Kamel scripts sensational 1500M victory

Kamel scripts sensational 1500M victory

Hylton clinches 100M hurdles gold while Bolt eases into the 200M final

Kamel scripts sensational 1500M victory

Bahrain’s Yusuf Saad Kamel celebrates after winning the 1500M gold at the Olympic stadium in Berlin on Wednesday. AP

Kamel, whose Kenyan name was Gregory Konchellah before he changed his nationality to run for Bahrain, outclassed a tough field that included defending champion Bernard Lagat of the United States and Olympic silver medallist Asbel Kiprop of Kenya, timing 3:35.93.
The field certainly had not expected Kamel’s charge but all the while, he was prowling on the periphery, waiting to pounce.

 The moment came in the final bend as he charged ahead of Ethiopian Deresse Mekonnen and stayed strong in the sprint to the tape.

Lagat, caught in the traffic, had to move out wide to get a clear run and he tried hard but Kamel and Mekonnen were a touch too far. Mekonnen’s silver came in 3:36.01 and Lagat’s bronze in 3:36.20.

Kenyan Augustine Choge, the leader this year with 3:39.47, set the early pace in the race with Mekonen and Lagat staying in touch. Choge maintained the lead past the 800 metres too but he failed to strike when it mattered most, ending up fifth. Kiprop, another fancied runner, left his charge too late to finish fourth.

Konchellah had won two gold medals at the World Championships, at 1987 in Rome and 1991 in Tokyo, besides a bronze at 1993 inzzzz Stuttgart.

Jamaicans had reasons to rejoice again as Brigitte Foster-Hylton ran a season’s best of 12.51 seconds to claim the 100M hurdles gold. She held off a late charge from Priscilla Lopes-Scheliep of Canada and Delloreen Ennis-London of Jamaica for her first world title.

Bolt enters final

The Usain Bolt show returned in evening for the 200M semifinals but it was a subdued one, the absence of a worthy rival to the Jamaican perhaps robbing the event of some colour. Bolt too seemed rather subdued but he ran a controlled race to enter the final.
Silver medallist in 2007 behind Tyson Gay, Bolt sprinted hard till the straight to pull clear of the field and then cruised home in 20.08 seconds. Alonso Edward of Panama and Shawn Crawford of USA followed Bolt into the final while Wallace Spearmon of the United States won the second semifinal in 20.14 seconds, ahead of Jamaica’s Steve Mullings (20.26).

“I am feeling much better than yesterday,” said Bolt but he discounted the possibility of another world record in the longer sprint.

“I haven’t done the same amount of work like I did for the 100 metres,” explained the Jamaican who will celebrate his 23rd birthday on Friday. “I have not planned a party, I will have the day for myself, because the 4x100 relay is on Saturday,” said Bolt.
Merritt, Wariner advance

LaShawn Merritt and Jeremy Wariner set up another clash to look forward to, coming through the 400M semifinals with ease. Merritt ran the fastest time this year, 44.37 seconds, to win his semi while Wariner clocked 44.69 to make it through. Renny Quow of Trinidad was another impressive final entry, as he timed a personal best of 44.53.
In the morning two champions from 2007 bowed out during the qualifying rounds itself. German veteran Franka Dietszch, three-time champion in discus throw, tumbled out and announced her international retirement.

Donald Thomas, the high jump winner, too failed to cross the first hurdle. World record holder in 110M hurdles, Dayron Robles of Cuba, hobbled into the semifinals hampered by a hamstring strain and looks set to miss out on a medal here.

Meanwhile, there was cheer in the Ethiopian camp with the news that Kenenisa Bekele will be running the 5000M, going for a double after his win in the 10000M. Their hopes in the women’s 5000 are on Meseret Defar, who came through the semifinal on Wednesday, after the pullout of Tirunesh Dibaba.

DH News Service

Results: Men: 1500M: Yusuf Saad Kamel (Bahrain) 3:35.93, 1; Deresse Mekonnen (Ethiopia) 3:36.01, 2; Bernard Lagat (USA) 3:36.20, 3.

Women: 100M hurdles: Brigitte Foster-Hylton (Jamaica) 12.51 seconds, 1; Priscilla Lopes-Schliep (Canada) 12.54, 2; Delloreen Ennis-London (Jamaica) 12.55, 3.