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Olympic Games 2012
Day-10: Marathon runner Yadav fails to live-up as the Games conclude on Sunday
London, 12 August 2012
Ram Singh Yadav ran a fast first 5 km but could not keep up the pace thereafter. The men’s marathon, last event of the Games’ athletics programme, witnessed Uganda’s Stephen Kiprotich provided a stunner by taking the gold from fancied Kenyans Abel Kirui and Wilson Kipsang. The 23-year-old Kiprotich gave Uganda its first-ever gold medal in marathon in Olympics. Running only his fourth marathon in career, it was a big leap for Kiprotich on the global arena after his ninth place finish in Daegu Worlds last year. He timed 2:08:01 for the gold, Kirui finished 26 seconds later for silver and Kipsang in 2:09:37 completed the podium.
Yadav failed in his ambition to better Shivnath Singh’s national mark as well as Olympic placing since he completed the race as only a 78th man with a time of 2:30:06. Of the 105 lined-up at the start, 85 runners finished the race.
Good show by Indian athletes
Although there were no medals from athletics to India, our athletes had a better outing in London as two of our discus throwers—Krishna Poonia and Vikas Gowda—made it to the finals in their respective divisions, a first in throwing events for the nation.
Outside the top-8, race walker K.T. Irfan produced a national record when he finished a credible 10th in the 20 km walk while teammate Basanta Bahadur Rana also had similar feat, notwithstanding his lower placing in the heavy 50 km race.
Further 800m runner Tintu Luka returned a season best timing in her sixth place finish in semi-finals.
In other words the only black-spot in athletics remain with triple jumper Renjith Maheswary’s triple-foul in the qualifying rounds, a repeat from last year’s world championships in Daegu.
India did well in other sports, despite upsets in archery and hockey, and finished with six individual medals—including 2 silver and 4 bronze medals. Wrestler Sushil Kumar completes the Indian tally with a silver medal this after-noon and thus become the first Indian to win two individual medals at the Olympics. Earlier he won a bronze medal in Beijing, four years ago.
With this the quadrangular sporting extravaganza comes to a close at London with many defining moments to remember forever. So we have to wait until ‘Rio de Janeiro’ organise another mega show in 2016 for our dream of realising an athletics medal in the Olympic Games!
/ Ram. Murali Krishnan /
Day-9: Rana clocked first sub-4 hour mark in 50 km walk
London, 11 August 2012
Basant Bahadur Rana became the first race walker from India to cover the gruelling 50 km distance within 4 hours. Serving in Indian Army, the 28-year-old athlete from Chamkipur was in tail at the early stages of the event this morning. However as the race progressed as much as dozen walkers either dropped midway or disqualified for violating the rules. Rana thus placed 36th among 51 finishers with a time of 3 hrs. 56 minutes and 48 seconds to improve his previous national record of 4:02:13 which he achieved during the Race Walking World Cup at Saransk, Russia, in May this year.
It was Rana’s third national record in this event, the first being 4:10:42 he clocked at Patiala in 2008.
Although we have appreciation for Rana’s improved show in London, one could not overlook the fact that he was 20 minutes behind the winner Sergey Kirdyapkin, who timed an Olympic Record 3:35:59 for the gold. It was Russia’s first win in this event at Olympic Games since 1992. In Barcelona, Andrey Perlov won the event as a member of the Unified Team!
Australian Jared Tallent (3:36:53) and China’s Si Tianfeng (3:37:16) delivered personal best timings for the silver and bronze medals respectively. With five men under 3:38 and three other under 3:40, it was one of the best races witnessed in this event in Olympic history.
Bolt anchored Jamaicans to World Record
The high-calibre performance delivered by Jamaican team last night in men’s 4x100m relay once again made us to believe that they are super-humans! In what is appeared as a fitting finale to the athletics competitions at the main stadium in Stratford, the TEAM BOLT evolved their own world record to a new high of 36.84 secs. The quartet of Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Yohan Blake and Usain Bolt lived-up to everyone’s expectations and beyond, thus held-off the challenge by an equally great United States team which equalled the previous world mark of 37.04 for taking the silver. Behind the Americans were another team from Caribbean islands – Trinidad & Tobago – for bronze in 38.12s.
