, Andie Osagie third in an unfamiliar outing in 4:09.53, Dawn Harper and Danielle Carruthers were a couple of gears up on the British girls in fast 12.73 and 12.77 secs over the women’s sticks (0.3m/sec) while young Holly Bleasdale struggled once again at the end of a very long season to come second over 4.12m in the pole vault, American Becky Holliday getting the win at 4.27m.




Great North Run, Newcastle, Tyneside, Sunday 18 September

Jo Pavey has finished top Briton in fourth in 70:48 in the women’s race to set up nicely for marathon duty in a few weeks time as Helen Clitheroe followed closely home a place behind for an excellent debut of 70:57 over the distance, in particular coming on the back of a runner-up spot behind Hannah England in the mile yesterday.

Lucy Wangui Kabuu laid the ground for a Kenyan double as she totally dominated the field on the Newcastle to South Shields course to clinch victory in 67:06, shaping a well over two minures gap on following marker Jessica Augusto (POR) who posted 69:27. Another Portoguese, Marisa Barrios, was third in 70:29.

Martin Matathi (KEN) moved through the gears over the last third of the race to surge inside 59 mins for a new course record of 58:56 and thoroughly win the men’s affair from compatriot Jonathan Maiyo, who had broken away around the 5th mile but couldn’t hold on to his lead to eventually finish a distant second  in 59:27.

The Kenyans occupied all four top positions as pre-race favourite Emanuel Mutai wound up third in 59:52 and Micah Kogo was fourth in 60:03.

Keith Gerrard, 25, made a very promising debut of his own in 63:39 to move straight fourth in the UK charts this season and might as well start contemplating an earlier move up to the marathon on the evidence of this showing. The US-based runner has also made substantial headway over 10000m by means of a PB of 28:27.03 this term so a solid platform is already in place to mount a move up.

Among other Britons, Scot Freya Murray swang back into action after a long lay-off due to injury to make a strong debut of 72:44 for 10th in the women’s race while veteran Ian Hudspith ran his fastest time since 2007 in 64:14 in 15th place, former steeplechaser Matt O’Dowd (V35) drew his best time since 1999 in 64:32 for 17th, returning John Beattie ran a debut 64:50 following next and Darren Deed posted a personal best of 64:58 a further spot adrift in the men’s race.

Andy Vernon may have been slightly disappointed to come only 20th in 65:45 (SB).

Full Results




Decastar, Talence, France

Day I

Olympic champion Natalya Dobrynska (UKR) is mounting a slight surprise at the moment as she is leading new global champion Tatiana Chernova (RUS) by a healthy 56pts overnight, 3867 to 3811pts respectively after four disciplines.

The Russian, as expected, got to the front after the hurdles running slightly outside her PB in a 13.37 secs (-0.7m/sec, 1069pts) against a familiar modest start from her main rival in 13.76 secs (-0.5m/sec, 1013pts) for the duo to come tied at 1.82m out of the high jump (1003pts).

But Dobrynska bided her time to strike back through a SB of 16.28m (947pts) in the shot that, combined with a poor effort of 12.90m by Chernova (721pts), propelled her to a sound lead of 170pts after the third stop of the heptathlon. However, another modest trip round 200m in 24.80 secs (0.0, 904pts) had her advantage curtailed down to just 56pts at the end of the first day as Chernova was substantially faster in 23.61 secs (-0.7m/sec, 1018) in her heat.

Rather surprisingly, Jessica Zelinka (CAN) is not that far off in third on 3752pts with Karolina Tyminska (POL) fourth on 3706pts.

In the decathlon, favourite Leonel Suarez (CUB) is stuttering way down in eighth on just 3925 after a horrid first day (11.43, 7.18, 13.24, 1.97, 49.39) and will need to call up on his deepest reserves if he is to turn around a nasty situation of a 290pts deficit on overnight leader Andres Raja (EST) on 4215pts.

