World Indoor Championships Women: Harrison At Last

Kendra Harrison has been running super-fast times over the barriers for the last few years, but major championship success had eluded her before Birmingham.

She was last in the ’16 WIC final, had an off-day at the ’16 OG Trials, failing to make it to Rio, and missed out on the medals with a 4th at the outdoor Worlds in London last summer.

However, she finally put to bed that big-meet bogey with a 60H win here in an AR-equaling 7.70 which elevated her to =No. 3 on the all-time world list.

Harrison was neck-and-neck with teammate Christina Manning as she came off the first hurdle but then pulled away for a clear win, with Manning 2nd in 7.79.

Third American Sharika Nelvis had set an AR of 7.70 at the USATF Indoor but was slightly below-par in the semis here and that impression was repeated in the final.

She never quite recovered from a poor start and came home 4th in 7.86, with the Netherlands’ Nadine Visser (who had set an NR 7.83 in the semis) denying a U.S. sweep with a surprise bronze in 7.84.

Harrison’s postrace reaction was one of delight tinged with a modicum of relief: “It feels amazing to finally get out there, get the job done, and to finally get the gold I have been working so hard for.

“My coach told me to worry about my first three steps and that will set you up for the race. As soon as I pushed out of the blocks I felt great and I just kept going.”

Along with Harrison, pole vaulter Sandi Morris and the U.S. 4×4 quartet also produced meet records.

Morris (click to read sidebar) came out on top of an enthralling vault competition which saw ’16 OG/’17 WC gold medalist Katerína Stefanídi lose for the first time in a year, the Greek vaulter’s 19-meet streak coming to an end.

Three women cleared 15-9 (4.80) with Russia’s Anzhelika Sidorova having done it at the first time of asking while Morris and Stefanídi needed three attempts each.

Stefanídi and Morris each missed once at 15-11 (4.85), while Sidorova nailed it again with her first jump, forcing the other two to pass.

With a clutch second attempt at 16-¾ (4.90), Morris soared clear but then Sidorova went higher than she’s ever done before, indoors or out, with a third-time clearance to keep the competition alive while the favored Stefanídi went out.

Morris responded with aplomb by slithering over 16-2¾ (4.95) on her third attempt, the bar bouncing up and down but staying on the uprights. It was one bar too far for Sidorova and the gold—after three major champs silvers—went to the American.

“It was the hardest I have had to work for a medal,” said Morris. “4.90 and 4.95 on third attempts. I got 4.90 and I thought I had it won but you can never let your guard down.”


 

— WIC Women’s Results —

Ahouré cranked out the fastest 60 in yearsKEVIN MORRIS/PHOTORUN

60: 1. Murielle Ahouré (CI) 6.97 NR (WL) (=6, =11 W); 2. Marie Josée Ta Lou (CI) 7.05 PR; 3. Mujinga Kambundji (Swi) 7.05; 4. Elaine Thompson (Jam) 7.08; 5. Dafne Schippers (Hol) 7.10; 6. Michelle-Lee Ahye (Tri) 7.13; 7. Carolle Zahi (Fra) 7.19; 8. Remona Burchell (Jam) 7.50.

Semis: I–1. Ahouré 7.01 (WL);… 4. Javianne Oliver (US) 7.10. II–7. Destiny Carter (US) 7.28.

400: 1. Courtney Okolo (US) 50.55 PR (4, 4 A) (23.98/26.57); 2. Shakima Wimbley (US) 51.47 (24.0/27.5); 3. Eilidh Doyle (GB) 51.60 (24.1/27.5); 4. Justyna Święty-Ersetic (Pol) 51.85; 5. Tovea Jenkins (Jam) 52.12 =PR; 6. Zoey Clark (GB) 52.16.

800: 1. Francine Niyonsaba (Bur) 1:58.31 NR (WL) (29.4); 2. Ajee’ Wilson (US) 1:58.99 PR (AL) (4, 4 A) (30.18); 3. Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (GB) 1:59.81 PR (29.9);

4. Habitam Alemu (Eth) 2:01.10 (31.9); 5. Raevyn Rogers (US) 2:01.44 (30.2); 6. Selina Büchel (Swi) 2:03.01.

1500: 1. Genzebe Dibaba (Eth) 4:05.27; 2. Laura Muir (GB) 4:06.23; 3. Sifan Hassan (Hol) 4:07.26; 4. Shelby Houlihan (US) 4:11.93;

5. Winny Chebet (Ken) 4:12.08; 6. Aisha Praught Leer (Jam) 4:12.86; 7. Beatrice Chepkoech (Ken) 4:13.59; 8. Rabab Arrafi (Mor) 4:14.94; 9. Colleen Quigley (US) 4:15.97. Heats: IV–4. Houlihan 4:06.21 PR (AL) (8, x A).

