Isinbayeva (4.95m), Bekele (8.04,34) Set WR's

Story written by Eric

In her 2008 debut, Yelena Isinbayeva, 25, raised her own World record indoors to 4.95m today at the Pole Vault Stars meeting in Donetsk, Ukraine, and won a $50.000 bonus for eclipsing the top mark ever achieved indoors.

Isinbayeva, the reigning IAAF World Indoor Champion, added two centimetres to the previous indoor mark she set one year ago at the same venue, and won by 13 centimetres over teammate Yuliya Golubchikova, who finished second with a 4.72m clearance. Poland's Monika Pyrek placed third with a 4.67m vault.

Isinbayeva has now faced Golubchikova 20 times, and has gotten the better of her rival on each of those occasions - the final 13 coming as victories. Pyrek, the 2003 IAAF World Indoor bronze medallist (4.45m), has 11 victories in 63 competitions against Isinbayeva, and has not defeated her since winning the 2006 DN Galan in Stockholm.

This was the third-consecutive year in which Isinbayeva, who has leaped a world record of 5.01m outdoors, broke the indoor mark in Donetsk. Isinbayeva jumped 4.93m in Donetsk last year, and 4.91m in 2006.

Isinbayeva's winning mark today was her 22nd world record in the pole vault and was her first personal-best mark set in 12 months and 17 competitions. She also managed to clear 4.70m or higher for the 53rd time in her career. Isinbayeva had not competed since 2007-October-3 when she vaulted to a firsts-place 4.80m victory in Daegu, Korea.

Isinbayeva, who also is the reigning Olympic, World and European champion, has a 23-finals win-streak and has set world indoor records at least once during the past five seasons. She has been pre-selected to represent Russia at next month's IAAF World Indoor Championships in Valencia, where she will defend the title she won two years ago in Moscow.

Next up for the wealthy Russian is a stop in St. Petersburg on Monday to participate in the 2008 Laureus Awards, where the popular Russian will learn if she has been selected Sportswoman of the Year.

Justine Henin (Belgium, Tennis), Carolina Klüft (Sweden, Athletics), Libby Lenton (Australia, Swimming), Marta (Brazil, Football) and Lorena Ochoa (Mexico, Golf) are the other nominated stars up for the award.

Sergey Bubka, who holds the men's indoor and outdoor pole vault records and put on the meet, was on hand to witness Isinbayeva's record feat. Bubka set the still-standing world indoor mark of 6.15m in Donetsk in 1993. Bubka will also be in attendance Monday at the Laureus award show.


Birmingham, England -- Kenenisa Bekele, holder of four middle- and long-distance world records, struck again today at the Norwich Union indoor Grand Prix meeting, running two miles in 8 minutes 4.34 seconds, setting his third record at the English indoor venue.

Bekele, who earned a $30.000 bounty for breaking Haile Gebrselassie's indoor mark by a scant 0,34 seconds, was challenged by Paul Koech, the 2007 IAAF World Outdoor steeplechase champion, throughout the final mile until Bekele pulled away on the backstretch of the final lap.

Koech, who has a lifetime best of 7.33,93 outdoors in the 3.000m, ran to a new national Kenyan record of 8.06,48 in finishing second, with Abraham Chebii of Kenya finishing third in a personal-best time of 8.13,28.

Bekele and Koech lined themselves up to make it a 1-2 race following the final rabbit through the 1.600m mark, covered in 4 minutes 0,58 seconds. Bekele then assumed the pacing duties over his stalking challenger at the 2.000m mark, a split which he covered in 5.00,61. Koech appeared to bide his time as he sat back in second when Bekele put in a 59,8-second quarter split to break open the race.

Koech appeared to find a reprieve when Bekele slowed during the next 200m segment and fell off the blistering pace following a 62,9 split leading up to 2.800m, but the Kenyan finally felt the Ethiopian's pace's too much to handle once the pair hit the 3.000m marker in 7.34 -- one second off of Koech's personal best.

Bekele has done particularly well in Birmingham, having run a world record in the 2.000m (4.49,99) last season, and setting the current indoor 5.000m record (12.49,60) there in 2004.

Bekele made a valiant attempt in 2006 to break Gebrselassie's 2-mile world record -- which was also the Ethiopian national record, but fell 0,43 seconds short.

The 2008 indoor season is proving to be a highly competitive one leading up to the Olympic Games, with no less than four world records set within the past six days.

