Losanna, 23 agosto 2012 (Eurosport + Iaaf) – Non ci è scappato il record del mondo, ma di certo lo storico meeting Athletissima di Losanna verrà archiviato come uno dei raduni più emozionanti della stagione. Nella suggestiva cornice dello Stade de La Pontaise la figura di Yohan Blake si staglia come uomo immagine grazie al suo 9″69, terzo tempo di sempre sui 100, mentre un ragazzino proveniente dal Qatar – Barshim – balza all’onore delle cronache sportive mondiali. E un signore di nome Usain Bolt regala un assolo à la Jimi Hendrix (un air guitar di Bolt – la sua nuova trovata pre-gara – è la cartolina di una serata all’insegna del rock’n'roll).
Eguagliata la terza miglior prestazione di sempre sui 100 metri piani (dietro al 9”58 di Berlino 2009 e il 9″63 di Londra 2012, entrambi griffati Usain Bolt). Peraltro con un leggerissimo (-0.1) vento a sfavore. Basterebbe questo per fotografare una serata da fenomeno assoluto per Yohan “the beast” Blake, che oggi si prende la copertina. Certo, mancava la Leggenda Bolt in questa gara, ma un Blake in queste condizioni può dare del filo da torcere all’amico e compagno di allenamento. Il vero rammarico è che dovremo aspettare fino al prossimo anno per gustarci una sfida tra i due campioni. Secondo Tyson Gay a 9″83 (non ci sentiamo di rimproverare nulla al velocista del kentucky), terzo un magnifico Nesta Carter (oro nella staffetta Giamaica 4×100 a Londra 2012) al personale con 9″95.
200 METRI UOMINI
Ci aspettavamo il record, inutile negarlo. Così – quando il tabellone ha segnalato quel 19″ 58 – abbiamo provato un pizzico di delusione. Ma stiamo parlando di Usain Bolt, la leggenda vivente, logico aspettarsi ogni volta la prestazione monstre. Stava bene Usain, gli è mancato solo qualcosina nella fase di lanciato; in ogni caso si è portato a casa il record del meeting e – in assenza di Blake – ha vinto con ampio margine sui rivali. Tutt’altro che sparring partner questi rivali. Un superlativo Churandy Martina taglia il traguardo come secondo fermando il cronometro a 19″85 (primato personale) terzo il giamaicano Ashmeade (classe ’90) con 19″94. Delude Wallace Spearmon.
SALTO IN ALTO UOMINI
La gara più bella del meeting. Ci ha tenuto con il fiato sospeso fino alla fine. Doveva essere la passerella del campione olimpico di Ivan Ukhov, la redenzione dopo la figuraccia di quattro anni fa. È stata la consacrazione di un talento cristallino: il 21enne qatariota Barshim, capace di volare a 2,39, migliorando il record personale per ben due volte. E il ragazzo ha le potenzialità per raggiungere quote superiori. Ukhov e il britannico Grabarz non sono rimasti a guardare: entrambi hanno chiuso con 2,37.
È stato il fotofinish ad assegnare la vittoria alla statunitense Carmelita Jeter, che così si prende la rivincita nei confronti di Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (oro a Londra), dopo un testa a testa mozzafiato. Entrambe fermano il cronometro a 10,86. I millesimi daranno ragione a Carmelita. Terza la Baptiste (Trinidad). Cocente delusione per Veronica Campbell-Brown, mai nella scia delle prime.
400 METRI UOMINI
Kirany James si conferma il leader indiscusso della distanza. Il tempo (44″37) non è eccezionale, ma la sua vittoria non è mai in discussione. Il dominicano Luguelin Santos con una grande rimonta nel finale conferma il secondo posto dopo l’argento di Londra, mentre – a sorpresa – Kevin Borlee chiude in terza posizione, sfruttando l’onda lunga di una partenza a razzo.
Vittoria tutta grinta e orgoglio della kenyota Jelimo, la grande sconfitta dei Giochi Olimpici. Battuta con merito la campionessa olimpica Savinova. La differenza l’ha fatta la “fame” di vittoria.
