GB’s athletes win four medals on final day of IAAF World Indoor Championships action as USA claims men’s 4x400m title in world record time
A world indoor record ensured the IAAF World Indoor Championships ended on a high as a USA 4x400m relay team comprising Kyle Clemons, David Verburg, Kind Butler and Calvin Smith clocked 3:02.13 in Sopot for a place in the history books.
With splits of 45.98, 45.62, 45.41 and 45.12, the quartet powered ahead to better the world mark set by their nation in 1999. In 2006 a US team did clock 3:01.96 but the record could not be ratified with no drugs testing having taken place.
Behind them, Conrad Williams, Jamie Bowie, Luke Lennon-Ford and Nigel Levine added to Great Britain’s medal tally as they clocked 3:03.49 for silver ahead of Jamaica who ran a national indoor record 3:03.69 for bronze.
There was a tense start to the women’s 4x400m as technical problems meant the race had to be restarted three times. Initially Jamaica were shown a yellow card after the runners were called back, but it later appeared to be a problem with the blocks. Once the race was underway USA took control and went on to clock a world-leading 3:24.83 for victory ahead of Jamaica and reigning champions GB.
Natasha Hastings, Joanna Atkins, Francena McCorory and Cassandra Tate recorded splits of 51.95, 50.85, 50.36 and 51.67, while Jamaica’s 3:26.54 was a Commonwealth record and Great Britain’s Eilidh Child, Shana Cox, Margaret Adeoye and Christine Ohuruogu were just off the national best mark with 3:27.90.
Silver for KJT
Having missed out on a spot in the pentathlon, Katarina Johnson-Thompson stepped up to focus on the long jump in Sopot and it paid off, the 21-year-old leaping to a personal best of 6.81m for silver and second on the UK indoor all-time list behind her GB world indoors team-mate Shara Proctor.
European under-23 heptathlon champion Johnson-Thompson, who won world junior long jump gold two years ago, took the lead with her second round personal best jump. A consistent series followed, but 6.85m from European outdoor champ Éloyse Lesueur of France in the fourth round replaced her at the top. Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic, who won long jump bronze at the outdoor world championships in Moscow last summer where Johnson-Thompson finished fifth in the heptathlon, bagged bronze in Sopot with 6.77m ahead of Proctor with 6.68m. Russia’s European indoor champion Darya Klishina was seventh with 6.51m.
“I came here with no expectations at all. I can’t believe I’ve won my first senior medal in an event that’s not my own,” said Johnson-Thompson, who also proved her promise in the high jump last month, breaking the British record in clearing 1.96m at the UK championships. “I was consistent in the jumps,” she added of her performance in Poland. “I think every jump was over 6.50m which is a good sign.”
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce made sure that her first world indoor championships was a golden one as she clocked 6.98 for 60m victory and the seventh fastest-ever time to finish ahead of Ivory Coast’s Murielle Ahouré who again had to be satisfied with the runner up spot as she retained her world indoor silver medal, adding it to the world 100m and 200m oudoor silvers claimed last year.
Behind her USA’s Tianna Bartoletta clocked 7.06 for bronze as Britain’s Asha Philip finished just outside the medals, missing her personal best by two hundredths of a second with 7.11 for fourth.
Aman and Osagie retain 800m medals
Mohammed Aman successfully defended his 800m title as he came through to overtake Polish athletes Adam Kszczot and Marcin Lewandowski as Britain’s 2012 world indoor bronze medallist Andrew Osagie appeared to have missed out on a medal by just one hundredth of a second.
It was a Polish one-two at the bell, much to the delight of the home crowd, but pre-race favourite Aman had left enough in the tank to surge ahead and grab gold in 1:46.40 ahead of twice European indoor champion Kszczot’s 1:46.76 and Lewandowski’s 1:47.09.
Osagie had seemed to have made the sensible choice of sitting back when the rest of the field covered a quick first 100m. But he left it too late to use his kick, almost pipping Lewandowski on the line, but it seemed it just hadn’t been enough to retain his world bronze. However, a short while later and Osagie was confirmed as having been upgraded, with Lewandowski disqualified for a lane violation, meaning world indoor bronze was bagged by Osagie for the second time.
