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2007 World Championships in Athletics Osaka, Japan

2007 11th IAAF World Championships - Osaka - Women's 800m



Host City: Osaka, Japan Format: First round (First 3 & 6 fastest to semi-finals) (Aug 25)
Dates: 24 August - 2 September 2007 Format: Semi-finals (First 2 & 2 fastest to final) (Aug 26)
Nations participating: 200
Athletes participating: 1,978
    Main venue: Nagai Stadium
Overview by IAAF    nagai stadium01
Jepkoskei was rated as number seven on the “Track and Field News” Osaka form chart. She showed this was an underestimation by winning her heat in 1:58.95, a second quicker than any other preliminary winner. She then zipped through her semi-final, passing 400m in 56.54, before finishing in 1:56.17, much the fastest time of 2007. Klocová and Cusma clocked 1:58.62 and 1:58.63 but failed to make the final. Jepkoskei repeated her tactics in the final, passing 200m in 26.58 [1:46.4 pace], before slowing to 56.16 at halfway. Usovich and Langerholc led the chasers with 56.6. Jepkoskei slowed to 1:26.22 at 600m, with four metres advantage over Mutola and Benhassi. Momentarily, she looked vulnerable, but then edged away to win in 1:56.04, another lifetime best, and the fastest time in the world for four years. Benhassi was a clear second, after Mutola collapsed onto the infield when her left hamstring went into a spasm 80m from the line.
 The women's 800 metres at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics was held at the Nagai Stadium on 25, 26 and 28 August.
  800m 28 August

Event report: Women’s 800m Final

Janeth Jepkosgei completed a great night for Kenya in the Nagai Stadium this evening, bringing the east African nation its first World Championships gold in women’s middle distance running with an awesome display over two laps that left the three-times champion Maria Mutola sprawling in her wake.

Jepkosgei won the title from the front in 1min 56.04sec, the quickest time in the world this year, a Kenyan record, and the fastest World title-winning time since Mutola in 1993.

The Moroccan Hasna Benhassi won another silver medal to go with the one she won two years ago with 1:56.99 and, in a complete surprise, Mayte Martinez of Spain took the bronze in 1:57.62, passing two much-fancied Russians down the home straight.

“I decided to go in front and not to wait for the others,” said Jepkosgei. “I had to do my best, and that's what I did.”

Jepkosgei had produced the world’s best time last season, but before the semi-finals here hadn’t been seen as a great threat to the 34-year-old Mutola’s bid to win sixth World Championships medal in her eighth final.

However, despite being 10 years her junior and in her first global final, the Kenyan is clearly no respecter of reputations as she showed little mercy in destroying the Mozambiquan to add the World gold to her Commonwealth and African Games titles.

While bigger names were floundering on Jepkosgei’s heels, Benhassi and Martinez benefited from a more cautious approach, both coming from the back in the second half to claim their medals.

The delight for Martinez, fifth last time, was clear from her face. “My focus was always the last 100m,” she said. “My sprint finish is very strong and that made me confident. It is incredible, I got that medal!”

After the semi-finals it seemed Jepkosgei’s best chance was to run hard from the front. After all, she’d blown them all away once, why not again? That was what she did, bursting to the front after a couple of tentative strides and steaming through the first lap in 56.16.

Slovenia’s Brigita Langerholc, the Belarussian Sviatlana Usovich and Russia's Olga Kotlyarova were giving chase, working hard two metres behind. The lead was three metres with 300m to go when Mutola began to make her move.

She closed the gap briefly around the top bend as Benhassi, who had languished some five metres behind the back of the main field in seventh place at half way, began her charge.

But Jepkosgei was simply too strong. Even at that pace she had another gear and kicked again as they entered the home straight.

It was all too much for Mutola who stepped off the track and fell across a photographer on the infield. She was later carried out of the arena on a stretcher.

Jepkosgei pulled even further ahead before crossing the line with her arms outstretched and a huge smile across her face, and a second national record in the space of two days to her name. Benhassi was equally delighted to finish second.

“I'd have liked to go for gold but the pace was suicidal, so I opted for a cautious start and relied on my finish,” said the Morrocan who almost didn’t come to Osaka because of illness.

Martinez, who had been last and 15 metres off the lead at the bell, and seventh with 100m to go, suddenly seemed to be turbo-charged. She squeezed inside one Langerholc, then moved out to pass the fading Usovich and Kotlyarova on the outside to claim Spain’s first ever women’s World 800m medal.

