Blanks Vlasic sets season high in high jump at Madrid Grand Prix
By PAUL LOGOTHETIS
Saturday, July 21, 2007
MADRID, Spain (AP) - Croatia's Blanka Vlasic won the women's high jump with a season-best leap of six feet, 8" inches at the Madrid Grand Prix on Saturday.Vlasic tried to break Stefka Kostadinova's 20-year-old world record of 6-10ź with three attempts, but couldn't clear the bar as easily as the one try needed earlier, which eclipsed the 6-8ź she achieved at the Asian Games at Doha, Qatar, in May. The world indoor silver medallist, who has failed to clear 6-6" only twice in 10 meets this season, beat Ruth Beitia of Spain and world champion Kajsa Bergqvist of Sweden, who finished 2-3 with 6-4".
American sprinter Rachelle Smith edged countrywoman Lauryn Williams to take the women's 200 in 23.12 seconds. Williams, the world 100 champion, crossed in 23.14 in a steady headwind that kept track times low through the evening. European champion Francis Obikwelu took the men's 100 in 10.38, beating Australia's Joshua Ross, who finished second in 10.42, though this time in no wind. Maria Mutola of Mozambique received the loudest cheers of the night as she overtook the pack and rounded the final bend clear to take the women's 800 in one minute, 58.80 seconds. Hasna Benhassi of Morocco was second. Australian sprinter Jhon Steffensen edged U.S. champion Angelo Taylor in the men's 400. Both sprinters finished with the identical time of 45.05, but Steffensen won by a nose. Jamaica's Michael Blackwood was third. Ron Bramlett led an American sweep in the 110 hurdles, edging David Oliver and Aries Merritt with a time of 13.44. In the men's 800, Youssef Saad Kamel of Bahrain surged through the pack at the final turn to finish in 1:44.49. U.S. sprinter Khadevis Robinson finished ahead of countryman Nicky Symmonds for second. Iyan Heshko took the men's 1,500 in 3:37.54 after overtaking runner-up Dahame Najen Bashir of Qatar. Russia's Olesya Chumakova took the women's 1,500 with a time of 4:06.89, nearly one-tenth of a second faster than Morocco's Ibhissam Lakhoud. Kenya's Julius Nyamu won the men's 3,000 steeplechase in 8:23.81. Tatiana Lebedeva of Russia won the women's long jump with a leap of 23 feet, 5˝ inches, while Nelson Evora of Portugal won the men's triple jump. Netherlands' Rutger Smith won his second shot put of the season, edging Reese Hoffa of the U.S. with a toss of 69-3˝. Lithuania's Virgilius Alekna threw 225-6 to take the men's discus. Nikola Brejchova of the Czech Republic took the women's javelin.