Track is my field: Mark Cullen's international track and field website featuring storytelling, commentary, and predictions and event analyses for the Olympics and World Championships. I'll be writing from the 2018 European Championships in Berlin in August. I'm active on Facebook and Twitter: @trackerati.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Beijing Buzz - August 25 - Day 4

After a morning’s rest in the Bird’s Nest, competition at the 15th IAAF World Championships resumed this evening.

First up was an upset in the women’s discus. World and Olympic champion and pre-meet favorite Sandra Perkovic could not get unwound until her final throw when she vaulted from 4th place to 2nd to capture her third consecutive major-meet medal with a throw of 67.39/.

Cuba’s Denia Caballero’s first round 69.28/227-3 stood up for the win. This was not a total surprise as she threw over 70 meters earlier this summer. Nadine Muller’s (GER) 65.53 withstood a final round challenge from Cuba’s Yaime Perez that missed bronze by 7cm. Germany finished 3-5-7 and Cuba 1-4 in two terrific national performances.

Great Britain’s Olympic champion Greg Rutherford returned to the winner’s spot on the podium in the long jump. He had only two legal jumps, and they both beat the best everyone else had to offer. His winning 8.41 - 27’7 1/4'” is his seasonal best.

Australia’s Fabrice La Pierre’s 5th round 8.20-26’11” vaulted him into silver medal position and broke a lot of Chinese hearts. His come-through performance knocked Jianan Wang, Xinglong Gao, and Jinzhe Li down a spot each, but China had a memorable national performance of 3-4-5 nonetheless.

The men’s 400m hurdles produced another surprise as Kenya’s Nicholas Bett won from lane 9 in a world-leading 47.79. Exceptionally fast times were required to medal; Russia’s Denis Kudryavtsev won silver in 48.05 and Jeffery Gibson won bronze in 48.17. Kerron Clement missed bronze by .01 of a second in a dismal meet for US 400m hurdlers.

There were few surprises in the night’s last two events, at least not at the front. The Kenyan and Ethiopian middle distance crews came to the fore as Genzebe Dibaba (Eth) and David Rudisha (Ken) won their respective specialties.

Rudisha controlled the men’s 800m and even slowed it down. So feared is he that no one would go by. He won the race going away… which is exactly what Dibaba did in the 1500m. Her last lap is simply unbeatable, and it was clear with 800m to go that the race was for 2nd. American Jenny Simpson bravely went with Dibaba, but it was a failed mission as she faded to 11th.

IAAF is reporting that Dibaba’s last 800m was run in 1:57.2.

This would place her 2nd on the yearly outdoor world list in the open 800m.


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