SALTO CON L’ASTA UOMINI
Undici gare vinte su tredici quest’anno: il bottino di Renaud Lavillenie è emblematico. È lui il dominatore di questa specialità, persino in una serata che non regala grandi misure. Basta un 5,80 al francesino, misura superata anche da Mohr, Lewis e Filippidis (al record nazionale greco).
110 METRI HS UOMINI
Il più grande rimpianto della serata. Era uno degli atleti più attesi. Alla vigilia aveva dichiarato che il record del mondo di Dayron Robles (12″87) sarebbe stato alla sua portata. Il profumo della grande impresa ha probabilmente minato il suo sangue freddo. Stiamo parlando di Aries Merritt, l’oro olimpico di Londra, out dalla gara di Losanna per una sciagurata partenza falsa. Con 13″08 la vittoria è appannaggio di Jason Richardson, già argento a Londra. Tempo – non trascendentale – di 13″08.
Lausanne, Switzerland – Although he admitted beforehand that he was unlikely to smash his World 200me record, Usain Bolt still put on a “Legend’s” display when storming to victory with a new Athletissimameeting record at the at the Lausanne stop of the Samsung Diamond League on Thursday (23) night.
Bolt, who has a close affinity with the Pontaise Olympic Stadium and well aware that less than 30 minutes earlier his training partner Yohan Blake broke the stadium 100m record, produced the second great sprinting display of the evening.
The Olympic champion may have laboured out of his blocks – last of the eight starters – but he quickly gained ground with an effortless bend before hitting the home straight and opening up a massive lead.
The World’s fastest man, unchallenged and almost three metres clear of his rivals, roared down the straightway to win in 19.58 with a following wind of 1.4m/s, striking one-hundredth-of-a-second from the mark he set three years ago.
Behind him Churandy Martina this year’s European champion lowered his Netherlands record substantially from 19.94 to 19.85 with Nickel Ashmeade in his slipstream matching his season’s best of 19.94 for third.
“I am very happy with how things turned out here tonight,” said Bolt. “19.58 is a very good time and I am more than satisfied. This season has not always been great but I am thrilled with the way it is finishing.
“I have always enjoyed coming to Lausanne and I love the atmosphere in this stadium. The track is fast so you could see great results in the sprints tonight.
“I am very happy for Yohan Blake too. I knew he was going to push real hard tonight and 9.69 is a wonderful result.”
The 100m was not actually a Samsung Diamond League scoring event but Blake sent a clear message that although he may be in the shadow of his fellow Jamaican, he has every intention of continuing to pressurise his training partner when a New Year and a new 2013 season begins.
Blake, like a bullet after coming out of the blocks, forged ahead of the field with a power-charged performance to shatter his personal best by 0.06sec with a time and meeting record of 9.69 with the wind reading -0.01m/s.
The 22-year-old, who broke Asafa Powell’s meet record of 9.72, is now equal second with Tyson Gay on the world All-Time list and who challenged him in mid-race before he quickly produced another spurt to defeat the former World champion.
Nevertheless Gay, who had a late start to the season after a hip operation, gave him a good fight before finishing in 9.83 with Nesta Carter equalling his season’s best clocking 9.95.
“I knew I was fast,” said Blake, last year’s World champion. “My coach (Glen Mills) told me I could run faster. Today I finally proved it. I have been working for that and it all came together.”
Barshim tops excellent High Jump Competition
The High Jump was another great contest where Mutaz Essa Barshim not only bettered the 1994 meet record of 2.37m belonging to Javier Sotomayor but also matched Ivan Ukhov’s 2012 world leader of 2.39m.
The Qatari also beat Russia’s Olympic champion who cleared 2.37m as did third placed Robbie Grabarz who equalled the British record with his performance.
Barshim, who along with Grabarz had a third share of the Olympic bronze medal, cleared what is also a new Area record height at his second attempt while the scheming Ukhov with two failures passed his last attempt before bowing out with the bar at 2.41m.
“I felt great today, I didn’t think I could jump that high this season,” said Barshim. “I was injured throughout April, May and June but the field was highly competitive.”
Kenyans dominate the distances
Silas Kiplagat, the first Kenyan finisher at the Olympics in seventh place, restored some creditability to his nation’s reputation when keeping his nerve in the final straight with six runners in contention to win the 1500m in 3:31.78.
