Tag: Athletics

Athletics: Johnson-Thompson smashes Ennis record on way to gold

Katarina Johnson-Thompson broke Jessica Ennis-Hill’s British record, but fell agonisingly short of the world record as she claimed pentathlon gold at the European Indoor Championships in Prague.

Johnson-Thompson amassed 5,000 points, just falling short of Ukrainian Nataliya Dobrynska’s haul of 5,013, to land the first major title of her career in commanding fashion.

If there were any doubts left that this 22-year-old was destined for greatness they were blown out of the water by a performance of utter domination in her first pentathlon for three years.

“I was gutted, instant regret,” she said. “If someone had said to me, ‘You’ve got 5000 points and a gold medal’, at the beginning of the day I would have taken it, but because everything was going so well and I was so close, I think that’s what made me so sad.

“I could have got it if I had pushed a little bit more. It’s regretful, but its still a good score. It’s just that I accumulated all those points to get to that moment where I could actually achieve it.

“It’s been a long day. I got up at 6 o’clock and we didn’t get much rest. You forget I had a hurdles PB today and that’s great. Just because it all blends into one all I was thinking about was the disappointment of not getting the world record.”

Fired up by last year’s injury frustrations when a stress fracture to her foot ruled her out of the Commonwealth Games and European Championships, and boasting a fearless new attitude, Johnson-Thompson came first in the 60m hurdles, high jump and long jump to finish well clear of the field.

The Liverpool athlete roared to a 60m hurdles personal best of 8.18 seconds – her third PB in the discipline in less than three weeks – before clearing a championship record 1.95m in the high jump and equalling her season’s best of 12.32m in the shot put, by far her weakest event.

She lay second after the first three events, but the long jump, at which she is the British indoor record holder and reigning world indoor silver medallist, offered her the chance to all but guarantee gold and to put the world record within touching distance.

She delivered, leaping out to 6.89m on her first attempt. Needing to clock at least two minutes 11.86 seconds over 800m for the world record, Johnson-Thompson looked on course over the first three laps, but, with legs tiring, drifted off the pace and crossed the line in two minutes 12.78 seconds.

Ennis-Hill’s three-year-old British record of 4,965 points was still consigned to history, though. The Olympic heptathlon champion is due to return to the sport this summer following the birth of her first child.
Read more at ESPN

Athletics: Katarina Johnson-Thompson sets British long jump record

Katarina Johnson-Thompson set a second British record within a week as she won the long jump with a leap of 6.93m at the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix.

The 22-year-old heptathlete from Liverpool set a national indoor record with her third jump to win the event.

Johnson-Thompson broke the British high jump record last week with 1.97m and also set a hurdles personal best.

“I jumped a PB and ran a PB in the hurdles last week, so I knew I was in all right shape,” she told BBC Sport.

Johnson-Thompson missed last summer’s Commonwealth Games and European Championships with a foot injury.

She now heads to next month’s European Indoor Championships in Prague, where she will compete in the pentathlon.

“I’m happy with it but I’m like ‘right, let’s move on from this,'” she added. “I’m just so happy to be in good shape, competing and healthy and happy. I’m not going to take it for granted any more.”

Olympic champion Greg Rutherford set four indoor personal bests on his way to winning the men’s long jump with a 2015 world leading 8.17m, one centimetre short of the national record.

The 28-year-old looks likely to stick with his plan of skipping Prague to focus on winning a first world outdoor title later in the year.

“I don’t know now,” he said. “It’s a possibility but it’s a slim one. I think probably not still. I never planned to do it and never set it as a target.

“We’ve done one jump session and one run-up session in the build-up to this and the rest has been weight sessions, so we’ll see.

“If it was any other year then I’d consider it, but I’m so determined to win the World Championships this year and I do believe I can do that.”

World number one Jenny Meadows won the 800m in a time of two minutes 01.25 seconds, while Nigel Levine won the 400m in 46.43secs ahead of compatriot Jarryd Dunn.

The 60m was won by 38-year-old Kim Collins of Saint Kitts and Nevis in 6.50 seconds ahead of Britain’s Chijindu Ujah (6.55).

Read more at BBC Sport

Athletics: Mo Farah breaks indoor two-mile world record in Birmingham

Britain’s Mo Farah broke the two-mile indoor world record with a superb run at the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix.

Farah, 31, left the field behind as he stormed home in a time of eight minutes 3.40 seconds – breaking Kenenisa Bekele’s previous record of 8:04.34.

It is the double Olympic champion’s first world record.

“This means a lot to me,” Farah told BBC Sport. “I love representing my country, giving something back to all the people. Unbelievable.”

The build-up to Saturday’s race had been dominated by a row with Great Britain team-mate Andy Vernon.

Farah claimed Vernon had questioned his nationality after the double Olympic champion won European 10,000m gold in 2014, with Vernon describing that as a “huge, huge misrepresentation”.

