Home Athletics Records Tumble At Ostrava IAAF Meet As Athletics Season Ends

Records Tumble At Ostrava IAAF Meet As Athletics Season Ends

The 2018 Athletics season has officially come to an end with the IAAF Continental Cup which took place in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on September 8 and 9.

The Cup which takes place every four years saw athletes from all over the world, competing under four regions-Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Americas.

Each continent was represented by two athletes in individual events, and one team in the three relay events.

The first event contested under the new rules introduced at this year’s edition of the IAAF Continental Cup was the Women’s Hammer Throw.

DeAnna Price handed Anita Wlodarczyk a rare defeat in the competition. The victory of the US record holder, competing for the Americas team, was no fluke, as she bettered the Polish star in each of the phases of the competition and had three longest throws of the afternoon. Saving her best for the last, the American reached 75.46m in the round five to earn a well-deserved victory.

The other women to advance to round four were the Luo Na for Asia- Pacific with 67.39m and Nigeria’s Temi Ogunrinde for Africa with 59.15m.

This was one of the two events of the day one in which the captain of Team Europe, Colin Jackson decided to use the joker, giving the team an opportunity to score double points for victory. The tactics paid off despite Price’s individual victory. The second event for the day was the Men’s High Jump.

In a tight men’s high jump competition, Bahamian Donald Thomas beat Brandon Starc on count back at 2.30m.Maksim Nedasekau of Belarus was still in the contest then, topping 2.27 on his first attempt after needing two tries at 2.24m.

After trading a pair of misses at 2.30m, both Thomas and Strac cleared on their third tries to stay alive. Neither was especially close at 2.32m, with Thomas choosing to end the competition with one try at 2.34m before calling it a day.

“It was an absolutely great competition,’’ Thomas said. “It is a different feeling when you repreent Bahamas internationally and all the continents.’’

Looking ahead Thomas said he just wants to simply continue to compete injury-free. “Look .i became world champion nine years ago and I’m still here able to win at major competitions. Could I be more happy?’’

Majd Eddin Ghazal of Syria was fourth at 2.24m, combining with Starc to take maximum points for Team Asia-Pacific.

As expected there was a 1-2 finish for Team Americas in the women’s 100m hurdles, but it was Jamaican Danielle Williams who scored an upset victory, just edging world record holder Kendra Harrison in 12.49.

The pair Harrison lined up in lane 3 and Williams in 7 were out quickest carving out a clear lead by the second barrier, and extending it stride-for-stride by the third to put their regional dominance in the discipline on full display.

The pair Harrison lined up in lane 3 and Williams in 7 were out quickest carving out a clear lead by the second barrier, and extending it stride-for-stride by the third to put their regional dominance in the discipline on full display.

Germany’s Pamela Dutkiewicz was third for Team Europe in 12.82, with Elvira Herman, the European champion, fourth in 12.91.

Tobi Amusan of Nigeria, the African champion, was fifth clocking 12.96.

Alonso Edward earned maximum points for Team Americas in the first men’s track event, the 200m, as he moved past Turkey’s world and European champion Ramil Guliyev in the closing 50m to finish in 20.19.

Alonso Edward earned maximum points for Team Americas in the first men’s track event, the 200m, as he moved past Turkey’s world and European champion Ramil Guliyev in the closing 50m to finish in 20.19.

Botswana’s 400m specialist Baboloki Thebe, representing Africa, ran a season’s best of 20.79.

Caterine Ibarguen, the Rio 2016 triple jump champion from Colombia, faced down her competitive nemesis, Olga Rypakova of Kazakhstan, to win for Team Americas and ensure that their gamble on playing their women’s joker for the day on this event paid off.

An opening effort of 14.31m from Ibarguen was enough to head qualifying, ensuring she went through to the semi-final involving the highest ranked jumper from each continent.

In the fourth round, Africa’s representative Zinzi Chabangua was unable to continue, which left three competitors contesting the final decisive jump-off.

In the end, however, it was the Kazakh athlete who succumbed to the pressure, failing to register a legal mark, which meant that all Ibarguen had to do was register a legal mark and 14.54m was more than sufficient.

As she stood in the sand, arms aloft, the Americas joker decision was vindicated as their combined score of 12 points won the event from Asia and Europe, who both scored nine points.

“Since the rules of the competition are new, I had to challenge myself in a different way,” Ibarguen said. “It was demanding but I wanted to do my best for Team America.”