The last time the world record occurred in both men’s and women’s 4x100m relay forty years ago at Munich Olympics!
Earlier T&T got its first-ever title in men’s javelin throw, thanks to Keshorn Wakott, with a nation record 84.58m which was just 7 cm farther than second-placed Oleksandr Pyatnytsya of Ukraine.
Mo Farah made a strong finish in 5000m to complete a distance-double and the noise went sky-high as the British fans celebrated the moment with utmost joy.
It was a most profitable day for Russia as its athletes garnered four gold medals. Following Kirdyapkin’s 50 km, Elena Lashmanova took the women’s 20 km title in a world record 1:25:02 with teammate Olga Kaniskina finished runner-up seven seconds behind. Anna Chicherova went up to 2.05m for high jump gold. Later, Mariya Savinova overpowered a strong field to win the women’800m in 1:56.19.
The US women complete a ‘relay double’ by taking the 4x400m in a season best 3:16.87. At the end of penultimate day of athletics competitions, the Unites States is leading the medal tally with 9 gold, 13 silver and 7 bronze medals which boost its overall tally of 44-29-29.
The men’s marathon race slated for Sunday, wherein India’s Ram Singh Yadav will take part, starting at 11:00 a.m. (IST 3:30 p.m.)
/ Ram. Murali Krishnan /
Day-8: US women sprint relay quartet sets World Record!
London, 10 August 2012
In yet another marvellous evening the United States relay quartet comprising Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight and Carmelita Jeter erased one of the oldest records from the books when they clocked a stunning 40.82 secs to win the gold in women’s 4x100m relay.
The US women erased the previous world record of 41.37s held by a team from erstwhile East Germany since October 1985 with a huge margin of 0.55 secs.
Jamaican squad of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price, Sherone Simpson, veronica Campbell-Brown and Kerron Stewart took the silver in a national record 41.41 as also the team from Ukraine which went home with the bronze clocking 42.04s.
But in a shocking upset, the US men’s 4x400m relay went down to Bahamas for the top spot. Both the teams engaged in a battle in the previous day’s heats with Bahamas finished first a shade away from Americans with an identical 2:58.87. However on Friday night they put-up a much improved display by taking the gold with a new national best 2:56.72. US men settled with silver (2:57.05) while Trinidad and Tobago filled the podium with 2:59.40.
New Relay Festival panned
The Bahamas’ impressive show prompted the world body to create a new competition called the “IAAF World Relays” with the first edition taking place in Nassau, Bahamas, in May 2014 and 2015.
This new two day competition will bring together the world’s best athletes, with a schedule that includes the traditional 4x100m and 4x400m events but also 4x200m, 4x800m and 4x1500m. It is expected that the World Relays will be used to qualify some teams for the World Championships and Olympics.
As expected Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie won the pole vault with an Olympic record 5.97m while Russian hammer thrower Tatyana Lysenko accounted for another mark with 78.18m. In an epic 5000m for women, Ethiopia’s Meseret Defar claimed the title (15:04.25) from Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot (15:04.73) and country-mate Tirunesh Dibaba (15:05.15).
India’s Basanta Bahadur Rana is taking part in men’s 50 km walk on Saturday. In other expected action for tomorrow, the teams from Jamaica and United States will battle it again in the men’s 4x100m relay. Women’s high jump and 20 km walk will be other attractions for the week-end.
/ Ram. Murali Krishnan /
Day-7: Sahana, Tintu fails to qualify for finals
London, 9 August 2012
Tintu Luka was drawn on a toughest semi-final heat this evening. The line-up includes Caster Semenya of South Africa, who as a junior stunned the world with the global title in Berlin five years ago, and Janeth Jepkosgei of Kenya—the silver medallist at Beijing Olympics.
Drawn on lane three, Tintu started well but could not cope up with the pace set by the Kenyan runner who recorded a fast lap first in 57.36 secs. Semenya overtook Tintu and the leader thereafter. The Indian started fading away after 600m and finished sixth in her race in 1:59.69, her second fastest time ever after the national record 1:59.17 which she clocked in the Continental Cup at Split, two years ago.