3000: 1. Dibaba 8:45.05); 2. Hassan 8:45.68; 3. Muir 8:45.78; 4. Hellen Obiri (Ken) 8:49.66; 5. Shelby Houlihan (US) 8:50.38; 6. Taye Fantu (Eth) 8:50.54; 7. Konstanze Klosterhalfen (Ger) 8:51.79); 8. Katie Mackey (US) 8:56.62.

60: 1. Kendra Harrison (US) 7.70 =AR (=AR Sharika Nelvis [adi] ’18) (=WL) (=3, =3 W); 2. Christina Manning (US) 7.79; 3. Nadine Visser (Hol) 7.84; 4. Sharika Nelvis (US) 7.86;

5. Cindy Roleder (Ger) 7.87; 6. Isabelle Pedersen (Nor) 7.94; 7. Tobi Amusan (Ngr) 8.05; 8. Devynne Charlton (Bah) 8.18.

4 x 400: 1. United States 3:23.85 AR (old AR 3:24.83 National Team ’14) (WL) (2 W; #2 Nation) (Quanera Hayes 51.51, Georganne Moline 50.87, Shakima Wimbley 51.29, Courtney Okolo 50.18);

2. Poland 3:26.09 NR (8W; #3 Nation) (Justyna Święty-Ersetic 52.18, Patrycja Wyciszkiewicz 50.97, Aleksandra Gaworska 51.31, Małgorzata Hołub 51.63);

3. Great Britain 3:29.38 (Meghan Beesley 52.99, Hannah Williams 51.91, Amy Allcock 52.12, Zoey Clark 52.36);

4. Ukraine 3:31.32; 5. Italy 3:31.55 NR;… dq[zone]—[2] Jamaica [3:24.16] (Jenkins 51.94, Russell 50.51, Le-Roy 51.34, McPherson 50.37).

HJ: 1. Mariya Lasitskene (Rus) 6-7 (2.01) (winning streak 38); 2. Vashti Cunningham (US) 6-4 (1.93); 3. Alessia Trost (Ita) 6-4; 4. Morgan Lake (GB) 6-4; 5. Yuliya Levchenko (Ukr) 6-2¼ (1.89); 6. Mirela Demireva (Bul) 6-2¼; =7. Iryna Herashchenko (Ukr) 6-½ (1.84); =7. Erika Kinsey (Swe) 6-½; =7. Inika McPherson (US) 6-½.

PV: 1. Sandi Morris (US) 16-2¾ (4.95) =PR (WL, AL) (3, =7 W; 2, =4 A) (in/out: x, =5 A; non-Isi: x, =5 W)=PR (also 16-¾/4.90 lo-alt WL, AL—x, =7 A);

2. Anzhelika Sidorova (Rus) 16-¾ (4.90) PR (=5, x W; in/out: =7, x W);

3. Ekateríni Stefanídi (Gre) 15-9 (4.80);

4. Eliza McCartney (NZ) 15-7 (4.75) NR; 5. Katie Nageotte (US) 15-5 (4.70); 6. Alysha Newman (Can) 15-5 NR; 7. Yarisley Silva (Cub) 15-1 (4.60); 8. Nina Kennedy (Aus) 15-1. (best-ever mark-for-place: =2, =5, =6)

LJ: 1. Ivana Španović (Ser) 22-10 (6.96) (WL) (22-7¼, 22-1½, f, 22-10, p, p); 2. Brittney Reese (US) 22-7¼ (6.89) (AL) (22-2¼, 21-8¼, 22-2½, 22-7¼, 22-¾, 21-9½);

3. Sosthene Taroum Moguenara (Ger) 22-5¾ (6.85) (21-7½, 22-5¾, f, 20-8½, 20-5¼, 20-8);

4. Quanesha Burks (US) 22-4¼ (6.81) PR (=10, x A) (22-4¼, 21-4¼, 22-¼, 22-3, f, 21-11¾); 5. Malaika Mihambo (Ger) 21-9½ (6.64); 6. Khaddi Sagnia (Swe) 21-9½ (6.64); 7. Christabel Nettey (Can) 21-9 (6.63); 8. Ksenija Balta (Est) 21-6¾ (6.57).

TJ: 1. Yulimar Rojas (Ven) 48-0 (14.63) (WL) (46-8¾, 46-2, 46-10, 47-1½, 48-0, f);

2. Kim Williams (Jam) 47-6¼ (14.48) PR (47-1¾, 47-3½, 47-6¼, 46-11½, f, 46-11¾);

3. Ana Peleteiro (Spa) 47-3 (14.40) PR (43-3, 45-4¼, 46-6¼, 47-3, f, f);

4. Elena Andreea Panţuroiu (Rom) 47-¼ (14.33) =PR (46-1¼, f, 46-5½, 47-¼, f, f);

5. Keturah Orji (US) 46-11½ (14.31) (x, 4 A; x, 4 C; in/out: x, =5 C) (46-4¼, f, 46-2, 46-10¼ [x, =4 A; x, =4 C; in/out: x, 7 C], 46-11½); 6. Paraskeví Papahrístou (Gre) 46-1¼ (14.05); 7. Viktoriya Prokopenko (Rus) 46-1¼; 8. Tori Franklin (US) 46-½ (14.03).