Select results from Birmingham:
Full results

Kenenisa BEKELE ETH 8:04.35

Paul KOECH KEN 8:06.48

Abraham CHEBII KEN 8:13.28

Markos GENETI ETH 8:16.49

Bekana DABA ETH 8:18.92

Mo FARAH GBR 8:20.95

Nick MCCORMICK GBR 8:26.44

Erik SJOQVIST SWE 8:36.74

Francisco ESPANA ESP 8:43.31

Adam BOWDEN GBR 8:47.57




Split Times
(2:30.95) 5:00.61
(2:33.99) 7:34.60
(29.75) 8:04.35

Track Agents Hope to Curb "Serious" Offenders

Story written by Eric

The Association of Athletics Managers (AAM) agreed in November 2007 that it would not represent any track and field athlete who tests positive for -- and is convicted of -- a doping violation which penalises the athlete for two or more years.

It was a hard stance taken against cheats, but a decisive one which sends a clear message to athletes: Doing the crime equals doing the time, but forgiveness won't come by way of powerful men in charge of securing placements in meets when those fallen athletes return.

And, as it turns out, many meets in Europe won't accept those athletes, either.

The agent initiative, which was signed 2007-November-9, has gathered momentum with 30 members representing virtually every high-profile athlete across the globe -- athletes who won 31 individual Gold Medals in the Athens Olympics four years ago.

The AAM's goal is to improve the professional status of the sport of athletics on a worldwide basis, and, in having signed a pact inclusive of the top agents, it believes it will have better opportunity to police and license managers and agents.

According to Mark Wetmore, who works at Global Athletics and Marketing managing about 70 track and field athletes from around the world -- including triple 2007 IAAF World Outdoor champion Tyson Gay, agents came together to form the disciplinary committee in a concerted attempt to take a stand in the sport.

"We have to help clean up our sport in any way we can. We're not helping these things if athletes can get another agent, another manager. We shouldn't support it in any way," he stated to the Boston Globe on 2008-Jaunary-27.

Other reknowned agents who have signed on the dotted line include Emmanuel Hudson, whose track club, HSI, includes a former banned athlete, Torri Edwards; Renaldo Nehemiah, whose star client has been banned Olympic 100m champion Justin Gatlin; and John Regis, who worked with Dwain Chambers -- a former BALCO client who's currently involved in an upheaval with UK Athletics in Great Britain.

Wetmore has also had one client fall prey to the drug game, sprinter Aziz Zakari.

Said Wetmore, who is also 110m hurdle world-record holder Liu Xiang's agent, to The Independent:

"You hear such sweeping statements being made about the sport – that doping is all the fault of the coaches, or of the agents – and we wanted to make it clear to people that we didn't have anything to do with it. We take this issue very seriously and we feel we have to make a stand. I think you are seeing groups independently coming to the same conclusions right now. The meeting promoters and the agents are now shoulder-to-shoulder against doping."

The Euromeetings group, whose members conduct track-and-field meets here on the European circuit, have also made a pact to refuse entry to current or future athletes convicted of serious doping violations -- those whose violations require a two- or more year banishment.

The Euromeetings are headed by president Rajne Soderberg, who also serves as meeting director of the DN Galan event in Stockholm.

Chambers failed a test for THG -- an undetectable steroid issued by Victor Conte's BALCO laboratories in California, USA -- in 2003, and later admitted candidly that he had taken steroids for a longer period of time than that for which he had been caught.

The Euromeetings group is comprised of quite a few meeting arrangers who had payed Chambers to compete at their track meets whilst he was a doped athlete, and who have requested that they be payed back the money he in essense stole whilst falsely presenting himself as a clean athlete.

He returned to full-time athletics competition in 2006 following his 24-month ban, and helped Great Britain secure a gold medal in the 4x100m relay down in Göteborg at the EAA European Outdoor Championships that August. Chambers then attempted to pursue a dream of playing in the NFL, was unsuccessful, and then decided to return to the track.

UK Athletics' row with Chambers stems from Chambers not having been on the active drug testing programme during his time spent away from the sport in 2007, and state they can not assure he is a clean athlete. Chambers has been tested since his return to competition this indoor season, but the stated effects of Conte's drugs are said to have an effect life of up to two years.

The Euromeetings group may flex their arms and prohibit Chambers from competing in their events -- much like they have with blocking his entry at today's on-going Norwich Union Grand Prix meet in Birmingham. In doing so, however, they effectively shoot themselves in the foot, as a percentage of money Chambers earns can be garnished and used toward repayment to them.