Last year’s World silver medallist was running abreast of Mekonnen Gebremedhin and Nixon Chepseba, an African clean sweep apparently on the cards until the USA’s Matt Centrowitz spoiled the party.
The American couldn’t quite catch Kiplagat nor Gebremedhin who clocked 3:31.86 but his efforts in a race where the first five ran under 3:32.00, saw him lower his personal best by almost three seconds to 3:31.96.
“I’m proud of my race tonight,” said Kiplagat. “After a disappointing Olympics I’ve now had a final victory in the Diamond League. The weather and the track helped a lot.”
Koech back on winning track
After a rare defeat at the Samsung Diamond League meet in Monaco prior to the London Olympics, Paul Kipsiele Koech returned to winning ways with a comfortable 3000m Steeplechase win in 8:05.30.
Quite happy to follow the pace through splits of 2:38.55 and 5:21.91, the world leader came quickly off the final barrier before the bell to accelerate away over the final circuit ahead of Jairus Birech and Bernard Nganga.
With 250m remaining Birech gave it everything he had to close down Koech’s 10-metre lead but to no avail and had to settle for second in 8:06.38 with Nganga earning a seaon’s best 8:08.33.
Jelimo upsets Savinova
Pamela Jelimo pumped her arms into the air to celebrate a well earned 800m win when outfoxing Mariya Savinova the Russian who easily took away her Olympic title in London.
Jelimo tracked by Savinova was almost 10m behind pacemaker Ekaterina Kupina who went through the bell in 57.68 with Yelena Kofanova taking over from her fellow Russian and passing through 600m in 1:28.72.
The two main contenders were on their tails but Jelimo caught Savinova by surprise when bursting clear in the middle of the final bend and powering into the home straight.
It proved a winning tactic as she won in 1:57.59 with Savinova, more renowned as a championships runner, recording 1:58.10 and Kofanova following her home in 1:58.36.
“I started at the back then I finally released my finishing kick in the home straight and it worked,” said Jelimo. “I’m happy with the victory.”
Mercy Cherono scored a second successive Samsung Diamond League victory when along with Sylvia Kibet and Veronica Nyaruai she broke clear at the bell to ensure a last lap burn up with two her fellow Kenyans.
The sedate pace after splits of 2:54.89 and 5:54.68 saw 11 runners still in contention at the bell before Nyaruai made a long run for home with 300 metres remaining which lasted only around 100m.
Then 21-year-old Cherono burst ahead and was never headed winning in 8:40.59. Kibet a two-time World Championships silver medallist powered past Nyaruai to clock 8:42.44 and beat her fellow countrywoman who finished in 8:43.54.
In high hurdles showdown Richardson previals, Merritt DQ
The was a sensation even before the 110m Hurdles race got underway when Olympic champion Aries Merritt, who was hoping to smash the World record, was disqualified for false starting.
His omission from the contest saw it dominated by last year’s World champion Jason Richardson who breezed to an easy win in 13.08 from David Oliver and Hansle Parchment.
Oliver, who failed to make Team USA at their sudden death Olympic trials, finished narrowly ahead of Parchment to scalp the surprise Olympic bronze medallist by 0.01sec in 13.14.
“The false start didn’t really disturb me,” said Richardson. “I managed to stay focused. You know I work too hard all year long to take any risks in the blocks.”
Spencer edges Walker over full-lap hurdles
While no one disputed Jamaican sprinters would play dominating roles in the sprint races few would have forecast a 1-2 for them from Kaliese Spencer and Melaine Walker in their 400m hurdles race.
Spencer, fourth at the Olympics and last two World Championships got the verdict by just 0.25sec after easing past the 2008 Games gold medallist in the final 20m in a time of 53.49 as both set season’s bests.
Perri Shakes-Drayton, who pushed along the early pace, managed to stay in contention to earn a podium place in 53.83 just ahead of Zuzana Hejnova (53.96) the London bronze medallist. But Olympic champion Natalya Antyukh had a race to forget finishing seventh in 55.82.
