2003 World Championship -

British hurdlers endured mixed fortunes in the crucible of the 2003 World Championships in Paris, with the higher entry standards dictating a very high performance levels from round one. Chris Rawlinson was Britain's only finalist though he was disappointed with his sixth place, but Rob Newton performed credibly finishing 4th in his 110H semi final. There was literal agony for Anthony Borsumato as he crashed out of the 400H semi final, whilst neither Natasha Danvers or Rachel King achieved what they would have hoped for in their respective events.

The finals saw the men's hurdles events dominated by the pre championship favourites, but there were two big surprises in the women's events.

Women's 100m Hurdles

The women's sprint hurdles provide numerous talking points - the biggest being the failure of double Olympic champion Gail Devers to make the final. Despite not having the most text book style, the diminutive American had rarely been let down her technique since falling at the last when leading at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. However here she hit the third hurdle hard and was unable to recover into one of the two automatic qualification places.

In the same semi final Linda Ferga one of the two French women looking to make the final was disqualified under the new IAAF rules much to the disappointment of the partisan crowd.

All this seemingly left the way clear for Jamaican world leader Brigitte Foster to take her first global title, however, Canadian Perditta Felicien made a great start and held off the desperate lunge of the fast finishing Foster to take the title in 12.53, taking 0.14 off her recent best set when winning the B 100H race in the Zurich Weltklasse. Miesha McKelvy redeemed some pride for the USA claiming the bronze medal in 13.67.

Felicen coached by Gary Winckler [who was also behind Tonja Buford Bailey's 1995 World silver medal over 400H in Gothenburg] had earlier this year taken the NCAA title, and in claiming the Paris title also improved the Canadian National record.

British champion Rachel King would have needed to have been at her best to have made it past the first round, but her first round 13.37 placed her only 6th in her heat and was insufficient to qualify.

Women's 100m Hurdles
1
Perdita Felicien CAN
12.53
2
Brigitte Foster JAM
12.57
3
Miesha McKelvy USA
12.67
4
Glory Alozie ESP
12.75
5
Aurelia Trywianska POL
12.75
6
Jenny Adams USA
12.77
7
Patricia Girad FRA
12.83
8
Lacena Golding Clarke JAM
12.87
9
Vonette Dixon JAM
12.87
  wind
-0.2

 

Women's 400m Hurdles

There was an even bigger upset in the women's one lap hurdles with new world record holder Yulia Perchonkina being over hauled in the straight by Jana Pitman and Sandra Glover. Perchonkina had totally dominated her qualification rounds, cruising through both her heat and semi final before unleashing a ferocious start in the final building a near 10 m lead by the crown of the second bend.

However a slight loss of momentum into hurdle eight allowed Pitman to sense an opportunity and she relentlessly realed the Russian in, passing her just off the last hurdle to take her first World senior title in a new personal best of 53.22 - still only just within a second of Perchonkina's recently set new World record, not that the young Australian will care, having shown great focus to execute her own race so well.

Such was the extent of Perchonkina's slowing that Glover too caught her just before the line, to take silver in a season's best 53.65 [to Perchonkina's 53.71] with European Champion Ionela Tirlea fourth in 54.41.

Unfortunately Britain's Natasha Danvers was unable to pursue her quest for a medal into the final. After a rusty looking qualification from the first round, the LA based Shaftsbury Harrier was drawn in the difficult outside lane and paid for a fast first half of the race, breaking at the last hurdle to allow German Heike Meissener to run out with the 4th [and last] qualifying place. However, the 25 year old Briton will surely be able to improve upon her Olympic 8th place from Sydney if she can recapture her mid season form and race rhythm.

Women's 400m Hurdles
1
Jana Pitman AUS
53.22
2
Sandra Glover USA
53.65
3
Yulia Perchonkina RUS
53.71
4
Ionela Tirlea ROM
54.41
5
Tatyana Tereschuk UKR
54.61
6
Andrea Blackett BAR
54.79
7
Heike Meissner GER
55.60
8
Surita Febbraio RSA
55.90

 

 

Men's 100m Hurdles

Allen Johnson duly collected his 4th World Championship title having looked a class above the opposition throughout the event. With Olympic Champion Anier Garcier absent and Colin Jackson retired, Johnson's biggest threat looked to be in the form of Stanislav Ollijars who had beaten him in Zurich. However, the Latvian with his hamstring heavily strapped, pulled up after the third hurdle in his heat.