Semenya was the fastest winner with 1:57.67 while Jepkosgei who finished third also through to final as a fastest loser in her 1:58.26 along with fourth placed Alysia Montano of United States in 1:58.42. Russian Elena Arzhakova’s final kick put her second in 1:58.13. The other two heats were won by Pamela Jelimo (1:59.42) and Mariya Savinova (1:58.57). Tintu could have made it provided she figured in one of those other two heats!
Earlier in the morning, high jumper Sahana Kumari disappointed the Indian fans with her early exit. After sailing over 1.80m on her first attempt, Sahana failed at all three chances, when the bar raised to 1.85m, that marked eventually her ouster from the field. Among other jumpers only Svetlana Radzivil of Uzbekistan cleared the automatic qualifying mark of 1.96m while others moved to final with their previous height of 1.93m. At home, Sahana set a national record 1.92m to qualify for Olympics during the Inter-State championships held at Hyderabad earlier this year.
Rudisha’s WORLD RECORD in 800m
David Lekuta Rudisha created history tonight as he became the first athlete to set a World Record in the London Olympics of 2012. The reigning world champion and world record-holder justified his billing as a great athlete in middle distance running as he stunned a near capacity 80,000 fans who were assembled to witness his mind-blowing performance on Thursday night. As he covered fast 400m (49.28) and 600m (1:14.30) everyone understood his ambitions to set a global mark here and he realised it in 1:40.91, clipping 0.2 secs from his previous mark.
Botswana’s Nijel Amos took the silver (1:41.73) while another Kenyan Timothy Kitum joined the celebrations with his bronze medal in 1:42.53. What a race! It saw a never before fast timings for almost all finalists with Rudisha went under 1:41, two runners clocked sub-1:42, five others dipped under 1:43 and the final one ran below 1:44, incredible indeed.
A battery of former Olympic champions, including LOCOG chairman Sebastian Coe and IAAF council member Alberto Juantorena, witnessed the great race this evening. Lord Coe exchanged his pleasure with the IAAF President Lamine Diack immediately after the event which could have reminded him of his heydays.
LIGHTNING STRIKES AGAIN
Superstar Usain Bolt, nick-named the lightning Bolt, does it again! With his incredible run Bolt successfully defends yet another title from Beijing as he mesmerised the audience with his stupendous 19.32 secs clocking to win the 200m dash. Teammates Yohan Blake (19.44) and Warren Weir (19.84) joined the celebrations as the trio made it a sweep for Jamaica! United States’ Wallace Spearmon made a gallant effort to catch the Jamaicans on the home-straight but only to manage a fourth place in 19.90s. Dutchman Churandy Martina, who was expected to give a threat to the top guns, was fifth in 20 secs.
After tonight’s double, Bolt is all set to conquer the sprint relay gold in the coming days to stamp his class for one more time on the Olympic arena. A joyous Bolt & Co cheerfully posed for photographers. At one occasion the top man grabbed a camera from his media-friend and started clicking the pictures of those men who recorded his images millions of time in the past four years!
The American medal tally inflated again with 1-2 finish in triple jump by Christian Taylor (17.81) and Will Claye (17.62). World record-holder Ashton Eaton and teammate Trey Hardee did similar act in decathlon. At the end of day United States went-up in the medal tally, thanks to its track and field athletes!
Friday’s action to watch:
There are no events in which Indian athletes taking part tomorrow. However the evening-only session features six finals including men’s pole vault, 4x400m relay and women’s sprint relay.
/ Ram. Murali Krishnan /
Day-6: Tintu Luka moved to semi-finals
London, 8 August 2012
Tintu Luka ran a well-judged race in the morning’s 800m heats while advancing towards tomorrow’s semi-finals. Unlike her previous appearances in international competitions wherein she used to do a lead role, Tintu played a second-fiddle all the way this morning and when the pace increased at the 600m mark she was trying to remain with the leader Alice Schmidt of United States. However she could finish only third behind the American as World champion Mariya Savinova of Russia overtakes both the athletes for the front-position in 2:01.56.
Tintu clocked 2:01.75, just one-tenth of a second slower than Schmidt. South African Caster Semenya finished second in the first heat while Kenyan favourites Pamela Jelimo and Janeth Jepkosgei won their respective heats. The top-3 finishers of the heats and six fastest losers qualified for the semis.