“The Kenyan’s pace was ideal for me because I cannot go at 56 seconds for the first lap, so all I had to do was run the second lap in 60 seconds and believe in my sprint finish,” she said.

For her part, Jepkosgei already has her eyes on the future. “I think it's a challenge for me now, because now I know I'm competitive,” she said, with a touch of understatement.

“The world record is still far away, I m not thinking about it. But I saw afterwards that this was a world leading time. That’s good, but I have to do something more, before the end of the season.”

Osaka 2007 News Team/mkb

1 Janeth Jepkosgei KEN 13 Dec 83 1.56.04
2 Hasna Benhassi MAR 1 Jun 78 1.56.99
3 Mayte Martinez ESP 17 May 76 1.57.62
4 Olga Kotlyarova RUS 12 Apr 76 1.58.22
5 Brigita Langerholc SLO 23 Jul 76 1.58.52
6 Sviatlana Usovich BLR 14 Oct 80 1.58.92
7 Svetlana Klyuka RUS 27 Dec 78 2.00.90
Maria Mutola MOZ 27 Oct 72 DNF
  Semifinals 26 August

Event report: Women's 800m semi-finals

Maria Mutola’s bid to regain her world 800m crown is under serious threat. It’s not that she’s out of form – her time in the third of tonight’s semi-finals tells you that: 1:58.98, a season’s best by more than a second.

Nor has she lost her tactical nous, she made her way into Tuesday’s final tonight as everyone expected.

It’s just that she appears to have come up against a woman who is simply flying.

Kenya’s Janeth Jepkosgei’s quickest time this year before tonight was 1:58.95, and that was in yesterday’s heats. But pitched against Mutola she simply stormed away at the front to win in 1:56.17, the fastest in the world this year by almost 1.5sec and a PB by more than 2.5sec.

It was an extraordinary run, but the manner in which she strode across the line, looking fresh as a daisy, must have left her opponents bewildered. Mutola couldn’t get close. And she tried. Hard.

But the effort of trying to stay with the Africa champion left her heavy legged and gasping for breath, and she was even pipped for the second automatic qualifying spot by Morocco’s Hasna Benhassi, who finished strongly in 1:56.84, her best of the year by more than two seconds.

Not surprisingly, those were the quickest three times of the round. Even Brigita Langerholc of Slovenia, who finished fourth in 1:58.41, set a PB. She will also be in the final.

The first two races seemed rather tame by comparison. Not that they were slow.

The Belarussian, Sviatlana Usovich, shouldn’t be overlooked. She was a convincing winner of the first race in 1:58.11, 0.06s inside her personal best, just reward for her front running tactics.

And nor should Svetlana Klyuka be discounted. The Russian showed an impressive turn of pace with 200m to go in the second race to burn off her challengers. She established a five-metre lead around the bend and won easily in 1:58.97.

She’ll be joined in the final by her teammate, the long striding Olga Kotlyarova, who finished second behind Usovich in 1:58.56. Personal bests for Slovakia’s Olga Klovoca (1:58.62) and the gutsy Italian Elisa Piccione (1:58.63) were not enough.

Mayte Martinez of Spain took the other spot in the final. She finished second behind Klyuka after a late run and was rewarded with a season’s best of 1:59.32.

Just edged out behind her were the unlucky Moroccan, Amina Ait Hammou, who ran a season’s best 1:59.51, and Britain’s Marilyn Okoro whose quickest ever run in 1:59.63 wasn’t enough to secure her berth.

With three races, and only the first two in each heat guaranteed a place, qualifying was always going to be tough and casualties were on the cards.

The main one came in the second heat where defending champion Zulia Calatayud of Cuba finished eighth in 2:06.97. That’s nearly 11 seconds slower than Jepkosgei, surely now the outright favourite.

