Berlin IWC — Semenya’s Assault On Kilo Record Falls Short

Denied the fastest 1000 time ever, Caster Semenya did take the yearly lead with her 2:30.70. (GLADYS CHAI/ASVOM AGENCY)

Berlin, Germany, September 02—Running her way, without a rabbit and imperiously alone out front, Caster Semenya attacked the 1000 World Record at the Berlin IWC. She came up short but nevertheless knocked 0.31 off her PR set at the Rabat DL in July with a 2:30.70 clocking that lifted her a spot to No. 5 on the all-time world list.

Eschewing pacemaking—which she’d had in Rabat, where Chrishuna Williams led through 400 in 59.55—the versatile South African rolled through her first 200 under 30 seconds and finished her first lap in 59.51. Whereas Russian Svetlana Masterkova had a race on her hands with then-WR holder Maria Mutola when she cut the standard to 2:28.98 at Brussels way back in ’96, Semenya for now runs in a class apart. Covering 200–600 under 62 seconds, at 2:01.07 she found herself down to Masterkova’s en route 800 figure of 2:00.44 but up on her Rabat split (2:01.84) here. Even for an athlete with Semenya’s recently established sub-50 pedigree over 400, after 2 laps of solitary effort the 27.90 final 200 needed for the record was a fast finish too far and she came away instead with the No. 7 all-time performance. (Continues below)

She did it just 3 days after securing her third-straight DL 800 crown apparently unflustered by an initial getaway that saw the field called back to the line for a restart. “It was a great race, but I was tiring a little bit because I was leading the entire time,” Semenya said. “I am very happy with the time. The crowd was fantastic, the meeting and the stadium are amazing.”

For those who savor close competition, several other races delivered versus the price of admission. From the American perspective Colleen Quigley’s steeplechase win, which lifted her past Jenny Simpson to. No. 3 on the U.S. all-time list, stood out. In just her second barrier race of the season, the 25-year-old Bowerman TC athlete took over from the second rabbit with 3 laps to run and began to push. Kenyan Daisy Jepkemei pegged herself at Quigley’s heels over the last 2 circuits until the American surged hard toward the final water jump and broke away. Had further challenges come Quigley likely had an answer as she visibly dug deeper for her sprint from the last barrier to the line, which she crossed in 9:10.27 to Jepkemei’s 9:14.66. The mark improved Quigley’s PR from this meet last year by 5.70 and set her behind only Bowerman teammate Courtney Frerichs and Emma Coburn on the U.S. ATL.

For the local fans, German discus hero Robert Harting, who won the first of his three world titles here in Berlin in ’09, was the star attraction in the last competition of his career. The meet was promoted as “Der Letzte Schrei,” the last scream, for the’12 Olympic champ famous for singlet-ripping victory celebrations and known to his adoring following as “Shaggy.” An open-top double-decker bus full of raucous Harting fans was positioned near the discus ring, a Shepard Fairey-reminiscent giant poster of the thrower covered a huge swath of endzone seats.

Harting, pre-awarded the final throw of the comp regardless of the order, progressed through his series landing his fair throws on the right side of the sector, and as at the ’09 Worlds hit his best of the night, 213-1 (64.95), on his last. His second-best mark of the season, it wasn’t enough to surpass the 215-5 (65.67) of younger brother and reigning Olympic champ Christoph. It pleased the crowd, though, elicited tears in the stands, and LeBron James looked on from a VIP seat and bestowed a Lakers jersey upon the German legend. Does Harting harbor hoop dreams like Bolt’s soccer reverie? Not likely but it’s obvious that he’ll be fondly remembered.

Germans swept the throws program. Rio javelin champ Thomas Röhler won as he had 3 weeks prior at the Euro Champs, this time with 283-9 (86.50) as DL titlist Andreas Hofmann placed 3rd (279-2/85.09). In the women’s shot Christina Schwanitz (63-2/19.25) turned back Paulina Guba (60-11½/18.58), the Pole who earlier this summer snapped her Euro Champs string at two straight.

Miler Timothy Cheruiyot, undefeated in ’18 DL races, tacked on a 3:32.37 win over 1500 here to wrap his year. With his hunched, forward-leaning form, Cheruiyot grabbed the lead on the penultimate homestretch, repelled a challenge from Ferguson Cheruiyot (no apparent relation), stealing one sideward glance at his rival in the last straight and booked the win by 0.84.

The women’s mile may not have pleased German fans but served up an entertaining last lap. Local fave Konstanze Klosterhalfen led at the bell. American Alexa Efraimson passed her mid-backstretch and led into the final curve, but on the bend diminutive Marta Pen Freitas, an NCAA champ while at Mississippi State, dashed from 4th on the inside and entering the straight cut between Efraimson and the fading Klosterhalfen to an outside path to victory in 4:22.45. A split-second later in the crowded pack Katie Mackey appeared to clip the heel of Kate Grace. Mackey fell hard while Grace kicked up to 2nd in 4:23.23.

