12th IAAF World Championships,
15-23 August, 2009
Saturday 15 August.
Chambers advances to sprint semi-final
After twelve first round 100 metre races Belgrave and GB's Dwain Chambers (1h4 10.18/-0.1) found himself neatly sandwiched between USA's Tyson Gay (10.16) and Jamaica's Usain Bolt (10.20) in the list of fastest qualifiers for the quarter finals. We wouldn't mind betting that he'd settle for that as a final result! Drawn in the fourth heat he was fastest away and came home a clear winner.
It all got a tad more serious in the quarter finals later in the day but Dwain again powered away from his rivals, winning in a season's best (1q1 10.04/-0.7) and still appearing to have something in reserve. Gay and Asafa Powell (Jamaica) both went under 10 seconds in their races while the British champion Simeon Williamson exited the competition.
There'll be no hiding place for the Belgravian on day two where he may have to go sub-10 himself to make the final. He's in the second of the semi-finals - facing Gay, Powell, Frater (Jamaica), Thompson (Trinidad) and Edwards (USA).
Sunday 16 August.
Dwain Chambers 6th in historic sprint final
The Jamaican sprinting phenomenon Usain Bolt ran himself into the history books with the most remarkable 100 metre race ever witnessed on the planet. He took just 41 strides to cover the length of the Berlin Olympic Stadium in 9.58 seconds and in so doing obliterated his own World Record - but Belgrave's Dwain Chambers was rightly proud of his own performance on this huge stage. Dwain has trodden a lonely road in recent years - yes a route of his own making - but to reach the final of the World Championships and reach a highly creditable 6th place shows that he has great fortitude, determination and courage.
100m: (0.9) 1 U Bolt (Jamaica) 9.58 (WR); 2 T Gay (USA) 9.71 (NR); 3 A Powell (Jamaica) 9.84; 4 D Bailey (Antigua) 9.93; 5 R Thompson (Trinidad) 9.93; 6 D Chambers (GBR) 10.00; 7 M Burns (Trinidad) 10.00; 8 D Patton (USA) 10.34.
Earlier Dwain found himself the only Briton to go beyond the semi-final stage as he placed 4th, equalling his best of the season at that time (4s2 10.04/-0.2).
This was always going to be a difficult competition for javelin thrower Goldie Sayers. With very little background due to a stress fracture in her back, she had nevertheless won the UK Championship and Trial. Here in Berlin she improved on her Trial distance with 56.44m, 58.58m and finally 58.98m to place 9th in her pool. But 62 metres was the automatic qualifying mark and when the second pool completed their trials she was relegated to 13th place overall and her World Championships were over. A brave try after a difficult season.
A leap of 17.15 metres or a place in the top twelve was required in the qualifying rounds for a place in the triple jump final on Tuesday. Olympic silver medallist Phillips Idowu opened with 17.10m/0.0 and was inclined to leave it at that, knowing that twelve men would be most unlikely to out-jump him, but finally decided that he'd better make sure and took a second attempt which cut the sand at 17.32m/0.3. His place in the final was assured as second best qualifier.
Nobody in Phillips' pool leapt further but Olympic Champion Nelson Évora of Portugal required only one effort to record 17.44m in the other group. The scene is set now in Berlin for a re-enactment of the drama played out between these two in the Olympic Stadium in Beijing in 2008.
Tuesday 18 August.
Phillips Idowu - Weltmeister im Dreisprung
"It was a long time coming," said World Champion Phillips Idowu after an exciting and emotional triple jump competition in the iconic Berlin Olympiastadion.
"I didn't think the jump was going to be enough. It came at the right time - I was pleased. God was looking down on me.
"I was having some crazy dreams last night. Today I knew I had something inside me, I knew I was going to win.
"Even if I'd wanted to take my last jump I couldn't have, because my eyes were full of water."
Olympic Champion Nelson Évora of Portugal had opened the competition with a mighty 17.54m and Phillips responded with 17.51m. The second round saw Évora foul while Big Phil was again solid at 17.44m.
Into round three then, and following Évora's 17.38m Phillips took his place at the end of the blue launch pad. He seemed subdued and one had the awful feeling that having come so close to matching the Portugese athlete in round one we would be into the scenario where our man was not quite going to bridge the gap.
Oh ye of little faith! Phillips' moment of destiny had arrived. A fast run-up was followed by a brilliantly executed hop step and jump, and his yellow spikes hit the sand at what was clearly now the leading mark. Measurement proved it to be 17.73m: a world-leading jump, an outdoor personal record - and of course a Belgrave club record.
But there were three more rounds. Phillips had led the Beijing Olympic final in 2008 and had been pipped at the end by Évora. Could the same happen again? Two great Cubans Giralt and Copello, Bahamian Leevan Sands, China's Li Yanxi and others were all capable of something special - but none of them quite pulled it off - until it was just Évora left with his final attempt. It was good - and the scoreboard flashed up - 17:55 - his best of the night - but Phillips had won.
An emotional Phillips, now the World Champion, was unable to take his final jump. It had indeed been a long time coming.