Day I Results & Standings


Day II

Natalya Dobrynska‘s challenge and potential upset quickly fizzled out into the second day to open the way to Tatiana Chervona for a comfortable victory in the end on an eventual total of 6679pts, the Ukrainian still pulling together a SB of 6539pts.

The Russian actually didn’t even need to reach her best form as a 6.57m (1.8m/sec, 1030pts) leap proved enough to turn round a 56pts deficit into a 28pts advantage from the off since Dobrynska faltered at just 6.31m (1.8m/sec, 946pts) in the long jump.

And it was as good as game over when the world champion landed her spear at 50.62m (872pts) to settle matters in the javelin with her rival unable to go further than 47.40m (810pts), rendering the tail-end 800m a virtual lap of honour as Chernova sailed through in 2:09.92 to wrap up her third straight multi-eventer win – the Ukrainian crossing the line in 2:13.42.

Karolina Tyminska came third on 6301pts through a strong ending of a 2:06.51 over 800m and Canadian Jessica Zelinka was fourth on 6296pts.

Over to the decathlon, Leonel Suarez could make no ground nor improve on a dismal opening day to end up a mere seventh on a vastly disappointing 7889pts as Hans van Alphen (BEL) came through from behind to snatch victory by a mere 16pts out of the hands of Mikk Pahapill (EST) at the death, running narrowly outside his PB in 4:21.10 for 804 and a total of 8200pts against the latter’s much slower 4:38.43 (690pts) to a final tally of 8184pts.





Notturna di Milano, Milan, Italy, September 18

Luke Fagan and Leon Baptiste‘s hopes of fast times over the dash in Milan were blown away by a strong headwind of -3.4m/sec down the home straight, as well as pouring rain, to strive home in 10.57 and 10.65 secs for second and fifth respectively, although the former may be content enough to have placed runner-up behind new Jamaican star Nickel Ashmeade (9.96) who crossed the line in 10.42 secs.

Apparently, that was Fagan’s last piece of action to a breakthrough season while Baptiste will be likely running one more race over his specialty, the 200m, in Watford midweek.

Chris Clarke fared much better than in Brussels two days ago to come runner-up in 46.29 over 400m not far off winner Oscar Pistorius (RSA), who sneaked inside 46 secs to a time of 45.97.

In the men’s 1500m, Kenyan Silas Kiplagat was rampant to storm to a devastating victory by around four and a half seconds in 3:33.28 over a field that involved former world champion Yussuf Saad Kamel, the son of great Billy Konchellah (KEN), who is still working his way back and ended up fourth in a 3:39.05.

James Brewer came home in the middle of the field in eighth in a SB of 3:41.10 but will be satisfied to have claimed the scalp of Spaniard Arturo Casado who finished a place behind in 3:41.86.

Mohammed Amman stuns mighty David Rudisha down the home straight on a damp track

The highlight of the meeting belonged without a doubt to late season’s revelation Mohammed Amman (ETH) who forced mighty world record holder David Rudisha into his first defeat over 800m in two years, edging narrowly ahead in the dying stages to a fast 1:43.50 against the Kenyan’s 1:43.57. A massive win and confidence boost for the 17-year-old Ethiopian who emerges as a force to reckon with in view of the London Olympics next summer.

Olha Saladuha (UKR) carved out arguably the other top display of the meeting as she reached out to a slightly windy 14.94m (2.4m/sec) in the triple jump to comfortably hold off second-placed Olga Rypakova (KAZ), who achieved a best of 14.69 (2.8m/sec) on the day, while Anna Chicherova (RUS) cleared 1.96m to edge out home favourite Antonietta di Martino (1.93) in the women’s high jump.





Meeting International Tangier, Morocco, Sunday 18 September

Dwain Chambers edged out local record holder Ouhadi Aziz to a useful international win in the men’s 100m in 10.28 to 10.32 secs (-0.4m/sec), Lerone Clarke (JAM) last in a dismal 10.84 secs (injured?), and came back later to take third on a first, and probably last, showing over the longest sprint in 20.86 secs (-0.1m/sec) some way behind winner Ainsley Waugh‘s meet record of 20.71 secs, Aziz marginally second in 20.85 secs.

