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Golden League win for Idowu at Bislett Games

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Phillips Idowu
Phillips Idowu: Golden League win

European Indoor triple jump champion Phillips Idowu (Belgrave Harriers) scored a thrilling victory over the Olympic, World and European champion Christian Olsson (Sweden) at the first of this summer’s IAAF Golden League meetings, the Exxon Mobil Bislett Games in Oslo, Norway, on Friday 15 June.


Just 2cm separated the duo in their first duel of the year. Olsson took a first round lead with 17.33m to Idowu’s 17.21m. But Idowu instantly silenced those inclined to question his appetite for a high quality battle by responding with 17.35m in the second round. It proved enough for victory – though Olsson reached 17.30m with his fourth attempt. European Indoor silver medallist Nathan Douglas (Oxford City) held third place with his opening leap of 17.18m until Aarik Wilson (USA) found 17.26m in the last round to push him back to fourth in the final reckoning. Jadel Gregorio (Brazil), who is training at Gateshead and currently leads the world rankings for this year with 17.90m back home last month, finished fifth with 17.12m.


Idowu’s performance was one of six season’s bests by athletes selected to represent Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland at next weekend’s European Cup matches.


Despite a head wind measured at 1.1 metres per second, Marlon Devonish (Coventry Godiva Harriers) prepared for the 200m at next weekend’s European Cup Super League in Munich by lowering his 100m season’s best to 10.20 seconds. It earned him victory in the B race, eight-hundredths of a second ahead of runner-up Nesta Carter (Jamaica) with the 2005 European Junior silver medallist Simeon Williamson (Highgate Harriers) third in 10.49, his fastest so far this season.


Then Devonish found himself at odds with the IAAF for doing the meeting organisers a favour – after running the fastest 100m of his life. He was asked to run in the 100m A race after Michael Frater (USA) suffered an injury while warming-up. He did so – and clocked 10.08 seconds – but was then disqualified under an IAAF rule that stipulates an athlete cannot contest both an A and B race at the same Golden League meeting. World record holder Asafa Powell (Jamaica) won in a season’s best of 9.94 seconds with European champion Francis Obikwelu (Portugal) second in 10.06. Devonish’s 10.08 eclipsed his lifetime best of 10.13 seconds way back in 1998. But once he had been DQ’d, Mark Lewis-Francis (Birchfield Harriers) was elevated to fourth in 10.25.


Michael Rimmer (Liverpool Pembroke and Sefton AC) reinforced his position at the top of the Power of 10 national 800m rankings by lowering his season’s best to 1:45.54 – a vast improvement on his 1:46.47 at last weekend’s BMC Nike Grand Prix, incorporating the UK Challenge, at Manchester. It earned him fourth place in a race won in 1:44.56 by Mohammad Al-Azemi (Kuwait).


Andy Baddeley (Harrow AC), who will run the 1500m in the Cup Super League, knocked almost 5 seconds off his mile best. Oslo call it the Dream Mile – and it was for Baddeley as he stormed home in 3:51.95 behind two more PBs, 3:51.14 by winner Adil Kaouch (Morocco) and 3:51.62 by Augustine Choge (Kenya).


Nick McCormick (Morpeth Harriers) warmed-up for the Cup 3000m by going to second in the Power of 10 national 1500m rankings for this year in clocking 3:38.46. It earned him sixth place in a race won by Brimin Kiprop Kipruto (Kenya) in 3:36.27 from Spanish duo Alvaro Fernández (3:36.70) and Alvaro Rodríguez (3:37.04).


Andy Turner (Sale Harriers Manchester) was fifth in the 110m hurdles A race in 13.56 into a slight head wind of 0.3 metres per second. Anwar Moore (USA) won in 13.26 and, of more significance in European Cup terms, Thomas Blaschek (Germany) was third in 13.46. In the B race, William Sharman (Belgrave Harriers) placed third in 13.68 seconds, a season’s best by a third of a second, with the aid of a following wind of 1.1 metres per second. Masato Naito (Japan) won in 13.58.


Joice Maduaka (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies), selected for both sprints at the European Cup First League, equalled her 100m season’s best of 11.41 seconds (wind: +0.7) in finishing fourth in a race won by LaVerne Jones (Virgin Islands) in 11.32. Stephanie Durst (USA) won the A race (wind: +0.4) in 11.22.


Marilyn Okoro (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers) got in some speed work for the Cup 800m by clocking 52.80 seconds in the 400m A race. It earned her sixth place in an immensely high quality race won by the Female Athlete of 2006, Sanya Richards (USA) in 50.26.


Commonwealth 1500m champion Lisa Dobriskey (Ashford AC) got to within a hundredth of a second of her lifetime best in clocking 4:06.22 for seventh place in a race in which the major places went to: 1 Maryam Jamal (Bahrain) 4:01.44; 2 Yuliya Chizhenko (Russia) 4:01.58; 3 Iryna Lishchynska (Ukraine) 4:01.82. As she has also run 3000m bests indoors and out already this year, Dobriskey will head for the Cup 3000 in good heart.


Sara McGreavy (Sale Harriers Manchester) was fifth in the 100m hurdles B race (wind: +0.6) in 13.54 seconds. Adrianna Lamalle (France) won in 13.02.


For detailed results please click here