The men’s 110m hurdles semi-finals went on without any trouble. Defending champion and world-record holder Dayron Robles clocked a season best 13.10 secs to win the third race of semis. However the focus turned on America’s world leader Aries Merritt who clocked a noteworthy 12.94 secs in the previous, which happens to be the fastest time in semis in the Olympics history!
World bronze medallist Natalya Antyukh pips Lashinda Demus of United States at the post to collect her maiden Olympic gold in women’s 400m hurdles. The 31-year-old Russian was a bronze medallist in 400m flat at Athens eight year ago. She clocked a personal best 52.70 secs for today’s victory.
After two unsuccessful attempts in Athens and Beijing Olympics, Allyson Felix finally made it! The American sprinted to glory in 21.88 secs for 200m. Jamaican 100m winner Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce took the silver ahead of Carmelita Jeter of USA.
The men’s 110m hurdles FINAL saw a biggest upset as defending champion Robles developed a hamstring pull and thus abandoned the race in the early stages of the race. World leader Aries Merritt clocked a personal best 12.92 to win the gold, but barely missed Liu Xiang’s Olympic record by a whisker!
Thursday’s action to watch:
From the Indian side, Tintu Luka competes in semi-finals of women’s 800m and Sahana Kumari to feature in the high jump qualifying round. The most attractive among other events will be men’s 200m Finals wherein Usain Bolt going to create a history! Other finals include men’s 800m, triple jump and decathlon as also women’s javelin throw.
/ Ram. Murali Krishnan /
Day-5: Vikas finished credible eighth while Renjith repeats triple-fault
London, 7 August 2012
Vikas Gowda, on his third Olympics appearance, finished among the top finalists in men’s discus throw. He was on sixth position after the first round with a throw of 64.79m. However the US-based athlete could not go beyond it in his subsequent five rounds and slipped to eighth place in the end.
Germany’s two times world champion Robert Harting went home with the gold by hurling the disc to 68.27m while Ehsan Hadadi, the Asian champion who led the event until fifth round, settled with silver in 68.18m. Estonian Gerd Kanter posted a season’s best 68.03 for bronze.
Renjith disappoints with all-foul
Commonwealth bronze medallist Renjith Maheshwary repeated his all-foul show from last year’s World championships in Daegu. It was very disappointed to see the national record-holder crack the plasticine each time in all his three jumps in the morning’s qualification round.
In the Olympic Games, Indian medal-hope Mohinder Singh Gill did a similar act by fails to qualify for the finals at Munich in 1972.
The London triple jump arena also witnessed the home-favourite and Beijing silver medallist Phillips Idowu fails to qualify for final.
In other events, Russian high jumper Ivan Ukhov sailed over 2.38 for the top spot in the podium while Australian Sally Pearson finally accomplished her Olympic dream by taking the women’s 100m hurdles in a thrilling passion with an Olympic record 12.35 secs. Beijing victor Dawn Harper was two-hundredth of a second behind for silver.
Former Olympic and world champion Liu Xiang of China had a second shocking exit at the Olympics as he hit hard the first hurdle and had a fatal fall that ended his ambitions for a come-back.
Wednesday’s action to watch:
From the Indian side, Tintu Luka competes in 800m heats tomorrow. The finals of women’s long jump, 200m, 400m hurdles and men’s 110m hurdles will take place tomorrow.
/ Ram. Murali Krishnan /
Day-3 & 4: Vikas Gowda entered men’s discus throw final
London, 6 August 2012
Discus thrower Vikas Gowda today became the first Indian male athlete to enter a final of the Olympic Games in field events. He made the automatic qualification to tomorrow’s final with his second round throw of 65.20m. Earlier he opened the fray with 63.52m. Asian champion Ehsan Hadadi from Iran was the only other athlete to gain the auto qualification with just one throw to 65.19m. Inspired by his teammate Krishna Poonia’s seventh-place finish the previous evening in the women’s event, Vikas is all set to achieve a higher place tomorrow.
