ZÜRICH, SWITZERLAND, September 09 — Among jumping and throwing events the HJ, LJ & SP were contested downtown on the first day of the Weltklasse meet. Here are our reports on the other 4 women’s field events:
Women’s Vault: And Then There Were 4
The women’s vault competition was bookended by abject despair and over-the-top happiness. The sad part came near the beginning of the event when Olympic champ Katie Nageotte, vaulting for the first time since Pre, ran through on all three of her tries at her opening height of 15-0 (4.57) and disconsolately racked her pole.
“Not the ending I wanted,” she later posted on Facebook. “I just had nothing left. No excuses, I just couldn’t make it happen today.”
Russian rival Anzhelika Sidorova, on the other hand, made it happen in a big way, becoming only the fourth woman ever to produce a 5-meter (16-4¾) jump (see chart), clearing 16-5¼ (5.01) on her third attempt. Somewhat uncharacteristically, her usually stoic facade evaporated as the look on her face said it all. (Continued below)
“I think this is really the right place to jump high,” she said of the city which also hosted Yelena Isinbaeva’s still-standing WR of ’09. “But coming to the stadium I did not feel like it was coming today. I think we are all a bit tired after a long season and in the warmup I did not feel 100% ready for a jump over 5m. I still cannot believe I got the 5-meter barrier today.”
Her barrier-breaker came at the end of a long day of work in which she cleared all 6 of her bars leading up to the big height on first attempt. That included a PR 16-3¼ (4.96) that solidified her hold on No. 4 on the all-time list.
Her perfection disappeared at her ultimate height, where she had two decent misses, but then followed up with one on which she brushed the bar ever-so-lightly with her knees, but it never looked in danger of falling. Welcome to the club!
No one else cleared more than 3 heights, Katerína Stefanídi being the best of the mortals at 15-7¾ (4.77).
1. Anzhelika Sidorova (Rus) 16-5¼ (5.01) PR (WL) (3, =7 W) (15-0, 15-3¾, 15-7¾, 15-10½, 16-1¼, 16-3¼ PR [WL—4, =14 W], 16-5¼ ) (4.57, 4.67, 4.77, 4.84, 4.91, 4.96, 5.01 );
2. Katerína Stefanídi (Gre) 15-7¾ (4.77) (14-8, 15-0 , 15-3¾, 15-7¾, 15-10½ [x], 16-1¼ [xx]) (4.47, 4.57 , 4.67, 4.77, 4.84 [x], 4.91 [xx]); 3. Tina Šutej (Slo) 15-3¾ (4.67) (14-8, 15-0, 15-3¾, 15-7¾ [xxx]) (4.47, 4.57, 4.67, 4.77 [xxx]); 4. Holly Bradshaw (GB) 15-3¾; 5. Iryna Zhuk (Blr) 14-8 (4.47);… nh—Katie Nageotte (US).
Women’s Triple Jump: Another Rojas Biggie
Stepping onto the runway as the last jumper in the first round, Yulimar Rojas launched herself toward the sand and all but ensured she would take home her first Diamond trophy.
Trademark mini-second-phase and all, she cut sand at a meet record 50-1¼ (15.27), a mark that only Rojas and the next 7 jumpers on the all-time list have exceeded. No other active TJer has forayed past the 50-foot barrier. World Record holder Rojas would not find a takeoff spot behind the plasticine again until round 5.
In that penultimate frame, hitting the first 3 inches or so of the board, she flew 49-11¼ (15.22), though she did not look thrilled over the distance.
In the final jump of the competition, however, she delivered a jump more befitting her high standards. After exhorting the crowd to clap for her, she animatedly talked to herself at the head of the runway then jumped.
She knew the result was a big one and ran with a grin from the pit gesturing for more crowd noise. Up flashed the measurement, 50-9½ (15.48), the No. 4 mark in event history.
“In all honesty, I feel I have always demonstrated that I can be a queen,” she said. “I can lift myself up, regardless of the circumstances, and today was not an exception. I was able to take the Diamond League Trophy and I am very pleased to have the chance of being here and to show dreams do come true.
“It is important to enjoy the moment as much as possible, and if in the end I can accomplish what I came here for, even better. I believe I still have a lot more to give, but our goal is to make good progress year after year, celebrating every single achievement. This year I was able to jump 15m fairly easily and I hope next year I am in even better shape, and to continue to enjoy being out here on the field.”
In round 4, defending DL champ Shanieka Ricketts reached 47-3½ (14.41) to move into 2nd. Jamaican teammate Kim Williams bettered that with 47-5¾ (14.47) in frame 5 before Ricketts passed her back up with the comp’s second-to-last jump, 48-½ (14.64).