Osaka 2007 News Team/mkb

  Heat 1
1 Sviatlana Usovich BLR 14 Oct 80 1.58.11 Q
2 Olga Kotlyarova RUS 12 Apr 76 1.58.56 Q
3 Lucia Hrivnak Klocova SVK 20 Nov 83 1.58.62
4 Elisa Cusma Piccione ITA 24 Jul 81 1.58.63
5 Liliana Popescu ROU 5 Feb 82 2.00.07
6 Jemma Simpson GBR 10 Feb 84 2.00.48
7 Diane Cummins CAN 19 Jan 74 2.00.51
8 Hazel Clark USA 3 Oct 77 2.02.92
  Heat 2
1 Svetlana Klyuka RUS 27 Dec 78 1.58.97 Q
2 Mayte Martinez ESP 17 May 76 1.59.32 Q
3 Amina Ait Hammou MAR 18 Jul 78 1.59.51
4 Marilyn Okoro GBR 23 Sep 84 1.59.63
5 Kenia Sinclair JAM 14 Jul 80 2.00.25
6 Tetyana Petlyuk UKR 22 Feb 82 2.00.90
7 Marian Burnett GUY 22 Feb 76 2.01.02
8 Zulia Calatayud CUB 9 Nov 79 2.06.97
  Heat 3
1 Janeth Jepkosgei KEN 13 Dec 83 1.56.17 Q
2 Hasna Benhassi MAR 1 Jun 78 1.56.84 Q
3 Maria Mutola MOZ 27 Oct 72 1.56.98 q
4 Brigita Langerholc SLO 23 Jul 76 1.58.41 q
5 Jenny Meadows GBR 17 Apr 81 1.59.39
6 Elodie Guegan FRA 19 Dec 85 1.59.46
7 Ewelina Setowska-Dryk POL 5 Mar 80 2.01.02
8 Agnes Samaria NAM 11 Aug 72 2.02.25
  Heats 25 August

Event report: Women's 800m 1st round

Threetime champion Maria Mutola began her campaign to regain the world title she last won in 2003 with an impressive display in the first round of the women’s 800m at the Nagai Stadium this evening.

The Mozambiquan, who’s chasing her 12th global title in Osaka, stayed sensibly off the pace in heat three before muscling past the field in the final 100m to win in 2min 00.00sec, the sixth fastest time of the round.

The fastest came in the last of the six heats as Kenya’s African champion Janeth Jepkosgei outkicked her opponents from the front of the field to win in 1:58.95, her best of the year. It was an eye-catching run and in this form, the Kenyan looks most likely to rival Mutola in the chase for gold on Tuesday evening.

Behind her, Spain’s Mayte Martinez and Slovakia’s Lucia Klocova were pulled to sub-2:00 times, the second and third fastest of the round. Klocova’s 1:59.72 was a personal best, one of five sub-2 runs across the six heats.

Not surprisingly, four of those came in the last heat, although Russia’s Svetlana Cherkasova couldn’t produce one of them. A finallist two years ago, she tied up badly in the final straight to finish sixth, going out of the competition with 2:00.93.

The other shock of the round came in heat four when the world’s fastest athlete this year, Yuliya Krevsun (UKR), thought to be a potential challenger to Mutola, could finish only fifth in 2:02.45 and was eliminated from the competition.

By contrast with the experienced Mutola, the Ukrainian ran from the front, leading the pack through the bell in 58.79. But she was passed with 300m to go by three athletes and never recovered. Down the home straight, the World University Games champion appeared to be treading water through the sticky Osaka air and struggled across the line shaking her head.

Morocco’s Hasna Benhassi won the race in 2:00.31 followed by Britain’s Jemma Simpson and Romania’s Liliana Popescu, both also inside 2:01.

Svetlana Usovich, a European indoor silver medallist from this year’s championships in Birmingham, also looked strong as she front ran to win heat five in 1:59.95, the Belarussian’s best performance of the year. Behind her Jamaica’s Kenia Sinclair, the World Indoors silver medallist, qualified comfortably in second place with 2:00.35, followed by Canada’s Diane Cummins.

Although Cherkasova went out, the event still contains a strong Russian pair in European silver medallist Svetlana Klyuka and Olga Kotlyarova, the second fastest athlete in the world this year and reigning European champion. Klyuka won the first heat in a swiftish 2:00.11, after taking the lead 250m from the line, while Kotlyarova won heat two in 2:01.75, three hundredths ahead of Britain’s Marilyn Okoro. Cuba’s Zulia Catalayud cruised through comfortably in third in 2:01.81 and shouldn’t be discounted as she aims ot defend her title.

