World Leaders For Biwott, Melkamu In Ostrava

Lagat takes third in the 3000m.

By David Monti
(c) 2010 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

World-leading times were recorded by Yusuf Biwott and Meselech Melkamu at today’s 49th Zlata Tetra – Golden Spike in Ostrava, Czech Republic, tonight.  The meeting was part of the IAAF World Challenge series for 2010.

Biwott, a 23 year-old Kenyan, beat a stacked field in the men’s 3000m, including reigning world indoor 3000m champion and two-time Olympic medallist Bernard Lagat.  Following pacemakers Collins Kosgei, Gideon Gathimba and Cornelius Ndiwa, the race went through 1000m in 2:28.48 and 2000m in 5:01.69, setting up Biwott to run a meet record 7:31.68.  Kenyan John Kemboi was a close second in 7:32.16, and Lagat finished third in 7:32.49.  While the top-3 –and seven of the top-12– finishers set personal bests, Lagat was likely disappointed that he did not break Bob Kennedy’s USA record of 7:30.84.  The race had impressive depth: 12 men broke 8 minutes.

In the women’s 10,000m, Ethiopian Meselech Melkamu ran a world-leading 31:04.52, beating a small field of six other women.  Pacemaker Anikó Kálovics of Hungary got the race started fast with a 2:57.88 kilometer, but the pace sagged to 6:04.46 through 2 km.  Kálovics left the race, and Melkamu took over through 3 km (9:10.07) before Kenyan Pauline Korikwiang would hold the lead, lap after lap, through 9000m with Melkamu close behind.  The race came down to the two Africans, with Korikwiang getting a personal best 31:06.29 just behind Melkamu.  Portugal’s Jessica Augusto made a very solid 10,000m debut, clocking 31:19.15 in third.

Times in the men’s and women’s 800m were more modest.  On the men’s side, Kenyan David Rudisha won his third consecutive 800m this season, running 1:44.03.  His two toughest rivals, Kenya’s Boaz Lalang and Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski, finished second and third, respectively, in 1:45.02 and 1:45.02.  The Netherlands’ Yvonne Hak was the surprise winner in the women’s two-lap contest, clocking 2:00.53, just 2/100ths of a second ahead of Lithuania’s Egle Balciunaite.

In the night’s final and much touted event, triple Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt scorched the 300m in 30.97, a meet record and the second-fastest time ever for the rarely run distance (it was the fastest ever at sea level).  Jamaica’s Jermain Gonzales was a distant second in 32.49.

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