Jeter over Fraser Pryce in virtual deadbeat
In what was a virtual deadbeat, a scintillating finish from Carmelita Jeter saw the American snatch a thrilling 100m victory ahead of Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce who beat her for Olympic gold.
Fraser Pryce, seeking a third Athletissima victory, looked to have the race tied up until in the final five metres Jeter accelerated to run through the line as they were both credited with times of 10.86.
Behind them World bronze medallist Kelly-Ann Baptiste got clear of Veronica Campbell-Brown by 0.06sec to capture third position in 10.93.
“I always want to win but that was great run,” said Jeter.”Basically it was an Olympic final – an epic moment. I thought: ‘I gotta bring this home.”
After lowering his head and increasing his speed coming off the second bend, Kirani James scored his second post Olympic victory when outstripping the field to win in a time of 44.37.
Luguelin Santos. another teenager and the silver medallist behind him at the Olympics. gave it everything he had down the home straight but to no avail and had to settle for second in 45.03. That time still left him plenty of space from last year’s World Championships third placer Kevin Borlee who found the Caribbean stars far too much a handful and followed them home in 45.27.
Kanter, Spotakova and Adams triumph in the throws
Gerd Kanter,last year’s World discus silver medallist who surrendered his Olympic crown when placing third, returned to winning ways with a an effort of 65.79m in the third round after having taken the lead throwing 65.56m in the previous one.
Lawrence Okoye, the 20-year-old in the London final, saw his opener of 65.27m earn him second place ahead of Frank Casanas who threw 65.24m. Olympic runner up Ehsan Hadadi was way down in seventh managing a furthest of only 62.67m.
The javelin belonged from the start to double Olympic champion and World record holder Barbora Spotakova whose opener of 67.19m dented the ambitions of her rivals.
Mariya Abakamova, last year’s World gold medallist, after her disappointing 10th Olympic Games finish took second with 65.80m in the second round while the Daegu bronze medallist Sunette Viljoen threw 64.08m for third.
Few doubted there would be a new meeting Shot Put record as the last time the event was staged at the Athletissima being when Mandy Krieger of the former German Democratic Republic threw 20.37m in 1989.
Olympic champion Valeries Adams only needed her first attempt with an effort of 20.73m to achieve the feat then with her final effort she improved to 20.95m to keep her 2012 unbeaten record.
In another low key contest where former World Junior champion Michelle Carter’s season best of 19.60m was good enough for second, while London silver medallist Yevgeniya Kolodko needed only a throw of 18.64m for third.
The Pole Vault was a very close affair with four men clearing 5.80m and Olympic gold medallist Renaud Lavillenie eventually winning the title on countback.
His victory saw the Frenchman, who had three overall fouls, given the verdict with the bar raised to what would have been a meeting record of 5.92m, ahead of former World Indoor silver medallist Malte Mohr and Commonwealth runner-up Steve Lewis.
It was another close but great success for Lavillenie who has only lost once this season while Konstantinos Filippidis raise his Greek record by four centimetres to 5.80m.
All of the women triple jumpers looked very jaded with only newly crowned Olympic gold medallist Olga Rypakova managing to better 14.50m. The Kazakh’s best of 14.68m came in the third round.
2011 World champion Olha Saladukha grabbed second place clearing 14.42m in the fifth round while the still to retire veteran Tatyana Lebedeva snatched a podium finish with 14.39m with her fourth attempt.
Another off-day for Brittney Reese – she finished ninth at the SDL Stockholm meet – denied the Olympic Long Jump champion scoring a third successive victory in a competition won by Yelena Sokolova.
The Russian, who finished second behind Reese in London, needed only a fourth round clearance of 6.89m to take the major spoils from Blessing Okagbare and Janay Deloach who cleared 6.73m and 6.71m.
Harper cruises 12.43
And finally, in another event off the Diamond League programme, Olympic silver medallist and the 2008 champion Dawn Harper outstripped her fellow Americans Queen Harrison and Ginnie Crawford to take the 100m Hurdles in a very impressive 12.43.
Harper, speeding away in the second half of the race, pulled Harrison to a season’s best of 12.62 just 0.01sec shy of her lifetime fastest while Crawford hot on her heels ran 12.64.
David Martin for the IAAF