Britain’s athletes claim two medals on the second day of IAAF World Indoor Championships action
After his 60m heat on Friday, Britain’s Richard Kilty said he had gone to the IAAF World Indoor Championships fearing no-one. On Saturday night he proved why, as he sped to gold in Sopot.
Going up against a field comprising the likes of Jamaica’s 2012 world indoor silver medallist and 9.78 100m man Nesta Carter, US champion Marvin Bracy and Britain’s 2010 world indoor champion Dwain Chambers, Kilty remained cool, calm and collected to dip under 6.50 for the first time and go joint fifth on the UK all-time list with 6.49.
From UK indoor bronze medallist to world indoor champ – Kilty would not even have been at the championships had James Dasaolu not been forced to miss it through injury, but really once the final came the title was anyone’s to claim and having worked his way through the rounds, lowering his personal best in each, the 24-year-old proved his ability.
“After getting beaten by Nesta Carter in the semi-final, I went back with my coach and he told me where I went wrong,” said Kilty. “I came and corrected it in the final ran the fastest time in the championships and became the world champion.”
Behind him it was incredibly close as Bracy clocked 6.51 for silver while Qatar’s Femi Ogunode bagged bronze with 6.52, the time also given to China’s Su Bingtian and Zambia’s Gerald Phiri, both setting national records for fourth and fifth respectively.
Earlier on in the evening and Kilty’s team-mate Chambers had almost admitted defeat following his 60m semi final in which he crossed the line fourth with a time of 6.58. He made it through to the final with a fastest loser spot but 6.53 was only enough for sixth ahead of Carter with 6.57 while Carter’s compatriot Kimmari Roach was eighth with 6.58.
A little earlier and there had been a slight surprise in the women’s 60m hurdles too, as US Indoor Champion Nia Ali piled the pressure on to Australia’s defending champion Sally Pearson and came away with the gold. Pearson had the best start, but beside her Ali surged ahead to cross the line in a personal best of 7.80 for victory while Pearson knocked a barrier, her 7.85 securing her silver ahead of Britain’s Tiffany Porter who claimed bronze in 7.86 for Britain’s first medal of the championships.
Lićwinko delights home crowd
Kamila Lićwinko gave the home crowd cause for celebration as she won Poland’s first medal of the championships and their first-ever women’s world indoor title, making it a gold, too, with a national indoor record high jump clearance of 2.00m. With both the Pole and Russia’s Mariya Kuchina having cleared the winning height, they decided to share the title, with bronze going to Spain’s European indoor and outdoor champion Ruth Beitia. Croatia’s Blanka Vlasic, two-time world indoor and world outdoor champion, who continues to make her return from injury, was sixth with a best of 1.94m.
Excellent 400m running from Pavel Maslák led to a Czech indoor record 45.24 for gold and a boost to second on the European indoor all-time list. He adds the world indoor title to his European indoor and outdoor crowns. Bahamas’ 2010 world indoor champion Chris Brown set a PB of 45.58 at the age of 35 for silver as Kyle Clemons of the US bagged bronze with 45.74.
In the women’s race Francena McCorory lived up to her billing as favourite, the US Olympic 4x400m gold medallist clocking 51.12 to claim her first major individual title. Jamaica’s 400m hurdles specialist Kaliese Spencer ran a PB 51.54 for silver, while Shaunae Miller of Bahamas held on for bronze in 52.06.
Eaton just misses world record
Ashton Eaton had been targeting his own heptathlon world record and being nine points ahead of the six-event tally he recorded when setting the record in Istanbul two years ago it was all to play for ahead of the final event, the 1000m. But it wasn’t to be, the decathlon world record-holder missing the necessary 2:33.54 by just 1.2 seconds and 13 points, though to put his achievement into context, his tally of 6632 points is still the second-best score in history and 156 points better than any other athlete has ever recorded.
Behind him, 2011 European indoor champion Andrei Krauchanka of Belarus claimed silver with a national record 6303 points and Belgium’s Thomas van der Plaetsen bagged bronze with 6259 points, also a national record.
As expected, Sweden’s European indoor record holder Abeba Aregawi dominated the 1500m to take gold, adding the world indoor title to the outdoor crown she claimed in Moscow last summer. Having clocked 2:09.44 for 800m, she crossed the line in 4:00.61 – 6.51 seconds ahead of silver medal-winning Axumawit Embaye of Ethiopia for the biggest-ever winning margin in the event in world indoor history. Morocco’s Rababe Arafi was initially awarded the bronze and even collected her medal, but she was later disqualified for a lane violation boosting Canada’s Nicole Sifuentes into the medals with her national indoor record 4:07.61.
In the men’s event world outdoor 800m bronze medallist Ayanleh Souleiman won Djibouti’s first ever world indoor medal and he did it in style, crossing the line clear to claim gold in 3:37.52. As in the women’s race, the battle was on for the minor medals, with Ethiopia’s Aman Wote, fourth at this event in Istanbul two years ago, securing silver with 3:38.08 ahead of Morocco’s defending champion and Olympic bronze medallist Abdalaati Iguider with 3:38.21.
Adams continues dominance
New Zealand’s two-time Olympic champion Valerie Adams continued her shot put dominance just six months after ankle surgery. In retaining her world indoor title with a world-leading 20.67m she extended her unbeaten streak to 44 and added her third world indoor title to her four outdoor ones, her two Olympic titles and her two Commonwealth golds. Germany’s European indoor champion Christina Schwanitz, who took world outdoor silver behind Adams in Moscow last summer, threw 19.94m for silver ahead of World and Olympic bronze medallist Lijiao Gong with 19.24m for bronze.
In a pole vault competition missing the likes of world record-holder Renaud Lavillenie through injury, Greek athlete Konstadinos Filippidis claimed gold thanks to first-time clearances up to 5.80m. Perennial minor medallist Malte Mohr from Germany again had to be satisfied with silver as he cleared the winning height on the second time of asking, while Czech vaulter Jan Kudlička claimed the bronze having gone over 5.80m on his third and final try. British pole vault record-holder Luke Cutts, who cleared 5.83m in January, was eighth with a best of 5.65m which he went over on his final attempt having also needed three goes to get over his opening height of 5.40m.
A Brazilian indoor record sealed victory for Mauro Vinícius da Silva in the long jump, the reigning champion leaping 8.28m for gold ahead of China’s Li Jinzhe with 8.23m and Sweden’s European indoor silver medallist Michel Tornéus with 8.21m. Prior to the competition and Russia’s world outdoor champion Aleksandr Menkov had seemed to be the athlete to beat but his best of 8.08m in the fourth round was only enough for fifth, as he pulled out with two jumps remaining.
A best of 14.46m was just enough for Russia’s world outdoor triple jump silver medallist Ekaterina Koneva to grab gold in a close final. She leapt just one centimetre further than silver medallist Olha Saladuha of Ukraine, the Olympic and world bronze medallist, to claim victory with what is the shortest-ever winning distance in world indoor history. Jamaica’s Kimberly Williams, fourth in Moscow last summer, bagged bronze with 14.39m.
» Full results from the IAAF World Indoor Championships can be found here