athletic news from slovenia
Jolanda a member of "Team Europe" at the 9th IAAF World Cup
|24.08.||Mutola took another win over Ceplak|
London - In the women’s 800 event, Mozambique’s Maria Mutola took another win over Slovenia's European indoor and outdoor champion Jolanda Ceplak. Mutola, the world and Olympic champion, romped home 150 metres away from the finish to cross the line in 1.59.06 minute, less than two seconds outside the stadium record that she had established back in 1993.
Britain's Kelly Holmes has pulled out of the 800m at Friday's Norwich Union Grand Prix at Crystal Palace.
Holmes had been due to face Jolanda Ceplak, who beat her into third at the European Championships in Munich earlier this month.
The Briton sparked controversy after the race when she appeared to question the manner of the Slovenian's runaway victory, saying that she herself had run "clean".
Robert Wagner, who manages both athletes, said that Holmes' withdrawal was because she was not 100% fit.
"This is nothing to do with what was said in Munich," said Wagner.
"Kelly has had a blood test after being concerned with her performance in Glasgow last Sunday.
"Kelly always loves running in front of British crowds and is obviously disappointed she will miss this evening's meeting," he added.
"But there is no way she would have competed unless she could have done full justice to herself and rewarded the spectators with a top performance."
|19.08.||Fireworks on the track from Mutola and Ceplak|
Fireworks on the track from Mutola and Ceplak
19 August 2002 – Linz, Austria – Billed as the showcase event of the Gugl-Meeting, an attempt on the world record over 1000 metres by Slovenia’s Jolanda Ceplak and Mozambique’s Maria Mutola was preceded by a firework display normally reserved for the end of the meeting.
Although the assault on the record (2:38.08) was unsuccessful, there were fireworks on the track as Mutola and Ceplak sprinted for the line after Hungarian Judit Varga had led through 400 metres in 1:03.20 and 800 metres in 2:09.88. The two record pretenders had played a waiting game, turning this into a tactical race and it was not until Varga led into the home straight that the pair accelerated to pass the Hungarian and sprint for the finish, followed by Canada’s Diane Cummins. In the end it was Mutola who had the better of the duel, as she pulled ahead of Ceplak 50 metres out and held off the Slovenian to the line to finish in 2:38.08, as Cummins also pulled ahead of Ceplak, coming second in a personal best of 2:38.45, with Ceplak third in 2:38.50.
In the first encounter of the evening between African rivals Aziz Zakari of Ghana and Frankie Fredericks of Namibia, it was the seasoned Fredericks who took the honours, clearly outclassing the rest of the field and belying his 34 years as he got off to a perfect start and held the advantage ahead of Zakari and Japan’s Nobuharu Asahara to cross the line in 10.19, well clear of Zakari (10.31) and the Japanese (10.34).
In a repeat scenario, Fredericks walked away from Zakari and the rest of the field as he produced a powerful demonstration of the talent that had kept him in the front line of world sprinting until his injuries of the past couple of years. If a sprinter can be graceful, then it is Fredericks. His action is so smooth as to be deceptive, but the results tonight were as convincing as could be as he terminated his second sprint with a decisive 37 hundredths margin ahead of second-placed Zakari, crossing the line in 20.15 against the Ghanaian’s 20.52. Troy Douglas (NED) ran 20.56 to take the third place honours.
Europe’s best were no match for the Caribbean in the women’s 100 metres, where Jamaica’s Tayna Lawrence and the Bahamas’ Debbie Ferguson saw off Muriel Hurtis (FRA) and Kim Gevaert (BEL).
Lawrence got off to a perfect start and managed to hold off Ferguson, who got away a little faster but was unable to withstand the Jamaican’s acceleration, as she powered away leaving Ferguson to hold off Muriel Hurtis and Kim Gevaert. Lawrence won in 11.15 to Ferguson’s 11.17, with third placed Hurtis across the line in 11.25.
Ferguson made up for this defeat later in the evening, powering smoothly to victory in the women’s 200 metres in 22.63. This time, it was Gevaert to follow her across the line in a new Belgian national record of 22.82, narrowly beating Beverley McDonald from Jamaica into third place with 22.85.
In the women’s 400 metre hurdles, European champion Ionela Tirlea from Romania improved her season’s best performance to 54.61 seconds to edge Sandra Glover (USA) at the finish, with the American timed at 54.89. It was a closely contested race, but Glover took the penultimate hurdle badly allowing Tirlea the margin she needed to edge ahead and beat Glover by a stride at the line. Third place went to Cuba’s Daimi Pernia Figueroa with 55.03 seconds.