SP: 1. Anita Márton (Hun) 64-4½ (19.62) NR (WL) (60-¼, 60-½, 63-11 WL, f, 62-2½, 64-4½);

2. Danniel Thomas-Dodd (Jam) 63-¾ (19.22) NR (62-1, 62-2¼, 63-¾, f, 61-10½, 62-6¾);

3. Lijiao Gong (Chn) 62-7¼ (19.08) (f, 62-3¼, f, 61-9½, 61-8½, 62-7¼);

4. Yang Gao (Chn) 61-7 (18.77) PR; 5. Paulina Guba (Pol) 60-10 (18.54); 6. Aliona Dubitskaya (Blr) 59-9 (18.21); 7. Yaniuvis López (Cub) 59-8¼ (18.19) PR; 8. Jeneva Stevens (US) 59-7¾ (18.18).

Pent: 1. Katarina Johnson-Thompson (GB) 4750 (lo-alt WL) (8.36, 6-3¼/1.91, 41-7¼/12.68, 21-4/6.50, 2:16.63;

2. Ivona Dadic (Aut) 4700 (8.32, 5-11½/1.82, 46-10/14.27, 21-0/6.40, 2:17.82);

3. Yorgelis Rodríguez (Cub) 4637 PR (8.57, 6-2/1.88, 46-5¼/14.15, 20-2¼/6.15, 2:17.70);

4. Eliška Klučinová (CzR) 4579; 5. Erica Bougard (US) 4571 (lo-alt AL); 6. Xénia Krizsán (Hun) 4559; 7. Alina Shukh (Ukr) 4466); 8. Lecabela Quaresma (Por) 4424; 9. Kendell Williams (US) 4414.

 


Courtney Okolo (click to read sidebar) had already won the 400 individual title on the third day of the meet, PRing in 50.55 to win by almost a second from Shakima Wimbley who made it a U.S. 1-2 with second in 51.47, before returning to the track to anchor the 4×4 team to a 3:23.85 AR on the final day.

Team USA led at the first exchange after Quanera Hayes ran 51.51. Georganne Moline followed it up with a 50.87 stint to increase the lead and at the halfway point only a disaster was going to derail the heavy favorites.

Wimbley ran the penultimate leg in 51.29 before Okolo time-trialed 50.18, the fastest two laps of the race.

Nearest rival Poland was more than 2 seconds in arrears despite running a national record as they finished with the silver medals in 3:26.09.

In total, the U.S. women took 9 medals, including 5 silvers.

In addition to Wimbley and Manning, Ajee’ Wilson ran a courageous and tenacious race for her second successive WIC silver in the 800.

As in Portland two years ago, Wilson took up the early running before passing 400 in front of the pack in 59.02.

She still had the advantage over the favorite, defending champion Francine Niyonsaba, at the bell but with 100 to go the Burundian swept around the outside and had enough strength to retain her title in a national record 1:58.31 with Wilson holding on for 2nd, this time in a PR 1:58.99 that moved her to No. 4 on the all-time U.S. list.

Španović raised the world lead in the long jump to 22-10GIANCARLO COLOMBO/PHOTORUN

Fellow Americans Vashti Cunningham (HJ) and Brittney Reese (LJ) couldn’t defend their Portland titles but still earned silvers behind Mariya Lasitskene (6-7/2.01 to run her winning streak to 38) and Ivana Španović (22-10/6.96 WL).

Prolific Genzebe Dibaba (click to read sidebar) took her tally of WIC titles to 5 after becoming only the second woman to win a 1500/3000 double, Gabriela Szabo in ’99 being the other.

A straight 3000 final on the opening night certainly assisted Dibaba in her quest for additional glory.

The 27-year-old Ethiopian hit the front with 5 laps to go and held off the advances of the Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan and the home-crowd favorite Laura Muir before winning in 8:45.05 for her third successive gold over 15 laps.

In the 1500 final on the penultimate day, Dibaba decided to force the pace after a pedestrian first 500 and no one could stay with her, triumphing in 4:05.27 to regain the title over this distance that she had first won in ’12.

Overall the U.S. performance in Birmingham was one to celebrate but the one event which will go down as a disappointment was the 60.

For the first time since the meet became an official world championship—and in an event where there has been at least one U.S. medalist since ’93—there were no Americans in the final.

The fireworks instead were provided by Ivory Coast’s Murielle Ahouré, who flew to gold in 6.97, a time no one has bettered since ’99 and put her =No. 6 on the all-time list.

USATF dash winner Javianne Oliver was squeezed out of the final by an unusual set of circumstances. In a setup with 3 semis qualifying the top 2 plus the next 2 fastest overall, her 7.10 for 4th in the loaded first race seemed to be enough.

But then there was an unbreakable tie for 2nd in the second race, with both of those trumping a potential time qualifier which turned out to be the American.

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