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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

15th World Athletics Championships concludes ~ some valiant losers garner limelight

The 15th World Championships in Athletics  held at  Beijing, China, has concluded. 43 nations won medals, 144 of which were awarded.   Do you know which Nation topped the list ?

Once again, the closing event of the IAAF World Championships, the men’s 4x400m relay, did not disappoint as this time around it produced a battle that kept spectators on the edge of their seats until the very last few seconds. USA came into the final as the favourite after setting a world-leading time of 2:58.13 in the preliminary round without their fastest runners, David Verburg and the 400m silver medallist LaShawn Merritt.  But, even with these two men on the team, it was far from a runaway victory in the final.

It is not always Bolts and other winners, who garner limelight.  In 110M hurdles, Sergey Shubenkov, the two-times European champion, clocked a national record of 12.98 seconds, with American Merritt,  taking the bronze in a season's best 13.04. The spot light was very much on Merritt – can you imagine why ?

Asbel Kiprop of Kenya, who produced a killing final sprint to earn his third consecutive world 1500m title and keep his country proudly top of the final medals table, revealed that he had done so while suffering from flu.

In the 110M hurdles, though Russian Sergey Shubenkov stormed to the world title on Friday to shatter Olympic champion Aries Merritt's hopes of an emotional gold – he is remembered as he is to go direct for  a kidney transplant. Shubenkov, the two-times European champion, clocked a national record of 12.98 seconds, with American Merritt, who will leave for his surgery directly from Beijing, taking the bronze in a season's best 13.04.  Jamaican Hansle Parchment finished in 13.03 to pip Merritt for silver, but the American said merely reaching the podium ranked higher than winning the Olympic title.  

"This bronze medal means more to me than my Olympic gold," the 30-year-old told reporters. "In 2013 when they told me I'd never run again that pretty much ended my life -- it mentally destroyed me. "If I was a normal human being we might have seen a record, who knows? But the reality is I'm not a human. I'm under 20 percent kidney function so it's very tough. I'm just a fighter."

Merritt, who ended 2012 with an Olympic title and a world best time of 12.80 before being diagnosed with a rare kidney disease the following year, insisted he would try to try to return for next year's Rio Olympics.

Shubenkov whooped and danced for joy after timing his dip at the line to perfection. "I'm super-proud of myself," said the 24-year-old, who took bronze in Moscow two years ago. "It was a hard three days and every race was tough but our hard work all these years was not wasted." Defending champion David Oliver trudged away from the track at Bird's Nest after only managing seventh place in a time of 13.33, but Parchment was all smiles after his silver, crediting superstar countryman Usain Bolt for inspiring the Jamaican team. 

In the Medal’s tally – it is Kenya toping with 16 medals (7-6-3); Jamaica 2nd 12 (7-2-3); United States 18 (6-6-6); Great Britain 7 (4-1-2) and Ethiopia 8 (3-3-2) – the top 5

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
31st Aug 2015.

Photo credit : http://www.iaafbeijing2015.com/photoview

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