Moscow Daily for August 13
Kevin Sully | On 13, Aug 2013
It was silver for Nick Symmonds Photo Courtesy of TrackTownPhoto
Our Moscow Daily recaps the day’s action at the IAAF World Championships, offers up some analysis, and tells you what (and how) to watch the following day. Come back for all nine days of action from Russia.
* = scoring in the traditional American 8-place fashion
Tuesday was the most entertaining and eventful of the four days of competition. In total, there were six finals.
Mohammed Aman ran down Nick Symmonds in the final 40 meters to grab Ethiopia’s first gold medal ever in the 800. Symmonds, who moved to the the lead with 100 meters left in the race, took second, and became the first American medal in the event since Rich Kenah’s bronze in 1997. Duane Solomon led for the first 700 meters before fading to sixth.
Lashawn Merritt blew away the field with a world-leading time of 43.74. His main rival, and pre-race favorite, Kirani James fell apart over the final meters of the race and finished 7th. It was the worst race of James’s young career. Tony McQuay ran a personal best of 44.40 and made it 1-2 for the United States. Lugelin Santos of the Dominican Republic outleaned Jonathan Borlee for the bronze.
In a competition missing many of the big stars, Ganna Melnichenko emerged to win the gold with a score of 6,586 points. Brianne Theisen-Eaton, a day after her husband won the gold in the decathlon, set a personal best and finished second. Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands took the bronze.
Milcah Chemos of Kenya finally broke through at a major championship and won Kenya’s first world championship gold medal in the women’s steeplechase. An astounding statistic when you consider the domination by the Kenyan men in the event. Lydia Chepkurui finished second and Sofia Assefa, who hit a barrier during the race, took third.
Women’s Pole Vault
Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia delighted the crowd and returned to her old form in the women’s pole vault. The 31-year-old vaulted past Jen Suhr and cleared 4.89 meters to win gold. After Suhr and Yarisley Silva of Cuba exited the competition, Isinbayeva took three cracks at a world record height of 5.07 meters. None of the attempts were serious threats to the record, but it didn’t matter to the hometown crowd.
Robert Harting: Discus World Champion, Uniform Destroyer
— Chris Nickinson (@chrisnickinson) August 13, 2013
US Team Performance Analysis
On the fourth day of competition the United States added 1 gold and 3 silvers to their growing haul of medals. The men’s 400 squad rebounded after a disappointing performance at the Olympics. In London, they didn’t qualify a single man to the finals. Today, they finished first and second, outperforming virtually all the form charts.
Nick Symmonds silver medal in the 800 was historic, but not shocking. More surprising was Duane Solomon’s drop to sixth when many had him as a lock for a medal. Minus Rudisha, the final was absent a clear favorite for the first time since 2009 and the race went a bit off script with Symmonds moving toward the front much earlier than anticipated.
If there is such a thing as home field advantage in track and field, Yelena Isinbayeva certainly had it on Tuesday night. The Russian crowd was fueling the world record holder and Jen Suhr did well to keep her composure in such a highly technical event.
In the heptathlon, Sharon Day was hurt by her performance in the long jump and slid to sixth. The United States did not have any finalists in the men’s discus and the women’s steeplechase. However, the preliminary heats in the morning and early evening went smoothly for Team USA.
Mary Cain exceeded expectations once again and qualified to the finals in the 1500. Jenny Simpson looked every bit a gold medal threat in the second semifinal where she finished just behind Abeba Aregawi. Sarah Brown did not advance.
In the men’s 5,000, Bernard Lagat and Galen Rupp qualified to the final without incident. Ryan Hill finished fifth in the first heat and is a surprise finalist for Team USA.
The United States lost a serious medal contender in the 400-meter hurdles when Bershawn Jackson crashed to the track at the end of the first curve. After the race, the television broadcast showed him receiving treatment on his right hamstring. In the other semifinals, Michael Tinsley and Kerron Clement advanced to the final.
The Americans also qualified two women to the final in the women’s 400-meter hurdles with Lashinda Demus and Dalilah Muhammad both advancing. Erik Kynard will be the lone American in the men’s high jump final after Jesse Williams, Dusty Jonas and Keith Moffatt all bowed out in qualification.
Canadian Team Performance Analysis
Maple leafs and multi events, that’s what Canada does! Brianne Theisen-Eaton’s silver medal in the heptathlon will compliment Damian Warner’s bronze medal from the decathlon yesterday.
In the high jump, London bronze medalist Derek Drouin qualified as expected. Both Canadian women were eliminated in the semifinals of the 1,500, but Kate Van Buskirk did set a personal best of 4:07.36.
Here’s how to watch tomorrow’s action. All times are Eastern.
Universal Sports, 12:30-4:00am (live)
Daily highlight shows will air on Sportsnet. Visit Athletics.ca for broadcast times in your area.
UniversalSports.com will webcast whenever the TV channel is running a live broadcast, but you can only watch it if you’re in the minority of Americans whose cable provider carries Universal Sports.
Yet another option is IAAF Radio, which is quite good and will offer live play-by-play from 1:30 to 4:00 AM.
How to Follow
The main hub of information is the IAAF website. Schedules, results, news, athlete info, whatever you need. You might want their smartphone app, too.
If you’re cheering for a particular team–and who isn’t?–both USA Track and Field and Athletics Canada have microsites for their Worlds teams. You can follow the exploits of US collegians with the USTFCCA.
What to Watch (morning session only on Wednesday)
1:30am: Women’s Hammer Throw Qualification
Three Americans slated to compete including the new American record holder in the event, Amanda Bingson.
1:40am: Women’s 5000 Preliminaries
Will Ethiopia pull the double switch and enter Tirunesh Dibaba? Shannon Rowbury, Chelsea Reilly and Molly Huddle will compete for Team USA.
2:25am: Men’s Long Jump Qualification
Americans Marquis Dendy, George Kitchens and Dwight Phillips have their work cut out for them.
2:35am: Men’s 1500 Preliminaries
All Americans are expected to advance, but there are no safe bets in the 1500. Ayanleh Souleiman, the bronze medalist in the 800, is also entered in this event.