A tight women’s 100H went to Christina Manning. The American got out in front and held onto the lead against ’17 Worlds bronze medalist Pamela Dutkiewicz 12.72–12.73. Cindy Roleder, the other German WC medalist (’15 silver) in the field, lagged at the start but roared up to 3rd (12.77) at the end.


BERLIN IWC MEN’S RESULTS

IAAF World Challenge; ISTAF, Berlin, Germany, September 02—

100(0.1): 1. Tyquendo Tracey (Jam) 10.05; 2. Alonso Edward (Pan) 10.08; 3. Isiah Young (US) 10.15; 4. Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (GB) 10.25; 5. Patrick Domogala (Ger) 10.33; 6. Ramil Guliyev (Tur) 10.36; 7. Kevin Kranz (Ger) 10.40; 8. Kim Collins (StK) 10.45.

1500: 1. Timothy Cheruiyot (Ken) 3:32.37 (2:52.62); 2. Ferguson Cheruiyot (Ken) 3:33.21 PR; 3. Ismael Debjani (Bel) 3:34.40; 4. Bethwel Birgen (Ken) 3:34.60; 5. Ryan Gregson (Aus) 3:34.89; 6. Abdelaati Iguider (Mor) 3:35.12; 7. Nick Willis (NZ) 3:35.25; 8. Cornelius Tuwei (Ken) 3:35.72 PR; 9. Aman Wote (Eth) 3:36.84; 10. George Manangoi (Ken) 3:37.85; 11. Simon Denissel (Fra) 3:38.17; 12. Marius Probst (Ger) 3:39.94;… rabbit—Jackson Kivuva (Ken) 56.35, 1:55.12.

110H(0.9): 1. Orlando Ortega (Spa) 13.15; 2. Freddie Crittenden (US) 13.31; 3. Pascal Martinot-Lagarde (Fra) 13.38; 4. Ronald Levy (Jam) 13.47;5. Gregor Traber (Ger) 13.52; 6. Shane Brathwaite (Bar) 13.63; 7. Balázs Baji (Hun) 13.67; 8. Erik Balnuweit (Ger) 13.76; 9. Alexander John (Ger) 14.11.

Field Events

HJ: 1. Maksim Nedasekau (Blr) 7-6½ (2.30); 2. Mateusz Przybylko (Ger) 7-5¾ (2.28); 3. Eike Onnen (Ger) 7-4¼ (2.24); 4. Tobias Potye (Ger) 7-4¼; 5. Douwe Amels (Neth) 7-4¼; 6. Andrii Protsenko (Ukr) 7-2½ (2.20); 7. Ilya Ivanyuk (Rus) 7-2½; 8. Raúl Spank (Ger) 7-½ (2.15).

DT: 1. Christoph Harting (Ger) 215-5 (65.67); 2. Robert Harting (Ger) 213-1 (64.95) (final meet of career); 3. Martin Wierig (Ger) 208-10 (63.67); 4. Robert Urbanek (Pol) 207-4 (63.20); 5. Gerd Kanter (Est) 204-7 (62.37); 6. Hannes Kirchler (Ita) 197-8 (60.26); 7. Piotr Małachowski (Pol) 197-7 (60.23); 8. Daniel Jasinski (Ger) 191-2 (58.27).

JT: 1. Thomas Röhler (Ger) 283-9 (86.50); 2. Julian Weber (Ger) 280-8 (85.54); 3. Andreas Hofmann (Ger) 279-2 (85.09); 4. Magnus Kirt (Est) 274-11 (83.79); 5. Andrian Mardare (Mol) 264-11 (80.76); 6. Pavel Mialeshka (Blr) 245-10 (74.93); 7. Rolands Štrobinders (Lat) 243-4 (74.18); 8. Marcin Krukowski (Pol) 243-4 (74.16).

BERLIN IWC WOMEN’S RESULTS

100(-0.3): 1. Marie Josée Ta Lou (CI) 11.08; 2. Michelle-Lee Ahye (Tri) 11.13; 3. Gina Lückenkemper (Ger) 11.18; 4. Daryll Neita (GB) 11.24; 5. Dezerea Bryant (US) 11.29; 6. Kerron Stewart (Jam) 11.37; 7. Jamile Samuel (Neth) 11.38.

