WRITTEN FOR ATHLETICS WEEKLY MAGAZINE
Saturday October 9
2am – men's 20km walk final
Tallent prevails for Aussie duo
Australia claimed an impressive one-two in a text-book display of pacing and team-work, as Jared Tallent walked to a Games Record of 1:22.18 (*thought it was Nathan Deakes’1:17.33 but results say it was a new record?) to capture the gold ahead of Luke Adams.
Eight years his junior, Tallent, 25, did not take the lead until the 14km point as 33-year-old Adams stayed just ahead at the 4km mark and then again between 7km and 14km before the World-ranked number two took over and pulled away in the final few hundred metres to establish a 13-second winning margin.
Tallent’s 2km splits were consistently between 8:05 and 8:19 and after a steady 8:27 initial section, the double Olympic medallist went through 4km in 16:35, 8km in 32:58, 10km in 41:14, 12km in 49:30 and 16km in 1:05.54 before stretching out to improve on his third place in the 2006 edition.
Adams, collecting silver in 1:22.31, ensured AW’s top-two prediction was correct and was comfortably ahead of India’s Harminder Singh, who surprisingly ran a lifetime best of 1:23.28 to delight the home nation.
The 26-year-old was with the top pair right up until the 15km mark but his final 2km was his slowest (8:45) but was still good enough to take the bronze.
Further back in fourth was the slightly unusual sight of a Kenyan, David Kimutai yet many may have forgotten that the 41-year-old set his lifetime best only last year, was 19th in the 2008 Olympics and placed fourth in Melbourne.
Just in front at 2km and then again at 6km, Kimutai remained with the leaders until halfway but suffered from 14km onwards, as his 2km splits slowed by twenty to forty-seconds, ultimately finishing in 1:25.29.
England’s Luke Finch was the best of the Brits in tenth position with 1:29.37 and the 25-year-old maintained his pace between 8:37 and 9:13, as he hit the 10km mark in 43:56 before slowing in the second half.
Just behind was 20-year-old Tom Bosworth eleventh (1:30.44) after reaching halfway in 44:20, he slowed between the 8km and 11km marks before speeding up for a few kilometres to slow again in the final stages.
England’s third man, Alex Wright walked admirably to thirteenth as the 19-year-old clocked 1:34.26 after walking to 10km in 44:13 before struggling from 14km ahead of picking up the pace near the finish.
GOLD: Jared Tallent (AUS) 1:22.18
SILVER: Luke Adams (AUS) 1:22.31
BRONZE: Harminder Singh (IND) 1:23.28
2.10pm – women's 3000m steeplechase final
Kenyan clean-sweep crashes party
Entering on the eve of the championships, three Kenyans gate-crashed this previously-thought open-race by taking all three medals in comfortable style.
World bronze medallist Chemos Chewya showed her class by taking victory in 9:40.96 – almost thirty seconds down on her best mark – as the 24-year-old held off a late challenge from her team-mate Mercy Njoroge (9:41.54).
The runner-up in the IAAF/VTB Continental Cup recently, Chewya started the race mid-pack with 24-year-old Njoroge and Gladys Kipkemoi – the trio all patiently biding their time as England’s Tina Brown took on the early pace-setting role.
Former national record-holder Brown, 34, led the field through 1km in 3:13.90 with the Kenyans shortly behind, England’s Helen Clitheroe further back saving her energy after her 1,500m exertions the previous evening (placing eighth) and Scotland’s Lennie Waite, 24, five metres adrift.
Four minutes in still at a steady pace for the three Africans, they then decided to take control with Brown just behind, as Clitheroe – alongside two Indian athletes – ran wide to give herself a clear view of the barriers ahead.
After the five minute mark, Brown relinquished her time in the leading pack, dropping back into sixth position just behind Clitheroe as the Kenyan trio and India’s Sudha Singh pressed ahead.
With three laps remaining, a three metre gap developed between the English duo and Singh with Chewya taking the field through 2km in 6:31.50 just as Clitheroe overtook Brown.
With 800m to go, the Kenyans continued their domination in impressive style with Chewya effortlessly clearing the water-jump like a hurdle as three became two after Kipkemoi, eighth in Berlin, tripped and fell.
At the bell, Clitheroe began to reel in Singh whilst 23-year-old Njoroge stumbled at the water before unleashing one final determined effort in the final 50m to just miss out on the gold as Chewya gritted her teeth for glory.