Osaka 2007 News Team/mkb

  Heat 1
1 Svetlana Klyuka RUS 27 Dec 78 2.00.11 Q
2 Marian Burnett GUY 22 Feb 76 2.00.53 Q
3 Amina Ait Hammou MAR 18 Jul 78 2.00.85 Q
4 Mihaela Neacsu ROU 3 May 79 2.01.08
5 Alice Schmidt USA 3 Oct 81 2.02.49
6 Josiane Tito BRA 8 Aug 79 2.03.70
7 Natalia Gallego AND 28 Sep 80 2.13.46
8 Emilia Mikue Ondo GEQ 20 Dec 84 2.15.72
  Heat 2
1 Olga Kotlyarova RUS 12 Apr 76 2.01.75 Q
2 Marilyn Okoro GBR 23 Sep 84 2.01.79 Q
3 Zulia Calatayud CUB 9 Nov 79 2.01.81 Q
4 Alysia Montano USA 23 Apr 86 2.02.11
5 Rosibel Garcia COL 13 Feb 81 2.02.86
6 Liu Qing CHN 28 Apr 86 2.04.35
7 Lilian Silva ANG 30 Mar 82 2.09.17
  Heat 3
1 Maria Mutola MOZ 27 Oct 72 2.00.00 Q
2 Jenny Meadows GBR 17 Apr 81 2.00.14 Q
3 Brigita Langerholc SLO 23 Jul 76 2.00.20 Q
4 Ewelina Setowska-Dryk POL 5 Mar 80 2.00.45 q
5 Elisa Cusma Piccione ITA 24 Jul 81 2.00.54 q
6 Eliane Sahalinirina MAD 20 Mar 82 2.06.57
7 Fatimoh Muhammed LBR 23 Jan 84 2.07.28
8 Gharid Gharouf PLE 12 Sep 90 2.30.35
  Heat 4
1 Hasna Benhassi MAR 1 Jun 78 2.00.31 Q
2 Jemma Simpson GBR 10 Feb 84 2.00.47 Q
3 Liliana Popescu ROU 5 Feb 82 2.00.73 Q
4 Tamsyn Manou AUS 20 Jul 78 2.01.21
5 Yuliya Krevsun UKR 8 Dec 80 2.02.45
6 Rikke Ronholt DEN 1 Jan 76 2.03.75
7 Ayako Jinnouchi JPN 21 Jan 87 2.07.34
  Heat 5
1 Sviatlana Usovich BLR 14 Oct 80 1.59.95 Q
2 Kenia Sinclair JAM 14 Jul 80 2.00.35 Q
3 Diane Cummins CAN 19 Jan 74 2.00.38 Q
4 Tetyana Petlyuk UKR 22 Feb 82 2.00.45 q
5 Hazel Clark USA 3 Oct 77 2.00.61 q
6 Sultana Ait Hammou MAR 10 May 80 2.00.74
7 Nicole Layson GUM 27 Jan 89 2.36.14
  Heat 6
1 Janeth Jepkosgei KEN 13 Dec 83 1.58.95 Q
2 Mayte Martinez ESP 17 May 76 1.59.58 Q
3 Lucia Hrivnak Klocova SVK 20 Nov 83 1.59.72 Q
4 Agnes Samaria NAM 11 Aug 72 1.59.76 q
5 Elodie Guegan FRA 19 Dec 85 2.00.43 q
6 Elizet Banda ZAM 16 Feb 88 2.09.90
7 Mireille Derebona-Ngaisset CAF 19 May 90 2.30.08
Svetlana Cherkasova RUS 20 May 78 DQ 32.2.b and 32.2.e 2.00.93

Heat 1 25 AUG 2007 19:30

2 534 Marian Burnett GUY GUY 1:59.47 1:59.84
3 663 Mina Aït Hammou MAR MAR 1:57.82 2:01.09
4 205 Natalia Gallego AND AND 2:13.04 2:13.04
5 484 Emilia Mikue Ondo GEQ GEQ 2:17.25 2:17.25
6 998 Alice Schmidt USA USA 1:58.75 1:58.75
7 270 Josiane Tito BRA BRA 2:01.28 2:01.28
8 815 Svetlana Klyuka RUS RUS 1:57.21 1:58.63
9 782 Mihaela Neacsu ROU ROU 1:59.78 1:59.82i

Heat 2 25 AUG 2007 19:37

2 478 Marilyn Okoro GBR GBR 1:59.63 1:59.63
3 973 Alysia Montaño USA USA 1:59.29 1:59.29
4 324 Qing Liu CHN CHN 1:59.74 2:02.29
5 819 Olga Kotlyarova RUS RUS 1:57.24 1:58.14
6 353 Zulia Calatayud CUB CUB 1:56.09 2:00.34
7 206 Lillian Silva ANG ANG 2:06.53 2:06.67
8 345 Rosibel García COL COL 1:59.58 2:00.02