1000: 1. Caster Semenya (SA) 2:30.70 NR (WL) (5, 7 W) (59.51, 61.56 [2:01.07], 29.63);

2. Halimah Nakaayi (Uga) 2:34.88 PR; 3. Nelly Jepkosgei (Ken) 2:35.30 PR; 4. Jemma Reekie (GB) 2:37.25; 5. Olha Lyakhova (Ukr) 2:37.46 PR; 6. Laura Weightman (GB) 2:37.56 PR; 7. Noélie Yarigo (Ben) 2:38.61 PR; 8. Stephanie Brown (US) 2:38.70 PR; 9. Christina Hering (Ger) 2:44.60; 10. Charlene Lipsey (US) 2:45.39 PR.

Mile: 1. Marta Pen (Por) 4:22.45 PR; 2. Kate Grace (US) 4:23.23; 3. Konstanze Klosterhalfen (Ger) 4:24.27 PR (3:18.18); 4. Alexa Efraimson (US) 4:24.82 PR (11, x A); 5. Eilish McColgan (GB) 4:25.07 PR; 6. Steph Twell (GB) 4:26.05; 7. Ciara Mageean (Ire) 4:26.75; 8. Renata Pliś (Pol) 4:28.36; 9. Katie Mackey (US) 4:29.81; 10. Sara Vaughn (US) 4:40.42 (fell);… rabbit—Darya Barysevich (Blr) (64.60, 65.76 [2:10.36]).

St: 1. Colleen Quigley (US) 9:10.27 PR (3, x A) (6:11.53);

2. Daisy Jepkemei (Ken) 9:14.66; 3. Genevieve LaCaze (Aus) 9:23.69; 4. Maruša Mišmaš (Slo) 9:28.61 NR; 5. Fancy Cherono (Ken) 9:32.85; 6. Ophélie Claude-Boxberger (Fra) 9:33.47; 7. Viktória Gyürkés (Hun) 9:35.42 PR;… rabbit—Caroline Chepkurui (Ken) (2:27.45).

100H(0.4): 1. Christina Manning (US) 12.72; 2. Pamela Dutkiewicz (Ger) 12.73; 3. Cindy Roleder (Ger) 12.77; 4. Elvira Herman (Blr) 12.90; 5. Dawn Harper Nelson (US) 12.94; 6. Nadine Hildebrand (Ger) 12.97; 7. Ricarda Lobe (Ger) 13.05; 8. Eefje Boons (Neth) 13.28; 9. Karolina Kołeczek (Pol) 13.47.

4 x 100: 1. Germany 42.98 (Lisa Marie Kwayie, Alexandra Burghardt, Jessica-Bianca Wessolly, Gina Lückenkemper); 2. Great Britain 43.19; 3. Switzerland 43.35; 4. Netherlands 43.57.

Field Events

LJ: 1. Brooke Stratton (Aus) 22-¼ (6.71); 2. Nastassia Mironchyk-Ivanova (Blr) 21-10 (6.65); 3. Malaika Mihambo (Ger) 21-9 (6.63); 4. Ese Brume (Ngr) 21-7¼ (6.58); 5. Alexandra Wester (Ger) 21-3¼ (6.48); 6. Juliet Itoya (Spa) 21-2½ (6.46); 7. Julia Gerter (Ger) 21-1½ (6.44); 8. Alina Rotaru (Rom) 20-7¾ (6.29); 9. Shara Proctor (GB) 20-6¼ (6.25); 10. Christabel Nettey (Can) 20-5 (6.22); 11. Jazmin Sawyers (GB) 20-4¼ (6.20).

TJ: 1. Kim Williams (Jam) 47-3 (14.40); 2. Paraskeví Papahrístou (Gre) 46-9 (14.25); 3. Neele Eckhardt (Ger) 46-¾ (14.04); 4. Rouguy Diallo (Fra) 46-¾ (14.04); 5. Kristin Gierisch (Ger) 46-¾ (14.04); 6. Gabriela Petrova (Bul) 45-9 (13.94); 7. Susana Costa (Por) 44-4 (13.51); 8. Jeanine Assani Issouf (Fra) 44-3½ (13.50).

SP: 1. Christina Schwanitz (Ger) 63-2 (19.25); 2. Paulina Guba (Pol) 60-11½ (18.58); 3. Sara Gambetta (Ger) 60-5¾ (18.43); 4. Fanny Roos (Swe) 60-5¼ (18.42); 5. Melissa Boekelman (Neth) 59-2¾ (18.05); 6. Raven Saunders (US) 59-2¾ (18.05); 7. Dimitriana Surdu (Mol) 57-7½ (17.56); 8. Klaudia Kardasz (Pol) 54-8 (16.66).

JT: 1. Kelsey Barber (Aus) 205-8 (62.70); 2. Christin Hussong (Ger) 201-9 (61.51); 3. Nikola Ogrodníková (CzR) 198-0 (60.35);

4. Martina Ratej (Slo) 187-5 (57.14); 5. Līna Mūze (Lat) 185-11 (56.66); 6. Carolin Schäfer (Ger) 170-2 (51.87).