Saturday, 08 August 2009

US quartet blasts 41.58 in the 4x100 as Wlodarczyk improves to 77.20m in Cottbus

Anita Wlodarczyk throws 75.74m at the Polish championships  (Adam Nurkiewicz - Mediasport)

Anita Wlodarczyk throws 75.74m at the Polish championships (Adam Nurkiewicz - Mediasport)

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    • Carmelita Jeter brings home the 4x100m victory ahead of Olympic champion Fraser in 2009 Penn Relays
    • Carmelita Jeter (r) and Muna Lee (l) finish 1-2 in the 100m at the US championships
    The US women’s 4x100m Relay team and Polish hammer thrower Anita Wlodarczyk produced the highlight performances at the 20th International Lausitzer Meeting in Cottbus on Saturday (8).

    In front of 6000 spectators the US sprint team clocked a world lead of 41.58 while a week before the start of the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Berlin, Germany (15 – 23 August) Wlodarczyk pushed herself into the role of the gold medal favourite for Berlin after throwing a world-leading 77.20m.

    For a number of athletes, Cottbus, a small city at the Polish border southeast of the German capital, served as the ideal dress rehearsal for the upcoming championships in Berlin. The meeting usually takes place in June, but organisers decided to offer athletes a chance for one last test before the start of Berlin 2009.

    US quartet clocks fastest time in 12 years

    Running with Lauryn Williams, Allyson Felix, Muna Lee and Carmelita Jeter, the USA 1 4x100m team clocked the fastest time in a dozen years, winning comfortably in 41.58 ahead of another American squad - Jessica Young, Alexandria Anderson, Marshevet Hooker and Charonda Williams- who clocked 42.23. A Colombia quartet was third in 43.61. It was a world lead for the Americans, equalling the eighth fastest ever, and a big confidence boost for Berlin. The 24-year-old World record by the GDR stands at 41.37.

    Wlodarczyk moves up to No 4 all-time

    In warm and dry conditions Cottbus proved a great test for Wlodarczyk as well. On her 24th birthday, the Polish hammer thrower broke the national record with a second round throw of 77.20m. It was a world lead as well which moved Wlodarczyk up to the No. 4 position all-tme. Only world record holder Tatyana Lysenko (Russia/77.80m), Oksana Menkova (Belarus/77.32m) and Gulfiya Khanafeyeva (Russia/77.26m) have ever thrown farther.

    Wlodarczyk began the competition with 73.53m and then followed up with her winning mark. After that she had a foul before continuing with throws of 75.11m and 73.97m before ending with another foul.

    Germany’s defending World Champion Betty Heidler showed consistency after opening with a foul. She threw 72.34m, 73.22m, 73.30m, 71.01m and 73.76m to take second place at the very last moment and by just one centimetre. Her training partner Kathrin Klaas took third with a personal best of 73.75m while Cuba’s Arasay Thondike was fourth with 72.45m.

    Steffi Nerius couldn’t quite match her recent strong results. The German javelin thrower achieved 62.21m and was beaten by Sunette Viljoen (South Africa/63.02m). Katharina Molitor was third (56.30) while Christina Obergföll did not take part.

    Ieva Zunda (Latvia) took the 400m Hurdles with 56.27m while Sylwia Ejdys (Poland) was the winner of the 800m in 2:01.91 minutes. Rosibel Garcia (Columbia/2:02.25) and Jenny Barringer (USA/2:02.56) took the next places.

    Men’s Events - Fine US sprint relay without Gay

    Although Tyson Gay did not feature in the US sprint team his colleagues still managed a fine display. Gay was said to have a slight groin problem but expects to be ok for Berlin. In his absence Terrence Trammell, Mike Rodgers, Shawn Crawford and Darvis Patton clocked 37.85 to take win from Brazil (38.91) and Australia (39.16). Rodgers had earlier also won the 100m in 10.14 seconds despite a headwind of -1.5 m/s. Lerone Clarke (Jamaica) was second with 10.26.

    Viana Sandro Ricardo (Brasil) took the 200m in 20.79 seconds (- 0.8) while Lopez Lomong (USA) was the winner of the 1000m in 2:20.98.

    Björn Otto won the Pole Vault with 5.60m after a jump-off against Briton Steve Lewis. There was another German winner in the Shot Put - Ralf Bartels took this one with a 20.42m effort. Mario Pestano (Spain) achieved 65.25m in the Discus Throw to beat Märt Israel (Estonia/ 61.94m).

    Jörg Wenig for the IAAF