The bad feeling clearly did not upset Farah on the track as he dominated the field in Birmingham, leaving Kenyan Paul Koech and American Bernard Lagat trailing as he ran a sub-four minute mile for the second half of the race, clocking 3:59.5.

“It (the row with Vernon) inspired me, I wanted to do it,” said Farah.

“Whatever’s happened has happened, we’ve got to move on, but at the same time I’m an athlete, that’s what I do best. I just have to keep running.”

Asked if he had a message for Vernon, Farah said: “No, at the end of the day whatever’s done is done. I just have to move on.

“I think it’s too soon to say anything right now. I’ve moved on and put that behind me. I want to keep running well.”

Vernon congratulated Farah on Twitter, saying:  “Everything aside that was a cracking run @Mo-Farah. Congratulations on the new WR.”

Farah, who will skip next month’s European Indoor Championships, has five global track titles over 5,000m and 10,000m but had not set a world record until Saturday.

“Definitely, it’s about setting myself a goal and knowing what I want out of the year,” he said. “It’s two different things going for a world record or going for a championship.

“I shouldn’t get carried away, it’s only two miles indoors, but at the same time it would be nice to be able to do what I can do for 10k, if I can go close or break it.

“But I will never give up (on championships). I want to be able to know I collected as many medals as I could for my country.”

Read more at BBC Sport

Pentathlon: Samantha Murray clinches World Cup gold in Florida

Britain’s world champion Samantha Murray began her season in style by claiming gold at the Sarasota Modern Pentathlon World Cup in Florida.

The 25-year-old, who won Olympic silver at London 2012, was taking part in her first competition since securing the world title in September last year.

Murray sealed victory by finishing ahead of USA’s Margaux Isaksen in the run-shoot combined event.

Britain’s Kate French was third in the season-opening World Cup event.

“The thing with pentathlon is that you should be really happy when you make the podium because with five diverse events you never know what’s going to happen,” said Murray.

“I’m just really grateful for every time I stand on a podium because I see that as a massive achievement.”

Murray went on to triumph after leading the combined standings following the fencing, swimming and showjumping phases.

“I am really proud of myself because in the semi-final I was really shaky and felt like I wasn’t in the right place mentally to do a competition, but I took the time yesterday to think about everything and try and find that feeling I had at the World Championships and bring it to the World Cup,” she said.

Read more at BBC Sport

Athletics: Katarina Johnson-Thompson to defend British indoor title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson will continue her return from injury when she defends her high jump title at this month’s British Indoor Championships.

It will be her second competition since she suffered a foot injury which forced her to miss last summer’s Commonwealth Games and European Championships.

The 22-year-old cleared a British record 1.96m at last year’s meet.

She will face British outdoor record holder Isobel Pooley and world junior champion Morgan Lake on 14 February.

Johnson-Thompson will also compete in the 60m hurdles in the meet, which will be held in Sheffield between 14 and 15 February.

The heptathlete won world indoor long jump silver last March and led the world heptathlon rankings for 2014 despite injury cutting short her season.

She returned to competition at the Northern Championships in January after six months spent recovering from injury and equalled a personal best 8.40 seconds in the 60m hurdles.

Johnson-Thompson will use the Sheffield meeting and the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix on 21 February to prepare for the pentathlon event at the European Indoor Championships in Prague, which start on 6 March.

Other British athletes in Birmingham include double Olympic, world and European champion Mo Farah and European 100m champion James Dasaolu.

Read more at BBC Sport

World Athletics Championships 2019: Doha wins hosting bid

The Qatari capital Doha will stage the 2019 World Athletics Championships after beating rival bids from Barcelona and the American city of Eugene.

It has been suggested the event runs from 28 September to 6 October to avoid the extreme heat of Qatar’s summer.

Qatari officials say temperatures are lower then than in May, when Doha stages its annual Diamond League event.

“We had a dream for organising such an event for a long time,” said Doha’s bid leader, Dahlan al Hamad.

Doha wanted to stage the 2017 championships but lost out to London.

British marathon runner Scott Overall backed a potential move for the championships: “Athletes will need to adjust if it’s done in October, but that is an adjustment that is easily done.”

Overall, 31, who competed in the 2012 London Olympics, added: “Doha is gaining more experience each year with the Diamond League. I did the world indoors there in 2010 and the facilities, medical, everything, were great.”

However, the decision to award the championships to Qatar has been criticised by some politicians in Britain.

Labour’s Shadow Minister for Sport, Clive Efford, said: “The IAAF must be aware of the scandal of the treatment of migrant workers in Qatar.

“This is an appalling decision that risks bringing the sport into disrepute. I urge the IAAF to reconsider their decision.”

The 2015 World Athletics Championships take place in Beijing from 22-30 August, while London’s 2017 event is also scheduled for August.

Qatar is also due to host the Fifa World Cup in 2022 and Doha’s refurbished Khalifa International Stadium – also a World Cup venue – will be the main arena for the championships.

