Report from the evening session on day three of the IAAF World Championships in Daegu
Another day, another disqualification of a big-name athlete at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu.
This time Dayron Robles was on the receiving end. In a competitive 110m hurdles final, he unwittingly obstructed China’s Liu Xiang in the closing stages. The former Olympic champion went from joint-leader to third-place finisher in the space of a few metres.
Robles was initially announced the winner in 13.14 seconds with USA’s Jason Richardson having the run of his life to finish a close second in 13.16. Xiang clocked 13.27 as Britain’s Andy Turner edged out David Oliver, finishing fourth in 13.44.
But as the big screen in the stadium showed a slow-mo replay of the race, talk began to circulate of a possible protest from the Chinese team.
They lodged a protest with the track referee, who disqualified Robles. Cuba then appealed, but it was rejected by the jury of appeals and the decision of the track referee was upheld.
The situation adds fuel to the ‘cover curse’ theory of the daily programmes in Daegu. Robles was today’s coverstar, following Usain Bolt yesterday and Steve Hooker on day one.
But the British team at last had some good news with Turner being promoted to the bronze medal position.
The women’s 400m boiled down to a two-way battle between Amantle Montsho and Allyson Felix and a thrilling finish saw Botswana’s Montsho win her country’s first ever medal, let alone gold, at the World Championships.
Montsho entered the home straight with a slight lead over Felix and they were locked in battle right through to the finish line. But Felix, going for four gold medals in Daegu, could not quite find the extra edge to gain the lead and had to settle for silver behind the Commonwealth champion.
Montsho clocked a national record of 49.56 as Felix set a PB of 49.59. World leader Anastasiya Kapachinskaya took the bronze with 50.24, as defending champion Sanya Richards-Ross faded to seventh (51.32).
After finishing third in the past two editions of the World Championships, Carmelita Jeter finally won gold in the 100m.
Having tied up under the pressure in 2009 – despite being the world-leader that year – Jeter kept cool on this occasion and powered through the line in 10.90, running into a -1.4m/s headwind.
Veronica Campbell-Brown, the winner four years ago, came through strong in the outside lane to take silver in 10.97, while dark horse Kelly-Ann Baptiste ran a superb race to take the bronze in 10.98.
After looking scarily good in the semi-finals earlier in the day, Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser looked unusually tense in the final, leaning forward the whole way and slipping to fourth at the finish, clocking 10.99.
Britain’s Jeanette Kwakye went out in the semi-finals, but her sixth place finish in the semis is the best ever performance by a British woman in the 100m at the World Championships.
Not many had heard of Poland’s Pawel Wojciechowski before this year, but he had proven form as a junior before struggling with injury for several seasons. Now in the form of his life, he won an exciting pole vault final in Daegu as pre-event favourite Renaud Lavillenie slipped to bronze.
But if Wojciechowski was a surprise, the silver medallist Lazaro Borges was even more shocking. The Cuban entered Daegu with a PB of just 5.72m, but he matched Wojciechowski’s winning 5.90m clearance and took silver in countback.
Lavillenie cleared all of his heights on his first attempt through to 5.85m, but he failed three times at 5.90m. Britain’s Steve Lewis vaulted a season’s best of 5.65m to finish equal ninth.
The top-three finishers in the men’s hammer read like it could have been a results sheet from six or seven years ago, as all three medallists rolled back the years.
36-year-old Koji Murofushi became the oldest ever world champion in the event, Primoz Kosmuz came out of retirement to take bronze, and Krisztian Pars landed his highest ever finish at a global championships at the age of 29.
Murofushi was in control from the outset, taking an early lead with 79.72m then extending it to 81.03m and 81.24m in the following two rounds. Kozmus threw his best of the day, 79.39m, in round two, while Pars leapt into second with his 79.97m in round four. But he gave Murofushi a scare in the final round, sending the hammer out to 81.18m – just six centimetres shy of the lead.
But Murofushi, who ended his series with another 81.24m and an 80.83m, had already done enough. After a few low-quality years, the hammer could finally be picking up as this was the first time since 2008 in which two men have gone over 81 metres in the same competition.
The women’s shot final was even more exciting as the medal positions changed on numerous occasions. After the second round, defending champion Valerie Adams was sitting in fifth place after opening with 19.37m followed by a foul.
She moved into the lead with 20.04m in round three, but Nadezhda Ostapchuk was close behind with 19.87m. USA’s Jillian Camarena-Williams then increased the pressure with 20.02m to move into second, but Adams responded with 20.72m in round four.
Ostapchuk regained the silver medal-position in the following round with 20.05m, but Adams sealed the deal with the very final throw of the competition, hurling the shot out to 21.24m – an Oceanian record and equal championship record.
Sitting in second after two events, Jessica Ennis was feeling the pressure from USA’s Hyleas Fountain this morning in the heptathlon. But at the end of the first day it became clear that her main competition will be Tatyana Chernova.
Ennis set a lifetime best of 14.67m in the shot as Dobrynska threw well as expected with 16.14m. But crucially, Chernova threw better than expected with an outdoor PB of 14.17m.
Ennis then ran a great 200m of 23.27 into a -1.5m/s headwind, but again Chernova had the run of her life, equalling her PB of 23.50 despite running in lane one into the headwind.
The defending world champion ends day one in the lead with 4078 points, but Chernova is in second with 3927 and a potentially great day two yet to come. If both athletes match their season’s bests in all events tomorrow, Chernova will score 6894 and Ennis 6813.