Fellow American Chris Phillips had looked a potential threat after a 13.26 pb in the first round, but he ended up 5th [and 4th American] in the final as Johnson's training partner Terrence Trammell came through to give coach Curtis Fry a 1-2, with World Junior record holder Xiang Liu just behind in bronze medal position, with Larry Wade in 4th.

Rob Newton performed creditably in his first major senior championship , running 13.62 for second in his heat before clocking 13.60 in the semi final with 13.49 being needed to make the final in a relatively low key event, standard wise.

Johnson admitted that it had not been his best run - and had looked easier in claiming a 13.14 semi final victory- but a trade mark good start ensured that he was never seriously threatened as he surpassed fellow american Greg Fosters three world 110m hurdles title.Notably no European made the final whilst Liu was joined by his compatriot Dongpeng Shi - perhaps a taste of things to come in the run into the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Men's 110m Hurdles
1
Allen Johnson USA
13.12
2
Terrance Tramell USA
13.20
3
Xiang Liu CHN
13.23
4
Larry Wade USA
13.34
5
Chris Phillips USA
13.36
6
Marcio de Souza BRA
13.48
7
Dongpeng Shi CHN
13.55
8
Yoel Hernandez CUB
13.57
  wind
0.3

 

 

Men's 400m Hurdles

Defending World champion Felix Sanchez emphatically defended his title with one of the most impressive performances of the whole championships. Not only was his 47.25 victory a new personal best [improving his own hold on the 7th best performance of all time], but he defeated the field by almost a whole second on a damp late Parisian evening.

Chris Rawlinson came into the championships short of racing fitness after recent injury but progressed automatically through both his heat and semi final, but despite a strong start was unable to move into the medal places and poor last hurdle left him in sixth place just behind training partner Kemel Thompson [Jamaica] who also had a disppointing run.

Behind Sanchez South African Llewellyn Herbert looked set for second till falling at the last leaving Joey Woody [USA] to claim his first global medal in a season's best 48.18 with Periklis Iakovakis just behind in 48.24 for Bronze, having set his third Greek record of the year 48.17 to win his semi final. Olympic 400m 8th placer Danny McFarlane impressed in his first year over the sticks to run 48.30 for 4th.

Although Sanchez remains the only athlete to run below 48 in 2003, the strength of the assembled field was demonstrated form the first round with only two of the automatic qualifiers being required to break 49 seconds. [all but three qualifiers for the 24 man semi finals ran under the 49.20 A standard, only as recently as Seville in 1999 this A standard had been at 49.90.

Anthony Borsumato had safely negotiated the first round with 49.16 just outside his season best and was running well in the semi finals when stretching into the 8th barriers he hit the rail and fell very awkwardly collapsing onto the infield before being stretchered away.

 

Men's 400m Hurdles
1
Felix Sanchez DOM
47.25
2
Joey Woody USA
48.18
3
Periklis Iakovakis GRE
48.24
4
Danny McFarlane JAM
48.30
5
Kemel Thompson JAM
48.61
6
Chris Rawlinson GBR
48.90
7
Mubarak al Nubi QAT
52.62
8
Llewellyn Herbert RSA
72.10

 

 

31 August 2003

 

New Interactive UKHC Forum

...............................

COLIN JACKSON
As his career reached its finale, UKHC spoke to COLIN JACKSON about his advice for the comming generation of sprint hurdlers
................................
Rob Newton 13.36 for 4th on British All Time 110H lists in UKHC Race Promotion at Loughborough
................................

Gary Winckler Coach to Tonja Buford Bailey, seconfd on All time 400H lists looks at the Biomechanics of Sprint Hurdling

...............................

2003 AAA Championship Report- titles for Greaves, Rawlinson, King and Fairs
...............................

 
 

 






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