The men’s race was also a closely run affair, with Saudi Arabia’s Hadi Al-Somaily narrowly taking the tape ahead of the USA’s Eric Thomas, with the two timing 48.18 to 48.51, respectively and Greece’s Periklis Iakovakis third in 48.66.
It took Mesaret Defar of Ethiopia 9 minutes 12.61 seconds to win the women’s 3000 metres in Kingston, where she claimed double gold in that race and the 5000 metres. It took the youngster a lot less time here in Linz to defeat a seasoned field that included Morocco’s Zahra Ouaziz and Russia’s Olga Yegorova.
Here, however, as in Kingston, the youngster employed the tactics that have proved so devastating for her older compatriots, biding her time back in the field and their making a barnstorming run from the back to wipe out the opposition. In Kingston Defar was followed across the line by another Ethiopian, Tirunesh Dibaba, here it was Sintayehu Ejigu hard on Defar’s heels, with Turkey’s Ebru Kavaklioglu just behind her in third place.
Defar ran a personal best of 8:48.13 to win, with 8:49.48 for Ejigu and 8:49.89 for Kavaklioglu.
The heavyweights of the evening produced some surprises that they would probably have been willing to forgo, as of the three lauded American stars only one, Adam Nelson, really lived up to expectations with a first round effort of 20.67 metres giving him the highest place on the podium. Fortunately enough, as he then proceeded to foul his remaining five attempts. His compatriots John Godina and Kevin Toth fared even worse, with Toth’s best effort of 20.07 (one of the two legal throws he produced) and Godina’s best of 20.04 metres put them, respectively in 5th and 6th places. Nelson was joined on the podium by Hungary’s Szillard Kiss with a fifth round effort of 20.25 metres and Slovakia’s Milan Haborak with another fifth round throw of 20.11 metres; the same distance thrown by Paolo dal Soglio in fourth place with two fouls and a lower aggregate to Haborak’s one foul.
Another seasoned performer, making his last appearance here in Linz was Great Britain’s Colin Jackson; and once again experience paid, as Jackson recovered from a poor third hurdle to pull back Anier Garcia and Stanislav Olijar to win the dip across the line in a finishing time of 13.38, as Olijar’s dive for second place (13.40) sent him spreadeagled on the track, as Garcia came in a narrow third with 13.49. “It has always been great to compete here,” said Jackson, “and what better way to make your last appearance than a win!” to the cheers of the over 10,000 spectators in the Linz stadium. Commenting his race, Jackson said that he had hit the first hurdles hard but had not let this panic him: “It has taken me 18 years to learn it,” he joked, “but I have learnt that I must not panic and that there is no-one there who can finish faster than me so I gradually pull them back and rely on my finish.”
Jamaica’s Vonette Dixon won the women’s high hurdles in a photo-finish with the USA’s Jenny Adams. Both athletes were timed through the photocell in 12.85, ahead of the Ukraine’s Olena Krasovska.
A sprint for the finish line by Kenyans Michael Rotich and Alex Kipchirchir and Ethiopian Berhanu Alemu livened up an otherwise slightly pedestrian men’s 800 metres. Pacemaker Antony Borsumato took the field through 400 metres in 53.13 and the pace fell off further as the group of leaders bunched past the bell and halfway around the back straight. As they came up to the final bend, though, both Rotich and Kipchirchir kicked to pass Alemu, then heading the pack, and sprinted for the line. Rotich was the winner by a very short head in 1:47.52 to Kipchirchir’s 1:47.52 and Alemu’s 1:47.67.
The men’s 3000 metres steeplechase was very much a one-horse race, as Wilson Boit Kipketer ran alone for nearly half the race after pacemaker Josephat Kapkory pulled up. Of course, after Brahim Boulami’s stunning performance in Zurich last Friday, it would have taken a very special race to hit the headlines, but there was no-one there to push Boit Kipketer to his full potential and he finished just under five seconds ahead of Austria’s Martin Pröll, who ran a personal best of 8:24.59 to delight the crowd in Linz with his second place. Boit Kipketer’s winning time was 8:18.52.
The organisers had assembled an excellent pole vault field and were hoping that the longstanding meet record of 5.92 metres would be broke. This was not to be, but the crowd nonetheless enjoyed a exciting competition, finally won by Germany’s Tim Lobinger, with 5.80 metres, after Jeff Hartwig and Vadim Strogalev fell by the wayside at 5.70 metres, with the American taking second place on countback.