1. Yulimar Rojas (Ven) 50-9½ (15.48) (x, 4 W) (50-1¼, f, f, f, 49-11¼, 50-9½) (15.27, f, f, f, 15.22, 15.48);
2. Shanieka Ricketts (Jam) 48-½ (14.64) (f, 46-1¼, f, 47-3½, 47-¾, 48-½) (f, 14.05, f, 14.41, 14.34, 14.64); 3. Kim Williams (Jam) 47-5¾ (14.47) (46-¾, 45-11¾, 45-6½, 45-3¾, 47-5¾, 46-4) (14.04, 14.01, 13.88, 13.81, 14.47, 14.12); 4. Patrícia Mamona (Por) 47-¼ (14.33); 5. Thea Lafond (Dom) 46-3¼ (14.10);… nm—Hanna Minenko (Isr).
Women’s Discus: A First For Allman
Six-time DL champ Sandra Perković celebrated after her opening throw of 210-1 (64.04). But the bigger celebration came two throws later, when Olympic champion Valarie Allman twirled with joy after her opener of 218-1 (66.48).
That was the first sign that Allman, who in recent weeks had placed 3rd in Paris and 2nd in Brussels, had pointed successfully for another big meet.
After the American fouled her second, Perković nicked her No. 3 off the corner of the cage; it fizzled to a nearly-foul 167-0 (50.91). She angrily glared at the cage on her way out. The cage also grabbed Allman’s third throw. In marked contrast, she laughed.
Round 4 featured solid efforts, as Cuba’s Yaimé Pérez hit 209-5 (63.83) in 3rd and Perković improved to 215-9 (65.77). Allman seemed happy with her 215-0 (65.53).
In round 5 Pérez improved again, a fast line drive for a 212-8 (64.83), which would be her best of the day. Then Perković launched what she thought might be the winner, only to have the measurement of her 217-9 (66.37) fall just 4 inches (12cm) short.
That was too close for Allman, who responded with a monster 227-0 (69.20), the No. 5 performance in U.S. history. “I definitely reacted,” she said. She threw her arms into the air as she danced out of the ring.
Perković would not be the legend she is if she ever quit fighting. On her final throw, she improved to a commendable 220-6 (67.22) that would not be enough. Allman closed the day with a 217-0 (66.15) and became the first American woman to win the DL discus title.
“Sandra is so talented, and has been dominating for years,” said the Stanford alum. “I know she is capable of throwing big throws every time she is out there. Seeing her doing well really pushed me to want to be able to put out a good throw as well.”
1. Valarie Allman (US) 227-0 (69.20) (x, 5 A) (218-1, f, f, 215-0, 227-0, 217-0) (66.48, f, f, 65.53, 69.20, 66.15);
2. Sandra Perković (Cro) 220-6 (67.22) (210-1, 201-8, 167-0, 215-9, 217-9, 220-6) (64.04, 61.46, 50.91, 65.77, 66.37, 67.22); 3. Yaimé Pérez (Cub) 212-8 (64.83) (207-4, 200-2, 208-9, 209-5, 212-8, 207-4) (63.21, 61.03, 63.62, 63.83, 64.83, 63.21); 4. Denia Caballero (Cub) 204-1 (62.21); 5. Liliana Cá (Por) 203-2 (61.92); 6. Marija Tolj (Cro) 189-7 (57.79).
Women’s Javelin: Hussong Bounces Back
Christin Hussong finished a disappointing 9th in the Olympics after being formcharted as No. 2 coming in. The German found the DL Final much more to her liking, taking the win in an otherwise hum-drum competition with a 214-1 (65.26) throw.
5-time winner Barbora Špotáková grabbed the early lead with her 201-6 (61.43) opener. That lasted until bronze medalist Kelsey-Lee Barber of Australia reached 205-8 (62.68) in round 2.
Hussong moved into the lead in round 3 with her 210-7 (64.20). Czech Nikola Ogrodníková moved past her countrywoman into 3rd with her 201-11 (61.54). Olympic silver medalist Maria Andrejczyk withdrew from the competition after reaching only 171-7 (52.30).
The final three rounds offered up no changes in position, as fouls outnumbered measurements. That didn’t keep Hussong from showing off on her final attempt. After two fouls, she launched her best of the day, 214-1 (65.26).
Said the winner, “I am happy about all three of them: the Diamond League trophy, the $30,000 and the Wild Card for the next World Championships. I guess this is the best season of my career, except for the Olympics. But I found my inner peace again. I simply showed everybody what I am capable of.”
1. Christin Hussong (Ger) 214-1 (65.26) (192-5, 198-8, 210-7, f, f, 214-1) (58.66, 60.57, 64.20, f, f, 65.26); 2. Kelsey-Lee Barber (Aus) 205-8 (62.68) (200-1, 205-8, 198-1, 195-6, 184-1, 204-3) (61.00, 62.68, 60.38, 59.60, 56.11, 62.27); 3. Nikola Ogrodníková (CzR) 201-11 (61.54) (194-0, 189-5, 201-11, f, f, f) (59.14, 57.74, 61.54, f, f, f); 4. Barbora Špotáková (CzR) 201-6 (61.43); 5. Līna Mūze (Lat) 197-5 (60.18); 6. Maria Andrejczyk (Pol) 171-7 (52.30).