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Thursday, August 27, 2015

100m Sprint Women at Beijing ~ Veronica Campbell crosses lane - not disqualified

Life is a race they say – but even in race, things may not be equal.  Lane one is viewed as an inconvenience in certain sprint races (mainly the 200m) because sprinters are a bit slower running curves than running straightaways, and the curve in lane one feels like it goes on forever. Curve running in the sprints is an art form.  At the start of the race, athletes on the block have to adjust to the curve – have to run diagonal, not straight.  Different lanes have different curve angles. Lane one has one of the tightest turns, while lanes 7 and 8 have very wide turns.

Today, will feature another most watched one – touted as :Usain Bolt v Justin Gatlin: Part Two, the men's 200m final,  scheduled for 13.55 BST on Thursday, August 27.  Bolt will be taking on Gatlin over 200m for only the second time in their careers.Bolt has won the past three world titles over this distance - a run which began with his world record-breaking, 19.19 second-performance in Berlin in 2009.Gatlin's fastest time in the 200m was set in June this year, in Eugene, as he finished in 19.57 - the fifth fastest time ever and the fastest time in the world this year!

Bolt has only raced over the distance once in this injury-hit summer before arriving in Beijing, an unimpressive 20.13secs in New York two months ago.Under normal circumstances that would make Gatlin favourite. But he's racing against Bolt and, well, you just don't bet against Bolt.  Of the others, it is Zharnel Hughes’s dubious fortune to be trapped in the middle of the most formidable sandwich in sprinting. On his inside in the 200 metres final on Thursday is Usain Bolt, on the  outside is Justin Gatlin, the bête noire of Beijing, with three of the four quickest times this season.  What will Britain’s 20 year bullet do remains to be seen !

Nigerian Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor beat Australia’s Melissa Breen and other challengers in the heat of the 100m women race but failed miserably in the finals finishing last.   In a field filled with some of the stars Okagbare-Ighoteguonor has been beaten constantly in the past two years, the Nigerian came last out of the eight competitors in the 100 metres women race.  In the Semis, she had a good race of 10.89 secs behind Jamaican Shelly Pryce who won at 10.82 secs.  In the 200M, Okagbare was missing from the starting blocks in the Heat 3.  After her disappointing eighth-place finish in the 100m on Monday, Nigerians had hoped that the 2014 Commonwealth gold medallist would redeem herself in the 200m which she was billed to take part in. Sources in Beijing said the African champion was nursing an injury, which could become aggravated if she had participated in the race.

Meanwhile, former World and Olympic champion, Veronica Campbell-Brown, and her Jamaican teammate, Elaine Thompson, have qualified for the semi-finals of the event. The photo at the start of   Veronica Campbell-Brown crossing  the finish line first in her women’s 200m will not give the right message of the drama that occurred.

Veronica Campbell-Brown rounded the curve in the 200m and kept going and going, straight into the next lane.The Jamaican started in lane 5 and wound up in lane 6 at the world championships on Wednesday. She won her heat, and the rules allowed her to qualify for the semi-finals despite the mistake.Campbell-Brown, the 2011 world champion in the event, didn’t stop to talk after her mistake, saying she was, “having a headache.”

British sprinter Margaret Adeoye was shocked to see Campbell-Brown suddenly appear in front of her.The presence of Campbell-Brown nearly gave Adeoye a headache of her own, thinking she may have made an error.“I was like, ‘Was that me or was that her?’” said Adeoye, who finished third in the heat to qualify for the semi-finals. “It helped me get to the finish line, so it’s fine. I just wanted to get as close to her as possible, because I knew she’d probably get DQed.”

IAAF rules dictate Adeoye’s trespasser progresses to the next round, because she crossed lanes “in the straight with no material advantage being gained, and no other athlete being jostled or obstructed so as to impede his or her progress.”

Rules are complicated for common people to understand !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

27th Aug 2015.

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