In the women’s pole vault, world record-holder Yelena Isinbayeva ended in third place. American Jennifer Suhr won the gold from Yarisley Silva of Cuba on count-back after both the athletes scaled an identical 4.75m. In yet another set-back world champion Valerie Adams suffered a shock-defeat in the hands of Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus.
World champion Kirani James clinched the 400m title clocking a national record 43.94 secs. For the first time in Olympics history no American athlete featured in the above race!
Earlier on Sunday night, Jamaican world-record holder and defending champion Usain Bolt pushed aside pre-race gossips as he went on to win the 100m with an Olympic record 9.63 secs. Teammate Yohan Blake, the reigning world champion who beat Bolt twice in the Jamaican Olympic trials, clocked 9.75 for silver. US sprinter Justin Gatlin takes away the bronze in 9.79s.
Tuesday’s action to watch:
Apart from Gowda in men’s discus throw finals, triple jumper Renjith Maheshwary will feature in the triple jump qualifying rounds tomorrow. Men’s high jump and women’s 100m hurdles finals are other notable events to watch on Tuesday.
/ Ram. Murali Krishnan /
Day-2: Krishna Poonia finished seventh in discus final
London, 4 August 2012
One of the nation’s medal-prospects in Olympics, discus thrower Krishna Poonia, finished seventh in the Final this evening. In an event which witnessed defending champion Stephanie Brown-Trafton went down to eighth place, the recent European champion Sandra Perkovic hog the limelight as she emerged victorious with a throw of 69.11m.
Krishna opened her campaign with 62.42m and improved it to 63.62m on the fifth round. However it was only sufficient to place her among the Top-8 and an Olympic podium was still beyond the reach of the Indian woman. Australia’s former world champion Dani Samuels, who gave a miss to Commonwealth Games two years ago but challenged Krishna thereafter, could managed only a paltry 60.40m and finished twelfth and last in the final today.
Russia’s Darya Pishchalnikova (67.56) pushed China’s world champion Li Yanfeng (67.22) for the silver.
Irfan finished 10th with a NR in 20 Km walk
Everyone surprised when three of our athletes attained the Olympic Games “A” standard in 20 Km race walking. There was even some talk about an Indian winning a medal at London in this event. Although we know such hype was far from the reality, one of our walkers certainly gave some anxious moment to his compatriots in London today.
Started in an unusual evening session, the race was led in it is initial stages by Japanese Suzuki. However walkers from China, a strong nation in this event in recent years, emerged in front position at the 5 km mark and remain there in the rest of the race.
Kolothum Thodi Irfan, the 22-year-old Army man from India and a native of Areekode in Malappuram district of Kerala state, pulled a surprised when he stay with the leading pack and threatened the rest of the field when he was in fifth position at 8 km mark. Irfan however trailed afterwards and switched from 9th to 12th position in between before finishing in a commendable 10th place at the end clocking 1:20:21, a new national record.
Ding Chen of China went on to win the race in an Olympic record time of 1:18:46.
The other two Indians on the fray, Gurmeet Singh (1:23:34) and Baljinder Singh (1:25:39) finished 33rd and 43rd respectively.
Earlier in the morning, Sudha Singh finished 13th in her heats of women’s 3000m steeplechase by clocking 9:48.86.
British fans had a weekend party with three of their athletes, heptathlete Jessica Ennis, long jumper Greg Ruthorfod and distance runner Mo Farah clinched gold medals on Saturday night.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran an amazing race to win the women’s 100m in 10.75 secs from American favourite Carmelita Jeter (10.78) and her Jamaican teammate Veronica Campbell Brown (10.81).
Sunday’s action to watch
Although there will be no Indian in action tomorrow (5 Aug), the day will see six finals starting with women’s marathon in the morning and finishing with men’s 100m in the night as notable among them.
/ Ram. Murali Krishnan /
Day-1: Krishna Poonia cruises in to discus throw finals
London, 3 August 2012
The athletics events in the London Olympics witnessed an unprecedented full-house on the opening morning session on Friday.
"It was wonderful to arrive at the Olympic Games this morning and see a totally packed stadium for the first session of athletics. I do not remember the last time this happened and it shows the great affection Britain has for our sport. LOCOG has done a great job and we are excited about the rest of the athletics programme, since the athletes will definitely be inspired by crowds like this”. These words by no less a person than the IAAF President Lamine Diack, will remain as a testimony for the success of the London Olympics forever.
