RunnerspaceNewsView - Meeting Areva Recap - ÅF Golden League

Published by Shane
Jul 18th 2009, 12:05am | 1125 views
Usain Bolt goes on a victory lap after emphatically winning the men's 100m in 9.79 (Getty Images)

Bolt beats rain again, 9.79sec into slight head wind in Paris

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Paris, France – On a cool, extremely damp night in the Stade de France Usain Bolt defied the rain again to win the 100m in a meeting record of 9.79 sec this evening (17) at the Meeting Areva, the fourth of sixth meetings of the ÅF Golden League 2009.

Bolt braved heavy rain similar to the conditions he faced over 200m in Lausanne on 7 July, to secure a 9.79 win (-0.2m/s) which obliterated Asafa Powell’s meet mark of 9.85sec set here in 2006. Once again this season we found the start of the triple Olympic champion wanting, he was the second slowest away of the nine man field, and while it's only relative to his unapproachable standards Bolt when he did get into the lead didn’t seem to power away in the same effortless manner we have come to expect.

That impression was partly created by the impressive race put up by Antigua’s Daniel Bailey whose 9.91 in runner’s-up spot was a national record and Yohan Blake, who only 19 years and 203 days, crossed in third in a personal best of 9.93. Only last week in Rome in much more conducive weather conditions for sprinting, the Jamaican teenager had gone under 10sec for the first time (9.96). Impressive!

Back to the pinnacle of the results sheet and whatever the slight reservations we had certainly witnessed another piece of Bolt brilliance, and in tonight’s conditions (18c and driving rain at the time of the 100m) Bolt had every right to “be happy, it was a good race….”

“In these conditions the time is great but it was hard to put everything in place from start to finish.”

“My reaction time is poor and this is something I have to work on in the next weeks before Berlin.”

Four continue confidently towards $1 Million

All four of the athletes in the hunt for the ÅF Golden League Jackpot - Bekele, Stewart, Richards and Isinbayeva - continued their campaigns untroubled this evening, and after next month’s 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics, Berlin, Germany (15 – 23 Aug) will fight for their fifth win when the ÅF Golden League restarts in Zürich on Friday 28 August.

Click here for Jackpot Contenders

Here’s how the four got on this evening…

Bekele dispatches Lagat

Kenenisa Bekele judged his head to head confrontation over 3000m with Bernard Lagat to perfection. The  fourth lap of 59.7sec did the damage and destroyed the hopes of his American rival, allowing the Ethiopian to then gradually widen his advantage on the notoriously World 1500m and 5000m champion. With these tactics the Ethiopian, who holds the 5000m and 10,000m Olympic crowns and possesses a mean sprint of his own, never allowed Lagat to position himself for any attack.

With a mist of rain already in the stadium air Bekele hit the bell (6:29) with holding a good 20 metres or more advantage on his principal opponent and brought the race home in 7:28.64. Lagat had given the challenge everything he had, finishing in a personal best of 7:33.15. France’s Mourad Amdouni was third in a European season’s lead of 7:37.50.

Isinbayeva calls it a day at 4.65

The rain that had greeted Bekele’s rebuttal of Lagat produced extremely tricky conditions to curtail the women’s Pole Vault with Yelena Isinbayeva ending her day after just one vault, a clearance at 4.65m which was enough to keep her in the Jackpot hunt. Former World record holder Svetlana Feofanova, who was Isinbayeva’s only surviving opponent at that point with a first time success at the previous height (4.55) abandoned her competition in second place after one failure at 4.65. Anna Rogowska the only other athlete to try 4.65, failing three times, ended third on 4.55. 

Richards consolidates

Sanya Richards running a conservative first 200m.....

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