Leading from gun to tape, USA’s Chanelle Price stayed out of trouble in the women’s 800m to clock a world-leading personal best of 2:00.09 for gold. In front of a vocal home crowd, Angelika Cichocka came through to take silver in 2:00.45 ahead of Marina Arzamasova of Belarus with a 2:00.79 PB for bronze.
Barshim beats Ukhov to high jump gold
Mutaz Essa Barshim added to his collection of major global medals as he won world indoor high jump gold to go with his Olympic bronze and world outdoor silver, handing Ivan Ukhov his first defeat this winter in the process.
With a faultless run, Barshim set an Asian indoor record with his winning height of 2.38m. Russian Ukhov also managed that height on his third attempt to secure his third consecutive world indoor medal, but Barshim won on countback, while Ukrine’s Andriy Protsenko won bronze with a 2.36m PB ahead of USA’s Erik Kynard.
In the men’s 6om hurdles, USA’s Omo Osaghae ran a world-leading 7.45 to pip 2012 world indoor bronze medallist and pre-race favorite Pascal Martinot-Lagarde into silver as just 0.02 separated the top three. Garfield Darien bagged bronze as Britain’s Andy Pozzi again just missed out on a major medal as he matched his fourth place finish from Istanbul in 2012 in Sopot, albeit with a slightly quicker time. His 7.53 was a personal best, matching the time his team-mate William Sharman, with whom he shares the UK title, clocked in his semi final to go joint fourth on the UK all-time list. Sharman was seventh in the final with 7.60.
Back in the UK and David Omoregie had earlier run 7.50 in the 60m hurdles at the Welsh Athletics International, a national junior record and a time that would have equalled the world junior record over the junior height barriers had Wilhem Belocian not run 7.48 a little earlier in France.
With the women’s 3000m beginning with a 2:46 800m, it was obvious record breaking was not on Genzebe Dibaba’s mind, the Ethiopian having set world records over 1500m and 3000m as well as a two mile world best in February. Although nowhere near her record-breaking 8:16.60 set in Stockholm, her winning time of 8:55.04 in Sopot was still easily enough for victory as she crossed the line 2.68 seconds clear of defending champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya and Maryam Jamal of Bahrain.
The men’s race was much closer as Kenya’s Caleb Mwangangi Ndiku won the title from reigning champion Bernard Lagat of the US – 7:54.94 to 7:55.22. Ndiku had earlier beaten Lagat in Karlsruhe and demonstrated the same finishing strength to do it again on the world stage as Ethiopia’s Olympic 5000m silver medallist Dejen Gebremeskel clocked 7:55.39 for bronze ahead of Lagat’s team-mate Galen Rupp and 19-year-old Hagos Gebrhiwet from Ethiopia. Britain’s Euro Cross bronze medallist Andy Vernon, who clocked a lifetime best of 7:45.49 to make it through to the final, ran 7:58.25 for 11th.
Adams and Silva jump to it
Russia’s Lyukman Adams prevented a Cuban one-two in the triple jump as he leapt a world-leading 17.37m in the final round to grab gold ahead of Ernesto Revé, pushing his team-mate Pedro Pablo Pichardo, the world outdoor silver medallist, into bronze-medal position. Revé’s 17.33m in the second round secured him silver as he went nine centimetres further than his countryman.
British pole vault record-holder Holly Bleasdale had beaten home favourite Anna Rogowska to European indoor gold in a jump off just over a year before, but the pair didn’t get the chance to do similar battle in Sopot as the Brit bowed out of the competition at 4.55m while the Pole could only manage a best of 4.65m for fifth. Four athletes remained in the competition as the bar moved to 4.70m, with Cuba’s Olympic silver medallist Yarisley Silva the athlete to come out on top as she managed it on her first attempt to claim gold ahead of Russia’s Anzhelika Sidorova and European outdoor champion Jiřina Svobodová of Czech Republic.
Also with a best of 4.70m was Brazil’s 2010 world indoor champion Fabiana Murer who finished ahead of Rogowska and Olympic champion Jenn Suhr of the US whose best of 4.65m put her at joint fifth with the Polish vaulter.
» Full results from the IAAF World Indoor Championships can be found here