Marie Josee Ta Lou, the Ivorian sprinter was bouncing up and down with excitement after beating a stellar field to secure maximum points for Team Africa in the women’s 100m – and become the first woman from her continent to win this event since the competition was first held in 1977 under the name of the IAAF World Cup.

The world 100 and 200m silver medallist had a decent start and was soon into her running, establishing a lead by the halfway point.

Asher-Smith – joint leader with Ta Lou in this year’s world 100m lists on 10.85 – was pushing hard two lanes to Ta Lou’s right. But the Ivory Coast runner had the strength to hold off her challenge as she won in 11.14sec, with the Briton finishing second in 11.16.

The Kenyan Winny Chebet emerged as the winner in the women’s 1500m at the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018 after leading for most of the race.

The African champion thus became only the second African winner of this event in the World/ Continental Cup history after Hassiba Boulmerka in 1994.

Chebet took to the front in the early stages and her rivals seemed content to follow her at a leisurely pace, with the opening lap run outside 73 seconds.

The leader and the pace remained constant for another 500 metres, before Houlihan made the first move. She moved into the lead, but not for long.

To the delight of the Ostrava crowd, the Czech Simona Vrzalova put in a burst of speed on the last straight of the penultimate lap to move past everyone.

The American appeared to close down the gap somewhat in the final metres, but that was not enough. Chebet emerged victorious with a time of 4:16.01, with her final 300 metres taking just over 42 seconds. Houlihan reached the line 0.35s later, with Arafi third in 4:17.19. P. Unnikrishnan Chitra of India was the unexpected fourth for Asia-Pacific, while Vrzalova ended up sixth and the Pole Sofia Ennaoui, one of the pre-event favourites, a distant seventh.

Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain was the expected winner for team Asia-Pacific in the women’s 400m. The World Championships silver medallist, still only 20 years old, reached home in 49.32 to break the stadium record of 49.67, set by Tatana Kocembova way back in 1983.

Naser dominated the race, setting off at a fast pace and looked like the runaway winner by the time the runners entered the finishing straight. Caster Semenya closed the gap significantly in the final 50 metres, but was still well beaten into second.

The South African, however, was rewarded for her effort with a new national record of 49.62. Wimbley’s time of 51.59 was just 0.05 faster than that of the European champion Justyna Swiety-Ersetic in sixth. Had those positions been reversed, all four teams would have tied for first in this event.

The Jamaican started the event in shaky fashion with an opening throw of 58.38m, following up with a foul, but in the third round he sealed his semi-final place with a throw of 66.64m.

In the fourth round, the semi-final, he threw 63.86m to advance to the fifth and final round where the overall standings were decided by his final – and biggest – effort of the day, 67.97m.

The closest to that was Europe’s Andrius Gudzius, who threw 66.95m in the second round to advance to the semi-final ahead of teammate Daniel Stahl, who threw a best of 64.84m.

In the semi-final, Matthew Denny of Asia-Pacific threw 61.84m – well down on the 63.99m he’d thrown in the opening round – but after Africa’s Victor Hogan and Gudzius fouled out, that proved enough to see him advance to the final to take on Dacres in a head-to-head match

“It was an incredibly interesting competition,” said Dacres. “I like these new rules, especially when I won and it was helpful for my team. Those rules are keeping you focused on what is going to go on from the very beginning to the last attempt.

“I thought Europeans would be my rivals here and I didn’t expect on my last attempt to be competing with Matthew.”

Europe claimed the maximum eight points in the team event courtesy of Gudzius and Stahl, who finished third and fifth overall.

Back in eighth place, there was an unexpected performer in the shape of Joseph Millar, who stepped up to compete for Asia-Pacific as they were without a second competitor in Ostrava.

Best known as a sprinter, Millar had already competed in the 200m but he earned some points for the team and $1000 of individual prize money for himself in the discus via his best throw of 27.15m, a PB.

In what was by far the strongest women’s pole vault ever witnessed at the IAAF Continental Cup Europe’s Anzhelika Sidorova claimed victory on countback from teammate Katerina Stefanidi and Sandi Morris of Team Americas.

All three cleared a championship best of 4.85m, and all three had to be separated on the number of earlier failures after none could go over the next height of 4.90m.

With African duo Donia Ahmed El Tabagh and Dora Mahfoudhi bowing out at earlier heights along with Asia-Pacific’s Lisa Campbell, just four remained when the bar moved up to 4.55m, which Yarisley Silva of Team Americas needed three attempts to clear.


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