IAAF 9th World Championship in Athletics, 23-31 August 2003
Sean timed his 2003 peak to perfection, running a season's best (45.87) at Crystal Palace and backing it up with another sub-46 run in the Cup Final. In the heats of the World Champs relay he took the baton from club mate Tim Benjamin and in running the second leg was unofficially second fastest only to Daniel Caines in the British squad, certainly earning his place in the line-up for the final.
leg was his again in that final and once again Sean ran an outstanding
lap among the very best in the world, timed at around 45.1 and helping to take the team to 5th
place and a season's best of 3:01.00.
Heats 2h2 3:02.22 (Tim Benjamin, Sean Baldock, Ian Mackie, Daniel Caines).
Unlucky to run the 400m individual qualifying time in Zurich after the required date (45.27), Tim was out to make sure that the British team featured in the final. He ran a powerful first leg in the heats (unofficially sub-46) to give the Brits a flying start in their successful bid for that place in the final.
the final line-up did not include Tim who suffered a hamstring pull and
thus Britain's fastest one-lapper of 2003 had to be omitted from the
4x400m: Heats 2h2 3:02.22.
With the 100m event wide open and
Dwain generally tipped as no. 1 in the world going into the games, hopes
were high for a medal - maybe even gold.
The opening round didn't tell us much. Dwain didn't get into the race until
late and then worked hard to get a mediocre time and a qualifying
position. The second round looked better. Drawn in the last
of the four quarter finals and delayed by the Jon Drummond controversy
in race two, Dwain advanced to the semis by placing second to St Kitt's
Commonwealth Champion Kim Collins and ahead of USA's Maurice
Green. 3/100ths covered the four qualifiers and Dwain's time
equalled his best of the season.
needed something special in the semis and Dwain produced exactly what
was required. Quickly away, he headed the field from start to finish,
had the beating of the new World Junior record holder Darrel Brown of
Trinidad - and Maurice Greene and Ato Boldon were out. Dwain now
looked the likely winner of the final.
don't we know by now that nothing is ever certain in athletics.
Drawn in lane 5 with Brown on one side and World Record holder Tim
Montgomery on the other, Dwain gained no advantage at the start and was
unable to stamp his authority on the race. Over in lane 1 it was
Kim Collins making the running and in the closest of races our old
colleague Darren Campbell also came into the reckoning in a
"blanket" finish. Until the photographic evidence became
available, the only thing one could be sure about was that Collins had
won. And when the result could be viewed, Dwain could be seen to
be out of the frame even though he shared the same time as second
finish (takes a while to load).
First round 2h7 10.33/0.1.
In the sprint relay Dwain was entrusted with second leg in the heats and
with very safe changeovers the GB squad came home first in their heat
just a few hundredths better than the US team had clocked in heat
1. Come the semi-finals and Darren Campbell came into the team to
take the back stretch leg while Dwain was shifted to anchor and MLF was
taken out of the quartet. Again the takeovers were safe and
another winning run took GBR into the finals. USA ominously
changes were made to the squad for the final. The US had a
terrific start through John Capel but it went wrong for them at the first takeover where
two metres were lost fumbling for the baton. Britain's Campbell
and Devonish maintained that gap to send Dwain Chambers away with a
slight advantage and one had visions of that high knee lifting storming
run that Dwain often shows when he is at the head of the field - but it
didn't happen. Startlingly J.J. Johnson ran the big Briton down
and although it was close at the finish, the US had clearly won. Photo
38.24 (C.Malcolm, D.Chambers, M.Devonish, M.Lewis-Francis).
the event's big names all competing, this promised to be one of the most competitive events of the
games but the first day showed that Sweden's Carolina Klüft was in
devastating form and her four personal bests gave her a commanding lead
over the French woman Eunice Barber.
Hollman started with a season's best in the 100m hurdles and then
shocked everyone by leaping up to the bronze medal position as a result
of her tremendous high jumping in which she equalled her best ever of
1.85m to win group B. Nobody expected Julie to be able to hold
this position of course and she later admitted to being a little
disappointed with her shot putt which dropped her back down the result
board to 12th. But a successful first day came to a close with
another season's best in the 200m.
It was a nervous start to the second day when Julie had two fouls in the long jump - another red flag and her heptathlon would be over. Happily she managed to get one in on her final effort but the worries were not yet over for she then had two "no throws" in the javelin before putting the spear out to 41.01 for a personal best. A strong 800m finally gave her a score over 6000 points - and 14th in the world is not too bad at all!
1 C.Klüft (SWE) 7001; 2 E.Barber (FRA) 6755; 3 N.Sazanovich (BLR) 6524; 14 J.Hollman (GBR) 6018.
had been in cracking form having run
13.07 at the AAA. It was always known that this Malcolm Arnold
coached athlete would have her work cut out to progress to the
semi-finals but it was not to be. Maybe the track is a little slow, a
possibility borne out by the men's 100m times, but Rachel was unable to
get close to her best of the season as she ran to 6th in her heat.
100mH: 6h2 R.King 13.37/-0.5.
went to Paris having achieved her best ever distance of 61.22m this season and
with a qualifying distance of 60.00m required to progress to the final,
a mark she has attained three times in 2003, her prospects looked
good. Sadly our Commonwealth Games medallist was unable to reach
the standard required on this occasion and we learned that she had been
affected by a cold.
57.65 (57.35, x, 57.65).
Spencer - 4x400m. After a season hampered by injury Amy was named in
the women's long relay squad but although spotted on the track in the
parade of competing nations, she did not find herself among the quartette
selected to carry the baton. But these are early days in the 17 year-old's
career and surely this will be the first of many such attendances at a