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World Athletics: The major 'upsets' in Moscow

Last updated on: August 19, 2013 18:38 IST

Shkolina upset Chicherova

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Upsets are synonymous with every major international sporting event. The just-concluded 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships was no different.

While the big ticket events went on expected lines, there were quite a few where results did not quite match expectations.

Bikash Mohapatra takes a look at the top 10 'upsets' in Moscow.

Svetlana Shkolina (women's high jump)

Anna Chicherova was the reigning World and Olympic champion.

Svetlana Shkolina's bronze medal finish in London was hitherto her best result.

In Moscow, the young Russian upset her more experienced compatriot.

The height she cleared (2.03 metres) for the gold was a personal best. So was the result.

To make matters worse for Chicherova, American Brigetta Barrett pipped her to the silver.


Image: Women's High Jump gold medalist Svetlana Shkolina of Russia and joint bronze medalists Anna Chicherova of Russia
Photographs: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

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Fajdek wasn't intimidate by Pars

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Pawel Fajdek (men's hammer throw)
 
Pawel Fajdek was yet to win anything substantial at the senior level. 
 
Krisztian Pars was the reigning Olympic champion. 
 
However, the 24-year-old Pole wasn't intimidated by the 31-year-old Hungarian's experience. 
 
A personal best throw of 81.97 metres, that also happened to be a world leading effort this year, meant Fajdek had consigned Pars to a second straight silver.

Image: Paweł Fajdek
Photographs: Getty Images

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Aregawi won Sweden's lone medal

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Abeba Aregawi (women's 1500 metres)
 
Jennifer Simpson was the reigning champion. 
 
Abeba Aregawi had yet to win a big ticket event. 
 
However, the Ethiopia-born Swede comfortably outpaced the American to ensure her adopted country their lone medal in Moscow. 

Image: Silver medalist Jennifer Simpson of the United States and gold medalist Abeba Aregawi of Sweden celebrate after the Women's 1500 metres final
Photographs: Ian Walton/Getty Images

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Holzdeppe got the better of Lavillenie

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Raphael Holzdeppe (men's pole vault)
 
Renaud Lavillenie was the reigning Olympic champion in pole vault. 
 
The Frenchman had also recorded a world-leading 6.02 metres in London last month. 
 
However, all the above factors didn't matter to Raphael Holzdeppe, a bronze medallist in London.
 
The German and Lavillenie both recorded a distance of 5.89 metres, but the former did so in the first attempt - with the Frenchman taking three.

Image: Raphael Holzdeppe
Photographs: Getty Images

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Hejnova was the unexpected winner in hurdles

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Zuzana Hejnova (women's 400 metres hurdles)
 
Lashinda Demus was the defending champion. Another American, Dalilah Muhammad, was one of the favourites.
 
However, it was Hejnova who was the unexpected winner in the women's 400 metres hurdles.
 
The Czech achieved a national record en route to her biggest ever win. 

Image: Zuzana Hejnova of the Czech Republic reacts after winning gold in the Women's 400 metres hurdles
Photographs: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

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Heffernan won a first after 13 years

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Robert Heffernan (men's 50km walk)
 
Robert Heffernan's win in the men's 50km walk wasn't just an upset because it prevented the Russians from making a clean sweep in the 'walking events', but also because it was his first major title. 
 
The Irish is a professional athlete for 13 years and had nothing to show for his efforts.
 
At 35, he finally tasted success.

Image: Robert Heffernan of Ireland celebrates winning gold in the men's 50km walk
Photographs: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

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Technically, Isinbayeva's win is an upset

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Yelena Isinbayeva (women's pole vault)

If we go by Yelena Isinbayeva's credentials, her win in Moscow is anything but an upset.

However, technically it is.

For the person the veteran Russian bested, American Jenn Suhr, was the reigning Olympic champion.

Add to it the fact that Isinbayeva hadn't won anything substantial since her triumph at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

However, a season-best effort (4.89 metres) ensured the 31-year-old her third World title.

 


Image: Yelena Isinbayeva
Photographs: Getty Images

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Tamgho became the third to get past the 18-metre mark

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Teddy Tamgho (men's triple jump)

Two Americans were favourites going into the triple jump final.

Christian Taylor was the gold medallist at the London Olympics besides being the defending champion, having won the event in Daegu (2011).

Will Claye was a silver medallist in London.

Teddy Tamgho won the World Indoor Championships in Doha (2010) but did little else to underline his credentials.

However, on the day the Frenchman jumped 18.04 metres to ensure his country its only gold.

The 24-year-old became only the third athlete ever to get past the 18-metre mark.

Only American Kenny Harrison (18.09) and Briton Jonathan Edwards, with his 1995 world record of 18.29 and 18.16 from the same Gothenburg World championships, have jumped longer.

For the record, Claye won the bronze and Taylor finished fourth.

 


Image: Gold medalist Teddy Tamgho of France poses after the Men's Triple Jump Final
Photographs: Paul Gilham/Getty Images

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Sum upset home favourite Savinova

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Eunice Sum (women's 800 metres)

Mariya Savinova, the home favourite, was the Olympic and defending World champion.

And it was the 28-year-old who took the early lead. Eunice Sum albeit timed her late burst to perfection to cause a major upset.

The Kenyan's time of one minute 57.38 seconds was a personal best.

 

 


Image: Kenyan Eunice Sum silenced the Moscow crowd with her 800 metres victory over home favourite Mariya Savinova
Photographs: Ian Walton/Getty Images

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It's a first major title for Obergfoell

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Christina Obergfoell (women's javelin)

The German is the women's equivalent of Robert Heffernan in these games.

At 31, Obergfoell had no major wins to her credit.

However, a season's best throw of 69.05 metres ensured her a biggest career win.

Home favourite and defending champion Maria Abakumova could only manage 65.09m and had to settle for bronze.


Image: Christina Obergfoll of Germany celebrates winning gold in the Women's Javelin final
Photographs: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

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