Clitheroe meanwhile, despite having not practised or raced over the barriers for two months and having only entered the event at the last minute, finished strongly to overtake Singh for fourth (in 9:56.37), not far behind Kipkemoi.
Waite came in shortly behind (10:02.12) ahead of a heavily-fatigued Brown (10:13.04).
GOLD: Chemos Chewya (KEN) 9:40.96
SILVER: Mercy Njoroge (KEN) 9:41.54
BRONZE: Gladys Kipkemoi (KEN) 9:52.51
Sunday October 10
1pm – men's discus final
Formbook followed in discus
With the three medals going to the same order of athletes from qualifying, the results followed the formbook to the finest detail.
With a season’s best more than three metres further than any of his competitors, Australia’s Benn Harradine (65.45m) predictably took the gold ahead of home favourite Vikas Gowda (63.69m).
Despite being exactly a metre down on his 2010 best, the commanding Australian set out his stall in the qualifying round by coming out on top by over a metre (with 61.98m) from the Indian, who was hoping to give his nation something special to celebrate.
Harradine, 27, started comfortably with a 60.18m throw to place second to Gowda (62.84) in the first round before upping the tempo in the second with a huge 64.73 effort, which Gowda would never match.
With his winning throw coming in the fourth round, Harradine refused to rest on his laurels, having a solid try at improving his mark with a 64.88 effort on his sixth and final try.
Although destined for the runner’s-up position, the 27-year-old Gowda put on a determined display, which saw him produce a season’s best in the second round.
A consistent series followed with 63.26m and 63.24m in the fourth and fifth rounds, as the silver-medallist was buoyed by the home support to respond to the overall victor.
Collecting the bronze in his secondary event behind the shot put, England’s
Carl Myerscough produced a second round throw of 60.64m to replicate his position from qualifying (60.02m).
The 30-year-old self-coached athlete from Blackpool was lying in fourth place with 58.86m after the first round and had three no-throws in the third, fifth and sixth but his furthest of only two efforts was enough to capture the final medal ahead of England’s discus-specialist Emeka Udechuku.
The 31-year-old threw 59.59m in the final round to finish fifth, following a 59.50m effort in the second. Wales’ Brett Morse, meanwhile, was one place behind (58.91m) as the 21-year-old was inspired after missing out on European selection this summer.
Jersey’s Zane Duquemin, 19, took tenth place with a throw of 51.86m in the first of three rounds and Scotland’s Angus McInroy’s 49.98m in the third (after two no-throws) placed him in eleventh position.
GOLD: Benn Harradine (AUS) 65.45m
SILVER: Vikas Gowda (IND) 63.69m
BRONZE: Carl Myerscough (ENG) 60.64m
1.55pm – women's long jump final
Canadian breaks Indian hearts
The home crowd and their sweetheart Prajusha Maliakkal were left heartbroken after having the gold medal snatched away from them at the very last minute by Canada’s
Alice Falaiye in a thrilling competition.
Maliakkal, the Indian triple jump record-holder, leapt a promising 6.47m in the fourth round only to be demoted to the silver medal position as Falaiye raised her game to a surprising 6.50m on her final effort.
In nail-biting fashion, the duo swapped the lead on various occasions as a fascinating battle unfolded.
The 31-year-old Falaiye lay in only fifth position after a lacklustre 6.11m first round leap before the 23-year-old Maliakkal responded with 6.31m to Falaiye’s 6.28m in the second.
The Canadian again raised her game with 6.37m on her third round effort but Maliakkal showed her determination to remain ahead with an impressive 6.43m.
An opportunity appeared to beckon as the Canadian fouled on her fourth attempt whilst the home favourite took advantage with 6.47m, her best jump of the evening, but in the wake of her foul in the fifth round and Falaiye motivated after her 6.44m leap, the elder athlete left her best until last with a superb 6.50m jump to take the victory in a last-gasp display.
Maliakkal, with her light, slight frame, tried in vain to regain her lead with one final 6.26m attempt but the gold had gone – much to the dismay of the athlete and her entire expectant nation.
A second Canadian, Tabia Charles – primarily a triple-jumper and sporting unusual fishnet stockings, made the podium with a 6.44m season’s best in the fifth round to finish only three centimetres adrift of the silver.
GOLD: Aliec Flaiye (CAN) 6.50m
SILVER: Prajusha Maliakkal (IND) 6.47m
BRONZE: Tabia Charles (CAN) 6.44m