Jemma Simpson was a convincing winner in the women’s 800m in 2:02.21 but had to wait for a while to learn of her time as the clock stopped at 1:52 during the last stages of the race – that would have been an awesome world record!

The overall outlook of displays on the track and the infield ranged on a moderate trail apart from Canadian Dylan Armstrong‘s 21.76m to win the men’s shot from Portoguese Fortes Marco (20.61) and former world champion Christian Cantwell (20.58), suggesting that conditions may have not been very performance conductive.





IAAF Race Walking Challenge Final, La Coruna, Spain, Saturday 17 September

Long-unbeaten Valerie Borchin and Olga Kaniskina (RUS), the world champions over the men and women’s 20km in Daegu, took their form to the streets of La Coruna in Spain and dominated the respective 10km races at the Race Walking Challenge Final with relative ease.

Borchin always maintained a firm hold on the men’s affair and was barely threatened at any point to claim a convincing win, along with a $30,000 prize, in a huge SB of 38:42 ahead of China’s Zhang Wang (38:49, SB), who finished just outside the medals in Daegu, and Wafei Chu (39:06, SB).

For her part, Kaniskina upped the ante in the late stages to pull well clear of Daegu’s silver medalist Hong Liu (CHN) to an eventual 42:37 (SB), placing a good 17 secs distance between herself and her rival.


Men 1.Valerie Borchin (RUS) 38:42 (SB), 2.Zhang Wang (CHN) 38:49 (SB), 3.Wafei Chu (CHN) 39:06 (SB), 4.Joao Vieira (POR) 39:09 (SB), 5.Eder Sanchez (MEX) 39:13 (SB), …, 10.Jared Tallent (AUS) 39:48

Women 1.Olga Kaniskina (RUS) 42:37 (SB), 2.Hong Liu (CHN) 42:54 (SB), 3.Melanie Seeger (GER) 43:06 (SB), 4.Ana Capacinha (POR) 43:12 (PB), 5.Susana Feitor (POR) 43:37 (SB)



BAL Qualifier, Abingdon, Saturday 17 September

Merwyn Luckwell has returned to the top of the British javelin after two years as he released an Olympic B qualifier of 80.60m in Abingdon, showing that he is totally over the long-term injury problems that blighted him since 2009. That mark was the farthest by a Brit since his own PB of 81.05m two years ago to move past James Campbell, a SB of 80.18 back in May, to the top of the UK rankings in the process.

There was further good news from the javelin quarters at the bow-out of the season as U20 Richard Shuttleworth improved to a PB of 71.61m behind Luckwell, scratching his former figure of 70.73m in qualification at the European U20 Championships in Tallinn (Estonia). Both throwers are coached by Esa Utriainen.

Mick Woods-coached Charlie Purdue continued her tentative return to action in a 10:04.1 low-key race over 3000m having missed the bulk of the summer following surgery in May.


English Schools Combined Events Championships, Exeter, September 17-18

18-year-old Liam Ramsey worked up a new U20 best total ever of 7308 pts during a two-day adventure in the decathlon across the weekend in Exeter, to move up from his previous figure of 7233pts in Doncaster back in June. His card read 11.46w (4.6m/sec) in the 100m, 6.94m (2.6m/sec) in the long jump, 13.74m in the shot (6kgr), 1.96m in the high jump (ePB), 49.26 secs over 400m, 14.46 over the junior sticks (PB, 1.2m/sec), 37.66m in the discus, 4.03m in the pole vault, 43.75m in the javelin and rounded out in 4:33.44 in the 1500m.

Luke Fagan doesn’t only maintain his form nicely but is also slipping through the gears way deep into a long season as he made the most of a high quality dash in Dubnica, Slovakia, to surge into new territories by means of a massive PB and under the Olympic B standard of 10.21 secs (0.8m/sec) for fifth, erasing his mere four-day-old previous mark of 10.34 secs (-0.5m/sec) at Hilversum (Holland) last Sunday.

