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Three Share $1 Million Jackpot At Golden League Finale

  • By Sean McKeon
  • Published Sep. 4, 2009
  • Updated Sep. 6, 2009 at 3:10 PM UTC
American Matt Tegenkamp became the 4th American ever under 13:00. Photo: PhotoRun.net

American Matt Tegenkamp became the 4th American ever under 13:00. Photo: PhotoRun.net

Matt Tegenkamp becomes the 4th American in history under 13:00 in the 5000m.

The final event of the AF Golden League saw three athletes take home a share of the $1 million jackpot. Russain pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva, American 400m runner Sanya Richards and Ethiopian distance great Kenenisa Bekele all triumphed in Brussels, making them all 6-for-6 and securing themselves $333,333 apiece. To top it off the meet saw the always electric Usain Bolt of Jamiaca take to the track for another impressive performance.

Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt took to the track in the men’s 200m race, looking to improve upon his 19.19 world record set in Berlin at the world championships. Bolt faced some great competition in the form of American Wallace Spearmon, but it there is really nothing Spearmon could do to slow down the “lightning” Bolt. In cold, damp conditions Bolt slowed-up to a 19.57, good for the 4th fastest performance in history. Bolt just simply better than everyone else in the world, and he is very likely the best we will ever see on the turns. What he may do in the 400m is just scary.

The most exciting jackpot related race certainly came in the form of the men’s 5000m, where Kenenisa Bekele looked to secure his second Golden League title, and first since 2006. Bekele found himself in an interesting situation, much like the first race of the season in Berlin, surrounded by competitors at the bell lap. Bekele was able to, as he always does, pull away for the victory in 12:55.31.

Finishing the race in seventh place was American Matt Tegenkamp. Teg ran a personal best 12:58.56, making him the second American this year to break the 13:00 barrier. Countryman Dathan Ritzenhein broke the American record last week in Zurich with his 12:56.27. Before this year the only Americans to break 13:00 had been Bob Kennedy and Bernard Lagat.

Also taking a share in the $1 million jackpot was Sanya Richards of the US, as she won the women’s 400m in a world leading 48.83. Russian Yelena Yelena Isinbayeva took the final third of the jackpot with her easy victory in the women’s pole vault.

Elsewhere around the track American Anna Willard ran a fantastic race to take the victory in the women’s 800m. Willard proved she is still in fine form setting a personal best time of 1:59.14. American Jeremey Wariner won in dominating fashion in the men’s 400m with a 44.94 clocking and Jamaican Asafa Powell out sprinted American Tyson Gay in the men’s 100m, 9.90 to 10.00. This is not to leave out the only world record of the meet, set by a team of Kenyan men. The East African nation broke the oldest world record on the books in the 4X1500m, taking the win in 14:36.23. They brok the record of the Federal Republic of Germany set back in 1977 of 14.38.8x.

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