Shaheen wins fast steeplechase race in Rome on Friday - second leg of the TDK Golden League 2005.
Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain had shown a wonderful turn of speed at 800m in Lausanne on Tuesday, and he brought that pace to Rome on Friday at 1500m
Saif Saaeed Shaheen's dramatic last ditch win in the 3000m
Steeplechase, and a three way battle at 2.36m which ended in a 2.38m
victory in the High Jump, stood out in Rome ’s Olympic stadium at
Friday's Borotalco Golden Gala, the second leg of the TDK Golden League
Ramzi repeats Rome win
Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain had shown a wonderful turn of speed at 800m in Lausanne on Tuesday, and he brought that pace to Rome on Friday at 1500m, convincingly outsprinting Jackpot contender Daniel Kipchirchir Komen (KEN). Ramzi’s time topped the Area record (3:30.25) he had set on this track last year when beating El Guerrouj, setting new marks of 3:30.00, the world season’s lead. Komen was second in 3:30.37, and Olympic silver medallist Bernard Lagat ( USA ) third 3:31.09.
Ethiopian team trial
The Jackpot hopes of Kenyan Edith Masai were dashed by an Ethiopian triumvirate, as Tirunesh Dibaba, Meseret Defar and their older Ethiopian compatriot Berhane Adere took hold of the race, which at the bell had been led by Britain ’s Jo Pavey. Masai had followed behind the two pacemakers throughout most of the race (3000m 8:49.13, Ines Chenonge) but in the final charge she was left for pace, as Olympic champion Defar led the Ethiopian sprint home.
Hanging on to her vest all the way was Adere, the World 10,000m champion. Dibaba in third until the last 15 metres when she caught her two teammates and just got ahead at the line to win in 14:32.57, a meet record. Adere also passed Defar taking second (14:32.79) with the Olympic champion, third (14:32.90). This was a blanket finish if there ever was one, and the determination of the top three was heightened because this was one of the Ethiopian team selection races for the World Championships.
Benhassi exploits Cherkasova’s tactical error
In the women’s 800m, a tightly boxed Svetlana Cherkasova gave away her chance of the Jackpot. Poor positioning on the final bend which found the Russian caught on the inside of the curve as the race entered the final straight, a position which necessitated a dramatic cut through manoeuvre to break free, killed off any hopes that she might have had of victory. By the time she was out of trouble, Morocco ’s Hasna Benhassi was already away to victory. The winning time was 1:58.41, the sixth best time of the year, with Cherkasova second (1:58.47), and a superb new national record for Kenia Sinclair of Jamaica in third (1:58.88). In all seven women went below 2 minutes.
In the men’s 800m, African champion and Jackpot contender William Yiampoy was just never near the party. In the run into the finish it was his compatriot Alfred Yego in a personal best of 1:44.62 who took the honours. Olympic silver medallist Mbulaeni Mulaudzi (RSA) was second (1:44.70), ahead of Olympic champion Yuriy Borzakovskiy (RUS), third in 1:44.81. Yiampoy was a distant seventh 1:45.59.
Dip finish in fast steeple
Qatar’s World champion and World record holder Saif Saaeed Shaheen left it almost too late to win the men’s 3000m Steeplechase. The 22 year-old who until tonight had been the only man to have gone under 8 minutes this season, was left for speed as the bell sounded and Olympic bronze medallist Paul Kipsiele Koech burst ahead. He quickly opened up a 10m lead on his former Kenyan team-mate, only to be closed down by Shaheen at the water jump. That seemed to be it, but no, it was Koech who immediately forced the pace again, and led into the final barrier. Finally, Shaheen produced the turn of speed for which he is famous, and in a last ditch effort caught Koech on the line in a dip finish.
The finishing times were 7:56.34 to 7:56.37, a world season’s lead for the winner, and a personal best for Koech. The times were significantly also the fifth and sixth fastest in the world all-time. Olympic silver medallist Brimin Kiruto (KEN) was third in 8:04.22, also a personal best, with former World record holder Brahim Boulami, fourth, 8:04.92.
Songok socks Kipchoge again
When a few weeks ago Isaac Songok defeated World 5000m champion Eliud Kipchoge in the Kenyan World Championships trials, the athletics world was happy to take Kipchoge’s explanation that he had been forced to run that 5000m when really he would have preferred to have run the 1500m that day in preparation to defend his World title later this summer. Today, though Kipchoge was beaten again by the 21-year-old who until this season had raced mainly at 1500m, with Songok inflicting a devastating final 60 metres burst which took Kipchoge by surprise, and to which he had no answer. Songok crossed in 12:52.29 (PB and second fastest time in the year), a desperate Kipchoge just behind in 12:52.76.
In all seven runners were under 13 minutes, with personal bests for Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia (3rd -12:52.80), Kenya’s World Junior champion Augustine Choge, 18yrs (4th 12:53.66 – PB), a season’s best for Ethiopian Dejene Birhanu (5th 12:56.24), a Ugandan national record for Boniface Kiprop (6th 12:58.43), and Benjamin Limo, the last of those under 13mins in a time of 12:58.66 (7th)
IAAF Editorial Manager
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