The writing was there on the wall, though, since he set a marginally windy 10.26 secs (2.1m/sec) at the BAL match at the Sportcity in mid August and the 23-year-old, a former European U20 bronze medalist over 200m, has come a long way out of the shadows that haunted him for a few straight seasons. He even cruelly missed out on the third vacant 200m spot on the British team to Daegu as he equalled the A standard of 20.60 secs a week too late on the deadline, having finished a surprise third from the outside lane at the UK Trials, but he is now making sure he bolsters up his footing as a genuine prospect for the Olympics in London next summer.

It is a real shame, however, and quite odd that men’s 200m races come so far and few between on the international circuit lately as he could demolish his PB and even storm the top of the UK rankings this season on the strength of this form.  A problem also faced by Commonwealth champion Leon Baptiste, trying to salvage something of this term, who looks likely to resort to a midweek race in Watford against 400m man Chris Clarke as a way out of a dead end.

Racewise, the men’s 100m final rose equal to its billing as it turned into an enthralling blanket affair down the home stretch that saw four sprinters come within 0.05 secs of each other across the line, eventually edged by Olympic silver medalist Richard Thompson in 10.05 secs as the Trinidadian looks to recover his best form after his slump in Daegu. Evergreen Kim Collins (SKN) came a mere two hundredths behind in 10.07, forging an excellent string of performances through the season, Jamaican Michael Frater got third spot at an equal margin in 10.09 secs and Dwain Chambers agonizingly missed out on a top three placing in 10.10 secs, having won his heat in 10.24 secs (0.4m/sec) earlier on.

The UK champion, who spends time training with Dan Pfaff’s squad, has now knitted together a haul of seven races between 10.01 to 10.10 plus a brace of 10.13s into strong headwinds, his best ever, but that sub 10 clocking still remains elusive this term. But, hopefully, this is going to shape a sound platform to launch an attack on the top tier of global sprint next summer.

In the women’s short dash A race, 23-year-old Jamaican rising prospect Schillonie Calvert, a 11.05 secs performer this summer, eased to a far more comfortable win that she would have expected in 11.17 secs over Bulgarian Ivet Lalova (11.37), a 10.96 marker this season, and compatriot Aileen Bailey (11.39), into a headwind of -0.7m/sec at that. Britain’s Anyika Onuora was a place behind in fourth in 11.54 secs to get the scalp of European indoor champion Olesya Pohv (UKR), who posted a modest by her standards 11.58 secs.

UK record holder Montell Douglas delivered the sole British win of the day in 11.65 secs into a -1.0m/sec headwind in the B race ahead of some glorious names of the past in European record holder Christine Arron (FRA, 11.76) and never-die great Jamaican Merlene Ottey, who posted 11.92 secs at her 51 years of age! What an awesome example of track and field passion the Jamaican has been stretching over four decades now!

Onuora returned on the track later on to take a second fourth place in 23.47 secs (0.4m/sec) over 200m some way behind Lalova, who controlled the race in 23.15 secs up front.

Jason Richardson, the new world champion, turned in a class of his own as he flowed over the sticks to turn in a sublime 13.08 secs (-0.1m/sec) in the 110m hurdles, adding to his fabulous tally, and way beyond Andy Turner, who had to be content with a runner-up spot in 13.49 secs ahead of Americans Jeff Porter (Tiffany‘s husband) and Ty Akins – 13.55 and 13.59 secs respectively. The top two renew their rivalry in the streets of Newcastle at the Great North City Games on Saturday before they both bow out of the 2011 track season.

Onto the infield, the imprerious Valerie Adams (NZL) reigned nonchalantly to spare massive daylight of over two and a half metres on the women’s shot put field with a third-round 20.73m, backed up by a Valeridiction 20.50 put and second-effort 20.42m, whereas the hammer turned into a thriller in stark contrast as Betty Heidler (GER) ground out a fifth-round 75.83m to just sneak ahead of world champion Tatyana Lysenko‘s early lead of 75.80m for a narrowest victory.