One athlete, American hurdler Damu Cherry, has already felt the backlash resulting from a previous ban, and was removed from the starting list at the Olso Golden League meeting when Daniel Wessfeldt, another prominent agent who signed the agreement, had her removed.


Can Conte Clean Up Athletics?

Story written by Eric

Victor Conte has worn a lot of hats in his professional life, but nothing like the larger than life one he's trying on at newspaper outlets near you.

Conte has also worn several labels across his chest of late, with the latest outing another peculiar one in which the former bass guitarist was seen bearing the letter "S" whilst seated with long-time adversary Dick Pound, the former head of WADA.

Conte, a former musician who turned into an overnight nutritionist, has been periodically called a liar, a cheat, a serpent and a thief by some very grown-up men within the United States government who wield powerful job titles and appear fuelled by a supply of natural, non-synthetic testosterone.

That's the mild version for the PG-13 readers.

I doubt Conte's life ambitions are to demonstrate how well he can squirm on his belly -- especially with his company, SNAC, raking in considerable amounts of cash and Conte reaping the benefits. So there must be another explanation for the label and hat Conte has been seen wearing with greater frequency over the past six weeks.

Consider that he's also been called a very bad man for luring unsuspecting athletes away from natural hard work and sweat into a life of lies, lies and more lies mixed together with a cover-up or two in an effort to level out a playing field in athletics he believes is littered with illegal drugs.

He's also been labeled self-serving and unappreciative of the spirit of true competition, and has been cast off as a bitter man whose true interests in sport are in plaguing the purity of the Olympic games.

So what does that solid-colored "S" planted above Conte's chest represent?

That "S" jumps out at a person very suddenly and without fail each and every time drugs controversy within athletics sprouts up and every conceivable tie between performance-enhancing drugs is made between an athlete caught for doping and Conte, the brain-child behind one of the most prolific and previously well-kept doping secrets in all of professional sport.

The phenominem occurs as though Conte, 58, has somehow mysteriously become omniscient, and he has been given an elevated, god-like status as a result of it.

Conte gets the call when a Dwain Chambers-type returns from a drug ban -- from using Conte's products, nonetheless, and gets on a black list rather than an "A" list within European meet organizers' athletics events.

He chimes in when a Marion Jones quacks for mercy in a courtroom only to be ushered off to six months of day-care 100 miles from her home instead of a slap on the wrists and probation.

It seems every time a track athlete is caught up in a moment of controversy and drugs are involved, Conte has his nose in everyone else's business but his own -- unless shedding light on the drug problem has become his business.

Conte was jailed in 2003 for improprieties relating from his illegal and immensely popular BALCO dealings with sports stars ranging from major league baseball players to track and field athletes, and professional cyclists to NFL stars.

He spent a total of eight months under lock and key -- four at a minimum-security prison camp, and four home-confined.

He stated to journalists after Judge Susan Illston sentenced him that he had hoped he could turn around the incredible amount of wrongdoing into positives for athletes and the fans who watch them compete, and even asked the current sitting President of the United States of America, George W. Bush, to intervene on his behalf so that Conte could make a concerted effort to help America send a "clean" team to Athens to compete in the Olympic Games.

"It is said that I have become the poster child for the wrongdoing in Olympic as well as professional sports," he said outside the court. "Ironically, I find myself as someone qualified to help solve this problem plaguing sports, precisely because I've been a major contributor to the controversy."

So does that make Conte, who has since moved on from BALCO and become a fixture within the sport, a savior, a sinner or a saint?

Try Superman.

Among the many labels Conte has had pegged on to his character, he has also been labeled an opportunist -- a man who rarely misses a step or a beat when occasion lends itself for him to capitalize and make good on his talent to sell.

Perhaps that is what Conte is now doing to whoever will sit and listen, namely selling them on a similar notion he asked former athletes to purchase for a price -- one which saw many of them lose honors, prizes and esteem once they were discovered to have cheated.

Conte's pitch today, however, isn't that one must cheat to win, rather that the current state of testing for performance-enhancing drugs is unacceptable, because the testers are completely off key in their pursuit of the cheaters.

Track and field is suffering a critical blow with a public which believes just what people like Conte are stating, and what scribes are printing, namely that superstar athletes compete dirty and will continue to do so until someone steps up to their calling and helps turn over all the stones where the athletes, their coaches and their distributors are hiding their stashes.

