Veronica, the sprint queen
Survives an exciting finish in women's 100m:
THLETICS: Jamaican Veronica Campbell survived an exciting photo
finish to emerge as the fastest woman at the 11th IAAF World
Championship at the Nagai Stadium here under lights today.
Having bagged the 100m silver at the last World Championship in
Helsinki two years ago, the 25-year-old Jamaican record holder had a
close call in surviving an American tri brigade of Lauryn Williams,
Carmelita Jeter and Torri Edwards.
Unlike after a finish in most other races, there were no immediate
celebrations and reactions. For a moment, it looked everybody at the
stadium, including the 100m finalists were in wilderness. Even the giant
electronic screen displayed only Willians name on top with a 11.01
Uncertainty was written all over their faces, not only the sprinters
but also on thousands of spectators. It took several minutes to separate
the winner as both Campbell and Williams clocked the identical timing of
Campbell had a relatively slower start than Williams and the American
trio was firing all their cylinders. But the Jamaican black magic worked
at the end as Campbell reached her top gear by the middle of the race.
Finally, it took a few minutes for the officials to separate the two in
an exciting photo finish.
Running against the wind on lane six with Campbell on her immediate
right, pre-event favourite Edwards had the best reaction time as the
eight women sprinters were off their blocks.
Edwards' team mates Jeter and Williams joined the hottest speed
contest as the race went on high pace. Campbell could not believe her
eyes when she finally saw her name as the winner of the biggest race for
the day as the green and yellow Jamaican flag dressed her for the
victory march. "It was a dream come true. I could not believe that I
survived such a tense finish. This is a big moment that I have always
been looking forward to," Campbell said after that exciting final which
kept the spectators on the edges of their seats.
The bronze medallist Jeter was only one hundredth of a second behind
the first two while the 2003 World Championship gold medalist Edwards
had to be satisfied with only the fourth place after timing 11.05
Meanwhile, Ethiopia continued its dominance in the long distance
business. The mighty Ethiopians accounted for both the gold and silver
medals of men's 10,000m final today. Kenenisa Bekele clocked a season's
best 27 minutes, five minutes and 90 seconds to secure the gold medal
while his team mate Sileshi Sihine returned a timing of 27:09.03 to
Kenyan Martin Irungu Mathathi (27:12.17) won the bronze. While the
Ethiopians took major honours in men's 10,000m, it was the Russian
dominance that was evident in women's 3,000m steeplechase final as
Yekaterina Volkova (9:06.57) and Tatyana Petrova (9:09.19) won the
silver and bronze medals. Kenyan Eunice Jepkprir (9:20.09) settled for
Portugal's Nelson Evora had a leap of 17.74m to take the gold in
men's triple jump, ahead of Jadel Gregorio (17:59 - Brazil) and Walter
Davis (17.33 - USA) accounted for the silver and bronze respectively.
The gold medal in men's hammer throw went to Ivan Tsikhan (Belarus).
He not only bagged the gold but did that in style as his victorious feat
of 83.63m accounted for the World's leading performance this year.