By IAAF Staff / www.iaaf.org - real,- BERLIN-MARATHON thanks the IAAF for its
At least a share of 50 kilos of gold was available to any of the four
contenders as long as they won in Berlin and completed a seven out of seven win
Of the four gold prospectors - Marion Jones was the first on the track but
the American Olympic champion had a terrible start in the womens 100m and was
well down on Jamaicas Tayna Lawrence running in lane 3. After 60 metres though
Lawrence and the rest of the Americans opponents were fighting for the minor
places, as Jones majestically eased through to win in a relatively slow 11.01.
Lawrence was second 11.12 with Debbie Ferguson in third 11.20.
Twenty minutes later it was El Guerroujs turn to pan for gold and he hit a
deep seam of success in the mens 1500m, finishing unopposed, as he has done all
year, in 3:30.00. The race itself may not have been memorable but El Guerrouj
certainly did. Moroccos World 1500m record holder has been peerless in both the
metric and imperial mile throughout the season. Tonight Bernard Lagat, the
Kenyan who is the second fastest 1500m runner ever, was the only person to
offer even a partially serious challenge. In Brussels last week, Lagat had
still been in contention with El Guerrouj with 110 metres to go but today
the World Champion already had a 30 metres gap at the bell, and Lagat
never made much impression. He finished second in 3:32.91 with Laban Rotich
back in third with 3:33.81.
In the womens 1500m, Turkeys European champion Sureyya Ayhan ran a "gun
to tape race, a tactic which is quickly becoming her trade mark. Her reward was
a meeting record of 3:58.43. Americas Suzy Favor Hamilton, second in 3:59.40,
ran a storming last lap and was catching Ayhan in the finishing straight but
with the Turks impressive strength, someone has to get nearer before launching
a devastating kick.
Back to the battle for gold, and 13 minutes after Ayhan had begun her race,
Felix Sanchez set off in the mens 400m. It proved to be lucky 13 for the
Dominican Republics World Champion who broke the field in the first 200m with a
bold strategy which left him well clear coming into the last 100m. By the last
hurdle Sanchez had begun to tire as a result of his initial effort and Saudi
Arabias Hadi Souaán Al-Somaily closed significantly but by that stage he
had secured the win and a share of the Jackpot.
With the other three Jackpot contenders having successfully grabbed their
share of the loot, nothing was going to stop Ana Guevara from staking a
successful claim. In similar style to Sanchez, the Mexican World Championships
bronze medallist destroyed the opposition and held a 10 metre lead off the
final bend to the line. Again under 50 seconds with a clocking of 49.91,
Guevara has been the athletics revelation of 2002. Although hardly an unknown
coming into the season, Guevaras star has begun to burn really brightly during
this years Golden League.
There was no Montgomery today but another of Maurice Greenes vanquishers
this season, Britains European champion Dwain Chambers, was in the field in the
mens 100m and dealt another crushing defeat to the American World Record
holder. Chambers was first in 10.02, with Greene off the pace again in sixth,
Gail Devers who had run so brilliantly to re-assert her authority in the
womens 100m Hurdles in Brussels last week (12.49), was defeated by her sometime
conqueror Brigitte Foster of Jamaica (12.62) and had to struggle hard to
overhaul World Champion Anjanette Kirkland (3rd 12.75). Devers time for second
Commonwealth Champion Michael Blackwood, an emerging Jamaican talent over
400m, clocked up his second Golden League 400m win of the season (previous win
was in Rome), to take the one lap sprint in 44.87. The only other man under 45
seconds was Kuwaits Fawzi Al-Shammari with Avard Moncur, the reigning World
champion from the Bahamas in third, with 45.07.
Christian Olsson, the newly crowned European Triple Jump champion, was left
without his usual motivator World Record holder Jonathan Edwards who was not
competing in Berlin. Even without the 35 year-old Briton in the field, the
Swede still produced a series of four 17m plus jumps, crowned by a victorious
17.40 in the fourth. Britains second string man Phillips Idowu was the only
other jumper over 17m, with two leaps of 17.18 and 17.23.
The womens 5000m had opened the evenings programme and became a battle
between to Ethiopians Berhane Adere and Werknesh Kidane. The two hit the bell
with Kidane glued to her compatriots shoulder, as had been the case for lap
after lap during the race, but as on so many other occasions this year it was
Aderes sprint which prevailed. She finished with 14:41.43, while Kidane was
blown away by the change of pace and finished second in 14:43.53 in a personal
best. There was also an Area Record for Australias Benita Johnson in third
There was a terrific three way tussle in the mens Pole Vault between
Germanys Tim Lobinger, Australias Viktor Christiakov and Israels Aleksandr
Averbukh. All three men progressed up to and over 5.80, a mark which was
seasons best for the Australian Olympic silver medallist who is returning from
injury. On count back it was Averbukh, the new European champion who won on
count back with a much cleaner score card, with Lobinger who took the bronze
behind the Israeli at the Continental Championships finishing third.
Kenyans Wilfred Bungei the World Championship silver medallist took the mens
800m ahead of a field littered with illustrious opponents, including
Switzerlands World champion Andre Bucher (3rd 1:45.20) and Germanys Olympic
champion Nils Schumann (5th 1:45.91).
World champion Osliedys Menendez of Cuba, after an indifferent season of
Golden League performances, won the womens Javelin with 64.45 from Russias
Tatyana Shikolenko who has beaten her twice in the seven meeting series this
There was a one, two, three for the home crowd to cherish in the mens spear,
with Boris Henry (85.82) leading a German sweep with Bjorn Lange (84.94) and
Raymond Hecht (83.26) filling the podium.
Olympic champion Heike Drechsler completed the infield programme with
another home win in the womens Long Jump with a leap of 6.45.
In the mens 5000m, surprisingly it was a Ukrainian Sergey Lebid, who
finished second in Monaco at 3000m, who led the usual phalanx of Africans into
the home straight. Lebid was quickly swallowed up by Kenyans Luke Kipkosgei
(first 13:10.41 seasons best) and Benjamin Limo (second 13:10.77) but hung on
to set a national record of 13:10.78.
The last event of the programme was a special four competition multi-event -
100m, Long Jump, Shot Put, 1000m - whose presence on the programme denoted the
appointment of 1988 Christian Schenk (Olympic 1988 Decathlon champion) as the
new ISTAF meet director, was won by Schahriar Bigdeli (GER) with 3297 points
ahead of Olympic Champion Erki Nool (EST) who scored 3293 and Decathlon World
Record holder Roman Sebrle (CZE), who managed 3136.
To collect their four way split of the IAAF Golden League Jackpot all four
winners must now compete in Paris on 14 September at the IAAF Grand Prix