TJ: 1 P Idowu (GBR) 17.73/0.0 (17.51/0.0, 17.44/0.1, 17.73/0.0. x, x, x); 2 N Évora (Portugal) 17.55; 3 A Copello (Cuba) 17.36, 4 L Sands (Bahamas) 17.32; 5 A Girat (Cuba) 17.26; 6 Y Li (China) 17.23; 7 I Spasovkhodskiy (Russia) 16.91; 8 J Gregório (Brazil) 16.89.
Phillips' Idowu - from Young Athletes League to World Champion
BBC video - see how the competition unfolded.
Ireland and Belgrave's David Gillick qualified for the next stage of the 400 metres, running to second place in his heat (2h1 45.54). Dwain Chambers decided that a body strained by the exertions of four rounds of the 100m was in no shape to tackle the 200m and he did not take his place in the heats of the longer sprint.
David Gillick makes the 400 metres final
With only the first two plus the fastest two losers to qualify, David Gillick had his work cut out in semi-final one where the stats show that he was only the sixth fastest this year with his Irish record of 44.77 seconds.
A powerful run and a battling performance in the home straight saw him fourth across the line (4s1 44.88). In last qualifying position he had to sweat it out while the other semis ran their course and after fifteen minutes of apprehension it was apparent - that he still occupied the last qualifying slot. Ireland and Belgrave have a man in the 400 metres final on Friday. He'll be occupying lane two with Leslie Djhone of France inside him and a host of talent led by LaShawn Merritt (USA), Chris Brown (Bahamas) and Jeremy Wariner (USA) on his right.
Sprint hurdler William Sharman, initially overlooked by the selectors after a lacklustre Trials performance (the birth of his baby son had taken precedence that weekend), was added to Team GB after "windy" 13.39 and legal 13.44 clockings at the Loughborough European Permit Meeting. Thank goodness they changed their minds. Drawn in lane 1 and ignoring Barbadian favourite Ryan Brathwaite in lane 2, Will ran right up to form (3h4 13.52/0.5) for third place in his heat. He was the only Brit to progress to the next round.
Thursday 20 August.
Sharman the Magnificent
Surely no-one could have foreseen this - no-one except the supremely confident William Sharman that is. Having defied the odds to make the semi-finals of the 110 metre hurdles, Will was unfazed by the favourite Dayron Robles of Cuba beside him and crashing out at the very first hurdle with an injury. The Belgravian flew over every flight of barriers with a masterful display of clean hurdling that took him to the line clearly the winner in a personal and Belgrave record (1s3 13.38/0.1), making him sixth best Briton of all-time. Photofinish
Amusing TV pundits, and millions of viewers with his post-race comments, he vowed there was more to come. And wasn't there just!
As a semi-final winner, come the final, Will was now placed in one of the central lanes reserved for the star performers, and that was exactly where he deserved to be. Later recalling each second of that final for the benefit of TV viewers he described how he closely followed USA's Terence Trammel in the adjacent lane and told himself while en route, "This must be quick!"
Quick? His 13.30 for 4th place now took him to fourth on the UK all time list behind Colin Jackson, Tony Jarrett and Jon Ridgeon. Absolutely extraordinary.
Will has always told us: "You have to believe." Will, we do! We do!
110mH: (0.1) 1 R Brathwaite (Barbados) 13.14; 2 T Trammell (USA) 13.15; 3 D Payne (USA) 13.15; 4 W Sharman (GBR) 13.30; 5 M Wignall (Jamaica) 13.31; 6 P Svoboda (Czech Republic) 13.38; 7 D Thomas (Jamaica) 13.56; 8 W Ji (China) 13.57. Photofinish
Friday 21 August.
Gillick in the mix in 400m final
David Gillick fully justified his place in the final of the 400 metres. While LaShawn Merritt and Jeremy Wariner, both USA, were blowing away the field with runs in the low 44s, a fast finishing Renny Quow (Trinidad & Tobago) came from near the back of the field to collect the bronze medal in 45.02 - and then the next four men could have been covered by the proverbial blanket with only 14/100ths between them and our Irishman right in the mix at 6th with 45.53.
400m: 1 L Merritt (USA) 44.02; 2 J Wariner (USA) 45.60, 3 R Quow (Trinidad & Tobago) 45.02; 4 T Henry (Virgin Islands) 45.42; 5 C Brown (Bahamas) 45.47; 6 D Gillick (Ireland) 45.53; 7 M Bingham (GBR) 45.56; 8 L Djhone (France) 45.90.
Marathon man Marty
The UK might not have had a representative in the World Championship Marathon, more's the pity, but Belgrave Harriers did. Marty Dent lined up at the Brandenburg Gate in Australia's colours and ran a steady old race - pushing on as hard as he could after halfway and coming home in 21st. Marty's 5k splits were:- 15:44 (63rd), 31:34 (62nd), 47:29 (57th) 1:03:30 (55), 1:07:02 (51st - half distance), 1:19:41 (50th), 1:35:43 (39th), 1:51:54 (25th), 2:08:43 (24th), 2:16:05 (21st).