On the men’s side, late developer Trevor Barry (BAH), Daegu’s bronze medalist, effected a slight upset on new global champion Jesse Williams (USA) at 2.27m on countback in the high jump, Ivan Ukhov staying at just 2.24m for third, while relatively unknown Bernard Mbungua (KEN) served up the shocker of the day as he outclassed his illustrious compatriots Paul Kipsiele Koech and Ezekiel Kemboi in the 3000m steeplechase to a runaway win in a big PB of 8:12.27, the latter two coming well behind in 8:16.62 and 8:20.80 respectively.

Finally, Lashawn Merritt cruised to some easy spoils in a admittedly slow 45.75 secs over 400m, probably in not so conductive conditions, as Berlin bronze medalist Rennie Quow (TRI) failed to conclude his efforts.

Full Results


After the storm comes the calm… Following months of battling against menacing storms and waves under dark gloomy skies, Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu has finally steered her ship out on a sunny patch and calm waters just as time was running desperately short. For tension and pressure were piling up battering her sides and there needed to emerge a way out and within sighting distance of her fast sailing rivals ahead before the turn to London.

By all aspects, that was a turn totally against the flow of her season, even her recent outings. It was only three days earlier that she ended up fourth over 400m in only 51.80 secs on a particularly fast track in Rieti that very much ruled out any chance of recovery or shaking off Daegu’s major disappointment. But you can never discount the heart and the class of a champion to stage a rally even when all hope seems lost. Up against an arguably better line-up in Zagreb, Croatia, she showed glimpses of her glorious past, traveled well round the track and finished solid to set a huge SB and a UK leading mark of 50.85 secs for fourth and get her season alive again – hope was rekindled!

As a matter of fact, she came within touching distance of some leading figures this term like eventual winner Novlene Williams-Mills (JAM) in 50.31 secs, the woman she pipped to the world crown in Osaka in 2007, and runner-up Anastasiya Kapachinskaya (RUS) in 50.40, the world’s fastest with 49.35 secs and a bronze medalist in Daegu, so she is going to take plenty of heart from that as well. She will be feeling competitive again and the gap on the top substantially narrowed which is going to fired her up heading into a top tier affair against new World champion Amantle Montsho (BOT) at the Ivo van Damme in Brussels on Friday, with a point to make and some good scalps for the taking.

Incidentally, her time was the fastest by a British girl since 2009 and got the better of Ksenia Zadorina (RUS), Natasha Hastings (USA) and Olga Topilskaya (RUS) who all held considerably faster SBs prior to the race.



Another British girl that must have left the arena with a grin on her face was Jemma Simpson who, astonishingly enough, tied her two-day old SB of 1:59.59 from the ISTAF in Berlin but climbed up two places into third this time round in the women’s 800m, obtaining an important second Olympic A qualifier in quick succession. After a curtailed summer due to injury, she looks settled back into her stride and racing consistently well which is going to raise that feel-good factor and confidence back in her heading into the winter, something so essential. But really, how often does it happen for an athlete to clock an identical time in successive races over such a distance?

A new-look and surprisingly consistent Maggie Vessey (USA), a Daegu finalist, came thumbs up across the line in 1:58.64 narrowly before new Cuban star Yunesy Santiusti, second in 1:58.70, some way ahead of the Briton but a useful scalp picked up was that of 1:58.30 performer this term Liliya Lobanova (UKR) in the progress. Simpson has got one more top level race lined-up before she bows out of the season and she will be gunning for something really fast as herself vows.



