Briton secures major title grand slam with win at IAAF World Championships as Genzebe Dibaba and David Rudisha also dominate
Greg Rutherford completed the major title set on Tuesday as he added world gold to his Olympic, European and Commonwealth long jump titles.
The 28-year-old is the fifth Briton in history – after Daley Thompson, Linford Christie, Sally Gunnell and Jonathan Edwards – to simultaneously hold all four major titles and his winning mark of 8.41m is the second longest leap of his career behind his British record 8.51m.
“I’m bit lost for words, what an incredible night,” he later said.
Rutherford had leapt into into the lead in the second round with 8.29m, a mark that would have been enough to secure him victory. After a foul in the first round he also didn’t record a mark in the third but it didn’t matter. After that third round the competition lost athletes including Americans Jeff Henderson and Mike Hartfield – the former having been considered the Briton’s biggest challenger for the title as he leapt a world-leading 8.52m in July and had led qualifying with 8.36m.
The competition received loud crowd support, particularly as it featured three Chinese athletes in Wang Jianan, Gao Xinglong and Li Jinzhe.
Both Wang and Gao jumped exactly the same distance in the first round with 8.14m. While Wang improved to 8.18m, Gao’s first-round jump remained his best and that meant he finished just outside the medals as Australia’s Fabrice Lapierre leapt 8.24m for silver.
After his win, Rutherford praised his coach, Dan Pfaff, and said: “Dan basically told me after the third round, ‘what on earth are you playing at, why are you fouling? Just get one in and close the night.’ The next round I managed to catch one and I hope 8.41m is acceptable for people this time.
“I’m pretty sure that is a stadium record, so I’ll take that – maybe I’m not too bad of a long jumper.”
A month after her stunning 3:50.07 world 1500m record in Monaco, Genzebe Dibaba claimed her first global senior outdoor title as her dominance continued.
The Ethiopian produced a fatal 57-second penultimate lap that helped her on the way to victory and she even had enough time to raise her arms in celebration as she approached the line, clocking 4:08.09 to beat Kenya’s Commonwealth champion Faith Kipyegon with 4:08.99.
Bronze was claimed by European indoor and outdoor champion Sifan Hassan of Netherlands in 4:09.34.
Britain’s Laura Muir enjoyed a huge improvement on her seventh place finish in the semi-finals in Moscow as she beat the likes of three former world champions – Sweden’s Abeba Aregawi, Simpson and Russia’s Tatyana Tomashova – to take fifth with 4:11.48.
Over in the men’s 800m and world record-holder David Rudisha regained the world title he first won in 2011.
Kenya’s Olympic champion claimed victory in 1:45.84 after a vicious 24.34 last 200m and a 51.69 final lap.
Poland’s European champion Adam Kszczot came through for silver in 1:46.08, while Amel Tuka snatched bronze by five hundredths. The Bosnia-Herzegovina athlete, who has improved his best from 1:46.14 last year to 1:42.51 this summer, denied Kenya two places on the podium as he beat Ferguson Rotich to the line.
“I am delighted about this gold medal,” said Rudisha. “It means a lot to me especially after all these disappointments I’ve had this year and last.”
Kenyan Nicholas Bett was a surprise winner of the 400m hurdles title, with the final having been left open after a number of the main contenders failed to make it through the rounds.
Bett’s winning national record-breaking and world-leading time of 47.79 took half a second off his PB, while Denis Kudryavtsev also revised his nation’s best mark with 48.05 for silver. Bronze went to Jeffery Gibson of Bahamas, also with a national record of 48.17m.
Cuba’s Denia Caballero had the discus competition won from her very first throw. None of the athletes, not even defending champion Sandra Perkovic, could respond to the world no.1’s 69.28m and the Croatian had to settle for silver after a final throw of 67.39. Nadine Muller of Germany got the bronze with 65.53m.
Usain Bolt was back in the Bird’s Nest for the 200m heats and he cruised his way through to Wednesday’s semi-finals, clocking a very easy 20.28. Easing up considerably he was almost caught by Cuba’s Roberto Skyers with 20.29, but the Jamaican looked completely relaxed just two days after his 100m victory over Justin Gatlin.
Gatlin was also back on the track and won the next heat in 20.19, finishing ahead of Japan’s double world youth champion Abdul Hakim Sani Brown with 20.35. Also among those to progress are Britain’s Zharnel Hughes and Danny Talbot.
In the 400m semi-finals, Britain’s defending champion Christine Ohuruogu ran 50.16 to equal her eighth quickest ever time when winning the second race, securing her spot in Thursday’s final. Jamaica’s Stephenie Ann McPherson ran 50.32 to also progress.
Ohuruogu’s team-mate Anyika Onuora again ran a PB after her 51.14 in the heats – her time of 50.87 moving her from 16th to 12th on the UK all-time list. In a race won by Allyson Felix in 49.89, Onuora placed fifth with her time not enough to see her through.
Shaunae Miller cruised through the first semi-final, clocking 50.12 despite looking around and easing up considerably as she approached the line. Christine Day ran 50.82 behind her, while USA’s Natasha Hastings was among the casualties as she clocked 51.33 for fifth.
» See the August 27 edition of Athletics Weekly magazine for much more in-depth coverage of World Championships action