World's fastest woman to be decided today in Berlin
The world record for the fastest woman on earth could well be
challenged when the finals of the women's 100m event of the 12th IAAF
World Championships takes place at the Olympic Stadium here in Berlin on
The semi finals of the women's 100m are due at 7.05 p.m. local time
and exactly 150 minutes later, the much looked forward to showpiece in
women's events would be unveiled at the world athletic extravaganza.
With seven women running under 11 seconds this year, Marion Jones'
ten-year-old women's 100m World Championship record could well be
shattered in the German capital tomorrow (17).
It was way back in 1999 that the American Jones, who later went from
grace to disgrace following a doping scandal, became the fastest woman
in the history of IAAF World Championship, clocking an impressive 10.70
seconds at the 7th IAAF World Championship in Sevilla. But except for
Jones, who was 0.21 second short of all-time record, no other woman has
come anywhere near American Florence Griffith-Joyner's world mark of
10.49 seconds, established in Indianapolis in 1988.
Though the men's 100m record has often been bettered by a galaxy of
sprinters, the women's 100m world mark and the World championship
records have been intact for 21 years and 10 years respectively. It was
the Jamaican women who have produced the five fastest women's 100m
timings this season and they could well make an attempt to better Jones'
championship record after a decade.
In Sunday's first round heats, American Carmelita Jeter, who won the
third of the eight first round qualifiers, registered the fastest timing
of 11.22 second. She is enjoying the best season of her life at the age
The 2007 World championship 100m bronze medallist has dipped below 11
seconds no less than eight times this season and an impressive victory
in a personal best of 10.92 in her last outing in London suggests she is
a genuine challenger for the title.
Debbie Ferguson of Bahamas who won the heat four had the second
fastest timing of 11.26, followed by Jamaican Aleen Bailey, who clocked
11.29 to win heat five.
The Olympic 100m silver medallist Kerron Stewart, the winner of heat
two with 11.31, appears to be the athlete with the stand out credentials
having enjoyed an imperious year. The Jamaican has been defeated just
twice over 100m this season and is on course to land a share of the $1m
Golden League Jackpot with four wins out of four thus far in the series.
Stewart's most impressive triumph came in Rome when she blitzed to
victory in a stunning 10.75 - the fastest time in the event for nine
years and a mark which elevated her to fifth on the all-time lists.
Stewart, however, has yet to land a senior global title and she will
face the sternest of opposition. One of her two defeats this year came
at the hands of her countrywoman Shelly-Ann Fraser and few would
discount the dimunitive Olympic champion. Fraser clocked an impressive
season's best time of 10.88 to beat Stewart at the Jamaican
championships and the 22-year-old was an impressive winner in Monaco -
her last pre-Berlin outing - stopping the clock in 10.91.
A third Jamaican with legitimate claims on landing the 2009 World
crown is defending champion Veronica Campbell-Brown, who has a season's
best of 10.96.
She clocked 11.34 to win today's heat No.6. American Lauren Williams
who returned a timing of 11.34 to win heat 7, is another leading
With two-time defending champion Tirunesh Dibaba sidelined with
injury, last night's contest for the women's 10,000m world 'crown' was
to signal a changing of the guard, but the conventional wisdom held that
the successor to the throne would be a compatriot of the double Olympic
medallist. But Masai, who finished fourth in Beijing Olympics, doesn't
seem to go for conventional wisdom.
Illustrating tactical grace and aggressiveness that belie her 19
years - she doesn't turn 20 until 5 December - Masai chased down the
daunting and favoured Ethiopian trio of Meseret Defar, Meselech Melkamu
and Wude Ayelew over the final 300m to win in 31:30:51.24. It was
Kenya's first victory in the event since Sally Barsosio's triumph in
Athens 12 years ago and the first Kenyan medal in the event since 1999.
Meanwhile, Christian Cantwell edged 'the battle of the giants' in an
epic shot putt duel with Tomasz Majewski as the pair traded places from
their Olympic finishing positions in Beijing.
The American produced a monster World leading 22.03m to finally
deliver his first outdoor global championship with the perfect
counter-punch to Majewski's 21.91m in a thrilling round five.
Germany's popular European champion Ralf Bartels claimed an
unexpected bronze with a new personal best of 21.37m to satisfy his home
supporters who were in their numbers. Reese Hoffa had to settle for
fourth with 21.28m with his US team-mate and good friend Adam Nelson,
the 2005 World champion, fifth with 21.11m. It was the first time since
the 1987 edition of the championship that five men exceeded 21m in the
Kenya's launch for a clean sweep in the men's 3,000m steeplechase got
underway without a hitch this morning, with the formidable East African
foursome advancing easily to Tuesday evening's final. Last World
Championship and Olympic Games bronze medallist Richard Mateelong won
the first heat in eight minutes, 17.99 seconds, the fastest run of the
His teammate Paul Kipsiele Koech, the Athens 2004 Olympic bronze
medallist and this season's second fastest at 8:01.72, was just a step
behind in a comfortable third.
Defending champion and reigning Olympic champion Brimin Kipruto was
the easy winner in the second heat, clocking 8:18.07, ahead of European
record holder Bob Tahri of France, the leading candidate to challenge to
ruin the Kenyan podium romp.