Dayron Robles edges out Jason Richardson in another epic battle over the high hurdles

Andy Turner showed he has still got something left in the tank towards the end of a long summer to clock a solid 13.33 secs (-0.2m/sec) for fifth in the background of a latest enthralling knife-edged battle over the high hurdles as Olympic champion Dayron Robles (CUB) narrowly held off new global champion Jason Richardson once again in a SB of 13 secs dead to hold his ground convincingly at the top this term. But the young American is running the Cuban close and pushing all along, landing a new PB of 13.04 secs as he is bearing down on the landmark of the very great in the event, as the two look to edge away out of the top four in maybe the most hotly contested event around. Astonishingly enough, last season’s invincible number one David Oliver, apparently carrying an injury, looks like moving on the fringes of limelight at the moment to come off well-beaten in third place in 13.20 secs.



Usain Bolt overcomes a modest start to sweep past evergreen Kim Collins to win and a SB of 9.85 secs over 100m

Mark Lewis-Francis edged a rare international win in 10.35 secs (-0.7m/sec) over Moroccan record holder Aziz Ouhadi (10.38), James Ellington two places down in third in 10.42, in a ‘warm-up’ B race to the marquee event at the peak of the program reserved for Usain Bolt. The Jamaican didn’t get to the best of starts but once into his giant stride he stormed past evergreen Kim Collins, enjoying a second and even greener spring to his career, in the second half of the race to come away with a comprehensive win in a SB of 9.85 secs in almost windless conditions (0.1m/sec). Collins, for his part, was rewarded with a SB of 10.01 secs in second narrowly ahead of Richard Thompson (TRI) in 10.03 secs, looking like getting himself again after a slump of form in Daegu. Justin Gatlin came home well behind in fifth in 10.17 secs.

In the women’s dash, Jeanette Kwakye trailed home well off the pace in 11.51 secs but obtained the scalp of European indoor champion Olesya Pohv (UKR, 11.61) as world champion Carmelita Jeter (USA) romped to an easy victory in 11 secs sharp into a slight headwind of -0.5m/secs while late entrant Abi Oyepitan fared slightly better in fifth in 23.27 secs over 200m, dominated by Jamaican Schillonie Calvert in a PB of 22.55 secs (-0.2m/sec). By the way, that was Oyepitan’s faster run since her SB of 23.21 back in mid April, and arguably better given that was on a perfect tailwind of 2.0m/sec instead.

A last-ditch 6.63m in totally still conditions (0.0m/sec) saw Shara Proctor eventually draw out of a shaky patch that culminated in a premature exit in the qualifying round in Daegu and return to normal service, contrary to what her previous rounds had suggested (x, 6.39, 6.26). That proved good enough for runner-up ahead of American rising prospect Janay Deloach (6.48m) and behind Russian Olga Zaytseva‘s first-rounder of 6.73m.

In other events, Anna Chicherova (RUS) effected another countback win over home favourite Blanca Vlasic over 2m, the Croatian going over at the second attempt, to establish herself as a marginal top performer in the women’s high jump this term, Kenyan Nixon Kiplimo Chepseba pulled away to an impressive victory in a PB of 3:30.94 ahead of Ilham Tanui Ozbilen‘s Turkish record of 3:31.37 over 1500m and Reese Hoffa hurled the shot away at 21.73m to see off compatriot Christian Cantwell and Canadian Dylan Armstrong at 21.55 and 21.40m respectively.

Full Results


As we move into the second half of the World Championships from tomorrow morning, in fact late night in Europe, let’s take a look back at some of the most exciting moments of the first four days.

Carmelita Jeter (USA) wins the women’s 100m from Veronica Campbell-Brown (JAM) and Kelly-Ann Baptiste (TRI)

Amantle Montsho (BOT) narrowly holds off a fast-finishing Allyson Felix (USA) in the women’s 400m

The controversial 110m hurdles final that saw Dayron Robles (CUB) eventually disqualified after crossing the line first, with Jason Richardson (USA) the new World champion and Andy Turner (GBR) getting a surprise bronze

Vivian Cheruiyot leads a clean sweep for Kenya in the women’s 10000m

Valerie Adams hurls the shot to an area record of 21.24m in the women’s shot

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.