Read more at BBC Sport

European Athletics Championships 2014: Mo Farah leads gold rush on Great Britain’s Super Sunday

Historic ‘triple-double’ for distance runner after 5,000m triumph while team claim five titles on the last day to finish top of the medal table

n the lustrous glow of a Swiss summer’s afternoon, British athletics enjoyed a day in the sun greater than any it had seen.

Little did Mo Farah realise, as he swept to his third European 5,000 metres title, that he was spearheading an extraordinary charge to five gold and three bronze medals to make this officially the country’s most garlanded day in major cham­pionships history.

For symbolism of such an achievement, we needed look no further than the figure of young Desiree Henry, anchoring the women’s sprint-relay quartet to an astonishing fifth victory in the space of 2¼ hours.

Where the gold rush had all begun with a rousing triumph in the 10,000m for Jo Pavey, 41 next month and a mother-of-two, it ended with joy for an 18-year-old firmly in the vanguard of the next generation.

The cumulative swag of 12 golds and 23 medals overall was the highest for Britain at any European championships. For only the third time in the event’s 90-year history, after Brussels in 1950 and Budapest in 1998, the team also finished at the summit of the medal table. It felt momentarily as if the British had annexed this genteel residential quarter of Zurich around the Letzigrund Stadium, such was the profusion of Union flags.

From Farah’s fourth distance double in five seasons to the precocious success of Adam Gemili, the former Chelsea academy starlet who won the 200m title in 19.98 seconds at the age of 20, the sense of a renaissance was palpable.

Read More on The Telegraph

Athletics: European Championships: Gemili and Rooney win golds as British men seal sprint sweep

Adam Gemili continued his rise by claiming a superb 200 metres gold at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich.

The 20-year-old, who took Commonwealth Games silver in the 100m, powered through a headwind in 19.98 seconds to beat favourite Christophe Lemaitre into second.

Londoner Gemili, a former footballer, burst on to the athletics scene in time for the 2012 Olympics in his hometown, and has progressed well since taking up track full-time.

In rainy and windy conditions in Zurich, the popular youngster led from start to finish, building up an unassailable gap over Frenchman Lemaitre.

“I used to think the only way I’d be able to hear the national anthem was with the England football team,” said Gemili, who was playing non-league football just three years ago. “It’s a great feeling, it’s the best feeling in the world.

“It was really cold and the track was really wet and I don’t know why the race was on so late.

“I had the big man Christophe in the lane inside of me and I knew he’d be coming, so I tried to just run the bend as I usually do and hang on for dear life.

“I could hear the footsteps coming, and you could probably see the tension in my face, but then I crossed the line and saw a sub 20 seconds and I was gob-smacked.

“To become European champion was a big target for me this year and to achieve it is amazing.”

Read More on Yahoo Sport

Athletics: Mo Farah wins 10,000m European Championship gold

Mo Farah had to battle to win back his European 10,000m title as his fellow Briton Andy Vernon snatched a fine silver.

Farah, ill or injured for much of the summer, came good in his second track race of the season to match his team-mate Jo Pavey’s distance gold.

In a slow race a large lead group went through halfway in 14 minutes nine seconds, and with four laps to go seven athletes were in theoretical contention.

Farah went to the front with 600m to go and opened out as always at the bell, but only in the final 60m did he get rid of Turkey’s Ali Kaya before Vernon’s late surge.

The winning time of 28 minutes 8.12 seconds was less relevant than the salvaging of something from a crisis-ridden season.

Farah now has five European golds, one more than Colin Jackson and Steve Backley, and nine medals in major championships – a tally that out-strips Daley Thompson, Jonathan Edwards and Linford Christie.

The 31-year-old double world and Olympic champion will have the chance to win another gold in the 5,000m on Sunday.

Read More on BBC Sport

Athletics: James Dasaolu wins 100m gold at European Championships

James Dasaolu capped a brilliant night for British athletics as he won European 100m gold to finally convert his rich talent into a major medal.

Dasaolu’s long-awaited breakthrough came after golds for Mo Farahand sprint hurdler Tiffany Porter, with a silver for Andy Vernon behind Farah and bronzes for Harry Aikines-Aryeetey and Ashleigh Nelson.

And none will celebrate with more satisfaction than Dasaolu, a sprinter capable of running 9.91 seconds but beset by injuries and never before able to perform at his classy best over three championship rounds.

The 26-year-old was only seventh fastest from his blocks but came through with his trademark mid-race surge to hold off reigning champion Christophe Lemaitre, with Aikines-Aryeetey pipping veteran Dwain Chambers to the podium by two hundredths of a second.

Dasaolu’s time of 10.06 seconds saw him finish well clear of Lemaitre’s 10.13, the time worth more on a cold, wet Zurich night and still the joint third fastest winning time in European 100m final history.

“It’s great to be the European champion,” Dasaolu said after a lengthy lap of honour. “I’m still trying to take it all in.

Read More on BBC Sport