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Isinbayeva shatters world record

September 04, 2004 11:46 IST

Saif Saeed Shaheen of Qatar shattered the world steeplechase record at the Golden League meeting on Friday to ease the disappointment of being banned from the Olympics by his former federation Kenya.

The 21-year-old world champion, who emigrated to Qatar for economic reasons, clocked seven minutes 53.63 seconds.

Formerly known as Stephen Cherono, Shaheen was 40 metres ahead at the bell and completed the last lap in 63 seconds to better the world mark of 7:55.28 set by Brahim Boulami of Morocco at the same meeting in 2001.

Shaheen, who was issued with a Qatari passport last year, has been unbeaten for almost two years and won the 2003 world title in Paris.

"I had it in my mind that the record was possible," he told reporters. "But you don't go for the world record every time. I told the pacemakers to take me up to 2,000 metres and 5:18, after that I would race alone."

He said it had not been a pleasant feeling missing the Athens Olympics, even though he filled the time training three times a day.

"I was a little bit frustrated, I guess. I had been waiting for the Olympics, it was a bad feeling, I wasn't happy."

Yelena IsinbayevaRussian Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva set a second world record of the night when she broke her own mark set in Athens. Isinbayeva succeeded with her third attempt at 4.92 metres, her seventh world record of the year.

Only two athletes now remain in contention for the million dollar jackpot shared between competitors who win each of their events at the six Golden League meetings. Brussels is the penultimate competition in the series which climaxes in Berlin on September 12.

Olympic women's 400 metres champion Tonique Williams-Darling beat Mexico's world champion Ana Guevara for the fourth time this year, and Sweden's Olympic and world men's triple jump champion Christian Olsson also won.


However, Felix Sanchez's three-year unbeaten record in the men's 400 metres hurdles ended when he pulled up on the penultimate bend and limped off the track. Sanchez won the Dominican Republic's first gold medal in any sport at the Athens Games.

Hestrie Cloete, the fourth jackpot contender before Friday's meeting, lost again to Russia's Olympic champion Yelena Slesarenko in the high jump.

Asafa Powell broke the Jamaican men's 100 metres record for the second time this year when he clocked 9.87 seconds.

Powell, who finished a disappointing fifth at the Olympics after beating Sydney 2000 Olympic champion Maurice Greene in successive races, broke the mark of 9.91 he set in the national trials and equalled in London.

Olympic 200 metres champion Shawn Crawford of the United States was second in 9.99.

Athens silver medallist Otis Harris won the men's 400 metres in the absence of his fellow American Jeremy Wariner, who led the United States to a medals sweep in Athens. Harris, a member of the winning 4x400 relay quartet, clocked 44.79.

Aleen Bailey, who ran the third leg for the gold medal- winning Jamaican 4x100 relay team, won the women's 100 metres in 11.08 seconds. Bulgarian Ivet Lalova, fourth in Athens and fastest in the world this year, was second in 11.11 with American Olympic silver medallist Lauryn Williams third in 11.16.

Russian Mariya Koroteyeva, fourth in Athens, won the 100 metres hurdles in 12.78 ahead of Spain's Glory Alozie, who took the silver medal for Nigeria at the 2000 Sydney Games.

Olympic 1,500 metres women's silver medallist Tatyana Tomashova, who finished second to Britain's double champion Kelly Holmes, won in a sprint finish ahead of fellow Russian Natalia Yevdokimova.

The men's discus competition was held in the town of Oodergem, 25 kms from the Belgian capital on Thursday because of problems with the netting at the Stade Rue Baudouin. Lithuania's Olympic champion Virgilijus Alekna won with a throw of 69.03 metres.

John Mehaffey
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