Moscow Daily for August 18
Jesse Squire | On 18, Aug 2013
This is the last of our daily reports on the World Championships, so the scoreboard is expanded to include the top 25 nations.
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*Scored using the traditional American 8-place system
Men’s 1500 meters
Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop came in as a strong favorite and had his way, leading off the final turn and sprinting away to a clear win. Ever the brilliant tactician and good sprinter, Matthew Centrowitz took silver in a mad dash to the finish that saw five men separated by less than half a second. South African Johan Cronje was a surprise bronze medal winner; this was his first-ever World Championships final, and it was South Africa’s first top-8 finish.
Results | Kenya Capital story
Women’s 800 meters
The USA qualified three to the final for the first time ever, and as usual Alysia Montano took it out hard from the gun. It was probably a little too hard (56.06 at 400 meters) and she faded down the stretch as Kenya’s Eunice Sum broke her PR by two seconds and took the win, with Russia’s Mariya Savinova second. Brenda Martinez, the USA’s breakout runner of the year, came up for bronze in a new PR. Montano dove for the line and ended up fourth. Ajee Wilson finished sixth and broke the American Junior Record set by Mary Cain earlier this year at the Prefontaine Classic.
Results | Kenya Capital story
Women’s 4×100 Relay
Even without all their top sprinters, Jamaica dominated this competition and won going away in 41.29, a meet record and the second-fastest of all time. English Gardner loused up the second exchange by taking off far too early and had to come to a full stop to keep the baton in the zone, and Octavious Freeman ran a furious anchor leg to get the team up to bronze–and nearly caught France for second place. (A DQ for France moved the USA to silver.) While all four Americans were finalists in their events and brought plenty of speed, none of them were on last year’s World Record-setting squad and the inexperience showed. Great Britain moved up for bronze after lodging a protest against France, leading one wag to quip:
Britain's best athletics event? Protests.
— Charles van Comedy (@CharlesVComedy) August 18, 2013
Men’s 4×100 Relay
Here the US team ran about as well as could be expected, slightly leading Jamaica at the final exchange. But “slightly leading” will never cut it against Usain Bolt and the Jamaicans won yet again. Great Britain initially came up for bronze but made a pass out of the zone and was disqualified. Bronze went to Canada, who were initially third at last year’s Olympics before being disqualified.
Men’s Triple Jump
France’s Teddy Tamgho proved he’s come all the way back from his devastating ankle injury that cost him the last two seasons, winning a ding-dong battle with Cuba’s Pedro Pablo Pichardo. Will Claye had a seasonal best to win bronze.
Germany’s Christina Obergfoll had never before won gold in a big championship meet in seven years of trying, but today she finally broke through and won. Australia’s Kimberly Mickle surprised with silver in a personal record. Russia’s Mariya Abakumova put up a huge throw in the qualifying round two days ago but could not reproduce that effort and took bronze.
US Team Performance Analysis
There were no gold medals on this final day and for the first time ever, the USA did not lead the World Championships gold medal count. While the Americans had eight finalists today, it would have taken a large upset for any to have won their event. Centrowitz’s silver equaled the second-best American finish in the event (after Lagat’s 2007 win) since 1908(!) and Martinez’s bronze is the best American finish in the event since the boycott year of 1984. Will Claye had his best outing of the year to get triple jump bronze, while Christian Taylor just didn’t have it today aside from one long foul.
The men’s relay did well enough, although the last exchange was a little rough. The women’s relay was the victim of one huge error and it was a miracle to get a medal at all. It was not the embarassment of 2008, where both relay teams were DQs, but this repeated relay trouble must be addressed and fixed.
A complete analysis of US team performance throughout the World Championships will be posted later this week. If I were to give it a letter grade right now, it’s a B.
Canadian Team Performance Analysis
Canada had three finalists today. Nate Brannen finished tenth in the 1500 meters and did well just to get to the final. The 4×100 relays did better than expected. The women’s team was a long shot to get to the final but they made it (and broke a 37-year-old national record to get there) and got sixth. The men’s 4×100 bronze medal gained redemption for last year, when they finished third and then were disqualified for a lane line infraction.
The Canadian medal total is now five, the most ever at a World Championships. The last Olympic total that high was in 1984, a number buoyed by boycott. Before that you have to go all the way back to 1932 to find more than four medals. If I were to give it a letter grade right now, it’s an A.
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