Injury halts Souleiman’s 1500ambitions; Reese’s long jump exit marks the end of an era
AyanlehSouleiman of Djibouti, one of the favorites in the men’s 1500m, was left disconsolate on the track after pulling up injured in his first-round heathered. And the end of an era was marked in the women’s long jump, where the woman who has won every global title since 2009, Brittney Reese of the UnitedStates, could only manage 6.39m in qualifying and failed to reach tomorrows final.
Souleiman, world indoor champion last year and with an 800m time of 1:42.97 to his credit this season, was not the only high-profile athlete failing to progress in the men’s 1500. A time of 3:43.66 failed to do the trick for the Czech Republic’s European indoor champion Jakub Colusa. Silas Kiplagat of Kenya qualified fastest in 3:38.13, with his compatriot, defending champion Asbel Kiprop, who is seeking a hat-trick of titles here, clocking 3:38.97 to progress.
IvanaSpanovic of Serbia headed the women’s long jump qualifiers with a national record of 6.91. Lorraine Ugen of Britain was next best, with 6.87, and her team-mate Katarina Johnson-Thompson, whose high hopes of a heptathlon medal came to grief when she failed to record a legal mark in this event, made no mistakes this time. The world indoor silver medallist was the fifth-best qualifier with 6.79. Tianna Bartoletta, the only woman to have cleared 7.00 this year –she reached 7.12 on June 27 – also moved on without bother, recording 6.71.
Defending100m hurdles champion Brianna Rollins needed to play her automatic wild card to make it to Beijing after failing to finish in the top three at the US trials. But a year of bewildering changes in terms of dominance in this event could yet see Rollins finishing on top, as she was the fastest qualifier for tomorrow’s final in 12.67, ahead of Britain’s Tiffany Porter (12.73) and the Jamaican pair of Danielle Williams (12.77) and Shermaine Williams (12.78), with 2008 Olympic champion down Harper-Nelson of the United States one-hundredth of a second behind.
GenzebeDibaba, seeking to complete a golden double here after her 1500m victory, make no mistake in her 5000m heat, putting in a short and effective burst of acceleration coming into the home straight to win in 15:20.82 ahead of MercyCherono of Kenya and Mimi Belete of Bahrain, who both clocked 15:20.94.
Dibaba’scompatriot Almaz Ayana, emphasized her status as her most dangerous rival as she finished five seconds clear of fellow Ethiopian Senbere Teferi to win her heat in 15:09.40.
Russia’sOlympic champion Anna Chicherova and joint world indoor champion Mariya Kuchinaqualified safely for Saturday’s final, as did the Pole who shared that title in Sopot with Kuchina, Kamila Licwinko, and former world champion Blanka Vlasic of Croatia.
FrederickDacres of Jamaica produced the best qualifying throw in the men’s discus,65.77, with Poland’s Piotr Malachowski on 65.59 and Gerd Kanter next best with64.78.