The weather at the Qatar Super Grand Prix - IAAF World Athletics Tour - meeting in Doha on Friday was predictably good. Sunny and warm with a breeze. A track that is soft but yet firm.
A place to go fast.
David Oliver led the assault on the world leader board in a meet that saw over a dozen world leads and a meet record. Oliver flew over the hurdles in 13.19 over Antwon Hicks (13.24) and Andrew Turner (13.31).
How fast can Travis Padgett go this season? Today the former Clemson standout made his move early, getting out the blocks quickly as he ran 10.00 equaling the world fastest time. With Padgett coming out gunning at 10.00, it easily be said that his personal record of 9.89 is in jeopardy.
Is Allyson Felix signaling an unofficial career shift to the 400? Felix put down 50.75, with a field including Shericka Williams (51.08) and Natasha Hastings (52.39). Last year Felix won the meet in 10.93, a world leading time at the time. This year the Beijing silver medalist at 200 meters set the world leading time in the 400 meters. A monumental shift in the women’s 400 would occur if Felix competes at major championships in the one lap race.
It was the hottest race of the evening. Abubaker Kaki Khamis of Sudan ran a dizzying second lap on the way to running 1:43.09 in the 800 meters that saw three runners peel off sub 1:44 seconds. Abubaker fought off Asbel Kipruto Kiprop and Mohammed Al-Salhi to retain victory.
Jamaica’s Kerron Stewart is going to be a force to reckon with this season in the 100. She easily ran 10.93, against a field featuring Stephanie Durst (11.15) of the U.S. and Jamaica’s Sherri Ann-Brooke (11.20).
Getting back to business as usual, Croatia’s Blanka Vlasic cleared 2.05 meters, before making a ran at a World record 2.10 meter jump. Reese Hoffa got off early heaving 21.64 to win the shot put.
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The Sparkassen Cup meeting in Stuttgart is a fixture on the series of ten meets making up the IAAF Indoor Permit. Despite the fact that world records attempts did not materialize at the meet this year eight world leads were produced. A top shelf group of athletes were assembled at Stuttgart’s Hanns Martin Schleyer Halle stadium.
Another first occurrence in her career. In front of 7,500 spectators, Lolo Jones blazed 7.85 seconds, another season’s fastest time by .01 seconds in a dominating winning of the 60 meter final.
“I had never won in Stuttgart, despite running here three times, so I wanted to win pretty bad,” said Jones.
In a photo-finish, David Oliver won the 60-meter hurdles in 7.45 secconds, narrowly edging out Russian Evgeniy Borisov – who finished with the same time. Joel Brown of the U.S. placed third in 7.48. Olympic champion Dayron Robles withdrew from the meet on Thursday with an ankle injury.
She put the record out there. Ethiopia’s Meseret Defar ran a season’s best time of 8:26.99 over 3,000 meters. Which was still well off of her own indoor record of 8:23.72, which was set on the same track last year.
In a flat out bonkers performance, Bernard Lagat shattered the world’s top 3,000 meters mark in 7:35.41 to better Britain’s Mohammed Farah, who is coming off a 7:40.99 win in Glasgow.
And in the men’s 1500m, Ethiopia’s Deresse Mekkonen ran a new world leading time of 3:36.41.
Since missing gold in Beijing, the Vlasic Blanka has been brilliant, clearing a world-leading 2.04 in Stuttgart.