Kenenisa completes double in fine style

Athletics: World Championships: Lucky Jamal defends womens 1500M title

NUMERO UNO: Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele exults after winning the 5000M gold on the  concluding day of the World Championships in Berlin on Sunday . AFP

Ethiopia’s Bekele, also the 10000M winner here, became the first man to win the two events at the World Championship in a repeat of his performance at the Beijing Olympic Games last year.

Another day of terrific contests at the Olympic Stadium also fetched three more titles for the United States as they became the most successful nation here, surpassing Jamaica with ten gold medals.

Usain Bolt’s three-gold heroics might have put him on a different pedestal at these championships but Bekele’s achievements too were praiseworthy as he adopted a different tactic to upstage defending champion Bernard Lagat of the United States on Sunday.

Bekele controlled the pace from the front, making sure that the race never slipped out of his grasp. Eluid Kipchoge spearheaded Kenya’s three-pronged threat but Bekele warded it off smartly till the final 200 metres before launching his sprint.
A titanic tussle unfolded in the straight then, with Lagat going shoulder to shoulder with Bekele but with 20 metres out, the Ethiopian edged ahead decisively, leaving Lagat in silver-medal position.

“I know he can’t beat me at this pace. It was tough from the start. I led so much because I really wanted to make it a slow race,” said Bekele, the first Ethiopian to win the 5000M at the Worlds.

Another gold slipped out of Ethiopia’s grasp in sad fashion on the final day as Bahrain’s Maryam Yusuf Jamal defended her 1500M title in 4:03.74.

Gelete Burka had been in the lead till the final 200 metres but Spain’s Natalia Rodriguez tried to overtake the Ethiopian from the inside and sent her crashing on to the track. Jamal, affected by the incident, finished second behind Rodriguez, who was disqualified later, elevating the Bahraini to the top spot.

Breeze for Reese

American Brittney Reese, the only woman to clear seven metres in long jump this year, dethroned Tatyana Lebedeva with another world-leading effort. Reese looked confident from the start, opening with an easy 6.92M jump.

Lebedeva responded with a 6.97 to take the lead but the Russian had no answer when the American uncorked a 7.10 in the third round.

Olympic champion Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway destroyed all opposition in men’s javelin with a monstrous 89.59M effort in the second round. Finland’s Tero Pitkamaki, the defending champion, struggling with an illness, could only finish fifth.

The United States won both the longer relays easily while China’s 20-year-old Xue Bai became the youngest women’s marathon winner, timing 2::25:15. China also claimed the World Cup in marathon, with Japan and Russia taking the second and third spots.
On Saturday, Australia’s Steve Hooker put behind an injury scare to claim the pole vault title. France’s Romain Mesnil, who had run naked through the streets of Paris in March to attract sponsors, claimed silver.

The United States finished with ten gold medals, six silver and six bronze while Jamaica were second with seven gold, four silver and two bronze. Kenya took the third spot with four gold, five silver and two bronze.

DH News Service

Results:

Men: 800M: Mbulaeni Mulaudzi (South Africa) 1:45.29, 1; Alfred Kirwa Yego (Kenya) 1:45.35, 2; Yusuf Saad Kamel (Bahrain) 1:45.35, 3.

5000M: Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia) 13:17.09, 1; Bernard Lagat (USA) 13:17.33, 2; James Kwalia C’kurui (Qatar) 13:17.78, 3.

Pole vault: Steve Hooker (Australia) 5.90 metres, 1; Romain Mesnil (France) 5.85, 2; Renaud Lavillenie (France) 5.80, 3.

Javelin throw: Andreas Thorkildsen (Norway) 89.59 metres, 1; Guillermo Martinez (Cuba) 86.41, 2; Yukifumi Murakami (Japan) 82.97, 3.

4x400M relay: United States 2:57.86, 1; Britain 3:00.53, 2; Australia 3:00.90, 3.
Women: 1500M: Maryam Yusuf Jamal (Bahrain) 4:03.74, 1; Lisa Dobriskey (Britain) 4:03.75, 2; Shannon Rowbury (USA) 4:04.18, 3.

Long jump: Brittney Reese (USA) 7.10 metres, 1; Tatyana Lebedeva (Russia) 6.97, 2; Karin Mey Melis (Turkey) 6.80, 3.

Hammer throw: Anita Wlodarczyk (Poland) 77.96 metres (world record. Old: 77.80, Tatyana Lysenko, 2006), 1; Betty Heidler (Germany) 77.12, 2; Martina Hrasnova (Slovakia) 74.79, 3.

4x400M relay: United States 3:17.83, 1; Jamaica 3:21.15, 2; Russia 3:21.64, 3.

Marathon: Xue Bai (China) 2::25:15, 1; Yoshimi Ozaki (Japan) 2::25:25, 2; Aselefech Mergia (Ethiopia) 2::25:32, 3.

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