Krishna Poonia – the first Indian finalist in discus throw
Commonwealth champion Krishna Poonia become the first Indian to qualify for the women’s discus throw final when she hurled the disc to 63.54m on her second round in today’s qualifier. Poonia gave some anxious moment when she had foul on the first round. The criteria for entering the final will be 63m or the best-12 performers. Now that she achieved the “automatic qualification” we shall expect a better show from the Rajasthani in the Final. Harwant Kaur’s 13th place in the qualification round of 2004 edition of the Olympic Games in Athens was the previous high for Indians in this event earlier.
Leading the Group-A qualifiers is Beijing silver medalist Yarelys Barrios of Cuba with 65.94m. Russian Darya Pishchalnikova (65.02), reigning World champion Li Yanfeng of China (64.48) and former world champ Dani Samuels from Australia (63.97) are the other athletes who achieved the automatic qualification in Krishna’s group and advanced to tomorrow’s finals.
In Group-B, the other Indian Seema Antil also had a foul on her first attempt but touched 61.10m on the second try. She went on to reach 61.91m on her last but missed the final as a 13th placer. Defending Olympic champion Stephanie Brown Trafton was lucky to make it with her last round 64.89m. German Nadine Muller (65.89) and Croatian Sandra Perkovic (65.74) have comfortably sailed in to final with their first round throws.
Om Prakash, Mayookha fails to qualify for finals
Earlier in the morning session we had men's shot put and women's triple jump qualifiers. In which India’s Om Prakash Singh finished 19th overall with a 19.86m toss, while Mayookha Johny jumped 13.77m to finish 22nd among the athletes who took part in their respective events and hence both of them could not qualify for the finals.
Drawn in group-B, Om Prakash started with a moderate 19.40m and went on to put the shot to 19.86 on his next try. However he fouled his third and last throw that decided his fate. Five athletes achieved the pre-set qualifying norm of 20.65m with American Reese Hoffa leading the men to the evening’s final with a 21.36m put. Hoffa was seventh in Beijing-2008 and having a PB of 22.43m set in London five years ago.
Similarly our woman triple jumper Mayookha Johny also competed in group-B and landed the pit at 13.77m on her first attempt. However she could not go beyond it in her further try-outs as they measured to 13.68 and 13.62m only. Four jumpers went farther than the pre-event marker which stood at 14.40m. In group-A, Jamaican Kimberly Williams (14.53) and British woman Yamile Aldama (14.45) made it with their first jumps and Colombia’s Caterine Ibarquen (14.42) had it in her second attempt in group-B. Daegu world championship silver medallist and Asian record-holder Olga Rypakova of Kazakhstan had a shaky start in the beginning as she fouled her first attempt and recorded just 13.99m on the second. However the experienced Kazakh, who finished 15th in the Beijing qualifier, leaped to brilliant 14.79m on her last jump to enter the Olympic finals here.
Tomasz Majewski of Poland became the first athletics gold medallist of the London Games with a season’s best toss of 21.89m ahead of German David Storl who missed it in 3 cm. Reese Hoffa of United States got the bronze medal in 21.23m.
In the women’s 10000m race Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba successfully defended her title in 30:20.75. After allowing a Japanese trio to lead the race in the first 9 laps, Dibaba and her compatriot Kidane moved ahead along with Kenyans Kipyego and Vivian Cheruiyot. Kidane did a pace-maker’s job till the runners approached the 9 km mark then faded away. Dibaba pulled away from the Kenyans and ran a brilliant 62 secs final lap to conquer the gold. Kipyego (30:26.37) and Cheruiyot (30:30.44) claimed silver and bronze medals while Kidane finished fourth in 30:39.38.
Saturday’s action to watch
Tomorrow (4 Aug) morning we have women’s 3000m steeplechase in which Sudha Singh is taking part, thereafter in the after-noon’s 20 Km Walk Final three of our men will race, and of course the women’s discus throw Final would saw Krishna Poonia challenging world’s elite for top honours. The other finals for Saturday include men’s long jump and 10000m run and women’s 100m.
/ Ram. Murali Krishnan /
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