On the final day of the European Indoor Championships in Madrid the Spanish
runners were denied the gold medal they hoped to get. Someone has always been
faster in various finals.
Russian Dimitri Bogdanov won 800 m
At the 800 metres it was Russian Dimitri Bogdanov who won the four lap race in
1:48.61 minutes. Silver and bronze went to Spain: Antonio Manuel Reina was
second in 1:48.76, Juan de Dios Jurado got the bronze with 1:49.11. So for
Russia Dimitri Bogdanow was a perfect replacement of Juri Borsakovski. The
Olympic Champion, who leads this year’s world indoor list although
clocking only 1:46.10, had decided not to go to Madrid.
„It went the way I had wished. I wanted to come out of the final bend
with much speed. That worked well although I had a lot of respect of
Reina”, the 25-year-old gold medal winner said. Bogdanov, who could not
qualify for the second round at the Olympics in Athens, is a training partner
Three Spaniards could not win
In the 1,500 m final three Spaniards were chasing Ivan Heshko. But there was no
way beating the Ukrainian. Heshko won the gold in a championship’s record
time of 3:36.70 minutes. He was followed by the three Spaniards: Juan Carlos
Higuero was second in 3:37.98 minutes while Reyes Estévez (3:38.90) just
snatched a bronze medal. Fourth was Arturo Casado (3:38.94). So it was the
second bronze medal for Estévez after the 3,000 m a day earlier.
“I am proud to have won two medals here”, Estévez said.
In summer 3:28 or 3:29
“I had thought about two different tactics. In the end I decided to make
it a fast race instead of relying on my finishing speed”, Ivan Heshko
said. The 25-year-old had already won a bronze medal in the IAAF World
Championships in Paris in 2003. “In the summer I want to improve to 3:28
or 3:29 minutes”, Heshko said. “I had hoped that Hesho would get
tired after starting so fast, but that did not happen”, Juan Carlos
Gold Medal with 34
At the age of 34 Larisa Shao won her first big medal. The Russian took the 800
m gold in a time of 1:59.97 minutes. The crowd had of course supported Maite
Martínez of Spain who finished second in 2:00.52. Natalya Tsyganova
(Russia/2:01.62) was third. “I wanted to be at front in the last part of
the race”, Larisa Shao said. On the home straight she managed to defend
her lead against Maite Martinez. “I now want to improve my outdoor
best”, Shao said. This stands a 1:58.71 minutes at present. Title holder
Jolanda Ceplak had been out in the first round sensationally.
The Britain had started as a favourite
Lidia Chojecka (Poland) had come to Madrid as the leading 1,500 m runner of the
season (4:04.84 minutes). But she voted to run the 3,000 m instead. And that
was probably a wise decision. Chojecka stormed to victory in 8:43.76 minutes.
At first Jo Pavey had controlled the race and set a quick pace. The Britain had
started as a favourite, but she could not get rid of her rivals. She had passed
1,000 m in 2:56.61 and was still in the lead at 2,000 m (5:54.83). But then, in
the last part of the race, she slowed a lot. And when she was passed and saw
that she would not have a chance to get a medal she even dropped out. Silver
went to Tezeta Desalegn-Dengersa (Turkey/8:46.65), while Susanne Pumper
(Austria) snatched a bronze (8:47,74). She was just two hundredth of a second
ahead of Sabrina Mockenhaupt (Germany).