Heat 3 25 AUG 2007 19:44

2 856 Brigita Langerholc SLO SLO 1:58.51 1:59.93
3 662 Eliane Saholinirina MAD MAD 2:06.97 2:06.97
4 476 Jennifer Meadows GBR GBR 1:59.88i 1:59.88i
5 689 Maria de Lurdes Mutola MOZ MOZ 1:55.19 1:58.21
6 566 Elisa Cusma Piccione ITA ITA 1:58.90 1:59.22
7 653 Fatimoh Muhammed LBR LBR 2:01.89 2:01.89
8 729 Gharid Ghrouf PLE PLE    
9 753 Ewelina Setowska-Dryk POL POL 1:58.96 1:59.64

Heat 4 25 AUG 2007 19:51

2 616 Ayako Jinnouchi JPN JPN 2:03.99 2:05.11
3 481 Jemma Simpson GBR GBR 1:59.99 2:00.18
4 778 Liliana Barbulescu ROU ROU 2:00.06 2:00.08
5 920 Yuliya Krevsun UKR UKR 1:57.63 1:57.63
6 220 Tamsyn Manou AUS AUS 1:59.21 1:59.37
7 666 Hasna Benhassi MAR MAR 1:56.43 1:59.31
8 383 Rikke Rønholt-Albertsen DEN DEN 2:01.12 2:02.70i

Heat 5 25 AUG 2007 19:58

2 258 Sviatlana Usovich BLR BLR 1:58.17 2:00.53i
3 533 Nicole Layson GUM GUM 2:35.45 2:35.45
4 924 Tetiana Petlyuk UKR UKR 1:57.34 1:58.67i
5 664 Seltana Aït Hammou MAR MAR 1:59.59 2:01.13
6 594 Kenia Sinclair JAM JAM 1:57.88 1:58.61
7 942 Marcela Britos URU URU 2:08.97 2:09.77
8 303 Diane Cummins CAN CAN 1:58.39 1:59.75
9 954 Hazel Clark USA USA 1:57.99 1:59.07

Heat 6 25 AUG 2007 20:05

2 301 Mireille Derebona CAF CAF 2:22.0  
3 642 Janeth Jepkosgei Busienei KEN KEN 1:56.66 1:59.14
4 799 Svetlana Cherkasova RUS RUS 1:56.93  
5 1018 Elizet Banda ZAM ZAM 2:05.57 2:07.20
6 878 Lucia Hrivnák Klocová SVK SVK 1:59.88 1:59.88
7 693 Agnes Samaria NAM NAM 1:59.15 2:01.28
8 447 Élodie Guégan FRA FRA 2:00.56 2:00.56
9 398 Mayte Martínez ESP ESP 1:58.29 1:59.74

Event preview: Women's 800m

Although Ukraine's Yuliya Krevsun and Russia's Olga Kotlyarova have run faster this season, no one in the field can match the experience or success of Maria Mutola, 10 times a World champion, indoors and out.

The 34-year-old from Mozambique is chasing her fourth outdoors world title, and she has been back to something close to her best form this year, with a season's best of 1:58.21 in Zaragoza at the end of July and four victories in five outings this season.

Krevsun, meanwhile, is seeking her first senior world title. The Ukrainian's victory at the World University Games earlier this month in 1:57.63 suggests she will provide a major challenge. Krevsun's only previous appearance at the World Championships was in 2003 when she was eliminated in the heats, but she has made a huge improvement this year with two sub-2min performances.

Kotlyarova, last year's European champion, has been more consistent, producing three sub-2min clockings. With her victory in the Russian Championships on August 3, she seems to be peaking at just the right time. The same is true of the Russian No2, Svetlana Cherkasova, whose season's best of 1:58.37 also came in the Russian Championships. The 29-year-old will be hoping to improve on her seventh place finish two years ago, while European silver medallist Svetlana Klyuka completes a strong Russian challenge.

The reigning champion, Cuba's Zulia Calatayud, finished third at this year's Pan-American Games after struggling with injury for much of the year.

Other potential medallists include Jamaica's Kenia Sinclair, a silver medallist behind Mutola in last year's World Indoors; a trio of in-form Americans, Alice Schmidt, Hazel Clark and Alysia Johnson; and Kenyan record-holder Janeth Jepkosgei, the reigning African and Commonwealth champion.

Osaka 2007 News Team





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