Conte believes he is just the one for the job, supported by the following story.

Conte has been an eyewitness not only to the effect drugs can have on athletes, but has keen experience hiding out and waiting for time to pass on, for drugs to pass through, and for athletes to pass tests over and over and over again to their heart's content and to his own personal satisfaction with helping enable the deception to have remained covered.

Conte made the following remark recently when Chambers recently made news for an over-blown story, which has embarrassed UK Athletics and the British Olympic Association.

"I still think there is rampant use of drugs out there. It can be cleaned up but they have to use people from the other side, like Dwain and myself, and use the knowledge we've gained. Then, when athletes truly believe it is much more difficult to circumvent the testing, you'll see far more performances by athletes who are doing it with hard work as opposed to chemical substances."

Indeed, athletes and coaches, trainers and even agents do know where the minefields are, and they know which steps must be taken in order to successfully navigate through them. Is it possible that such persons, working on their own initiative following drug bans, could be of use to anti-doping organizations in their fight to stamp out drugs in sport?

Perhaps they can, but in Chambers' case, his federation believes it can be done outside of the track and away from the field.

Is it likely that Conte, on the other hand, who doesn't lace up spikes to sprint down a track at breath-taking speeds, can be Superman in this story and help the World Anti-Doping Agency and the United States Anti-Doping Agency run faster than a speeding cheat and leap tall buildings to catch up to them?

Pound, who had ridiculed Conte in the past for littering the sport with druggies and copping out by not testifying in his trial about his affairs, met with Conte on 2007-December-7 to shed light on such matters.

According to both parties involved, the meeting they had was productive, and both men looked forward to sharing more as time elapsed and cards began to fall into place.

Conte has helped athletes cheat, and he has helped those athletes cover up their sins against the sport. He is a convicted criminal with a felony record, and has had his life temporarily interrupted by the Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Prisons and the California Corrections, Probation Department.

He is also a man who says he is sitting on a wealth of important information, and he seems willing and ready to spread his sermon to whoever has the time, patience and willingness to listen.

Will track and field, which is scratching for respect, find ties with Victor Conte which positively bind and won't snap?

Stay tuned to find out.


Susanna Kallur Nabs 18-Year-Old World Indoor 60m Hurdles Record

Story written by Eric

Sweden's Susanna Kallur had dashed around Europe flirting with record performances over the past two weeks, and had tasted history eight days ago when she came within three one-hundreds of a second from tying an aged record set in a very conspicuous time frame within the sport.

The faster she sprinted over hurdles from a standing start to a finish 60 metres down a synthetic track, the more unavoidable the question became.

Each obligatory post-race interview was a potential nirvana for journalists attempting to draw forth an answer to an obvious question Susanna didn't want to consider, and instead, Susanna would carry on calmly talking about mechanics of her race which needed adjusting...how her start needed improvement.

She appeared dazed, perhaps confused they thought. Perhaps she needed some time to collect herself, for surely she'd want to talk about how much she was demolishing her competitors and getting closer to knocking off a Russian-who-became-a-Swede from history's record books.

Susanna had time to collect herself during practice sessions following her short travels around England, Sweden and Germany where she'd gone through the same motions of packing down her equipment, flying to her destination, checking into her hotel, rising early to eat, relaxing before the storm she'd later create, packing everything back down and finally checking out of her hotel.

Meet after meet -- at Norwich Union, Samsung Galan and Sparkassan -- the pool of journalists waiting in the mixed zone for an interview with Kallur would grow exponentially.

"Sanna", as she is known here in Sweden, just couldn't get her hands around why she was in such high demand. It was only 60 metres of hurdling, she thought. She knew she was quite quick, but there was always an area to improve on. The "perfect" race, she thought, may possibly bring her closer to an 18-year-old world record, but it wasn't something she got caught up in.

The real deal, she'd state, was outdoors in the fresh air where grit, gumption, determination and power all wrapped up into controlled energy would be tested over a full flight of hurdles 100m from the starting line.

But this was indoors, she was running fast, and first things were first.

Though she'll tell you otherwise, Sanna Kallur is used to being in the spotlight. She was nearly awarded Sweden's sportsperson of the year award for the second consecutive year last month, losing out to footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic. She knows pressure and has a great resolve when it comes to warding off unwanted thoughts and wasting both time and energy wondering about things which had not yet happened.

The world record would come if it was so destined, she'd reason.

Sanna wanted to live in the "now", not the future. The scribes writing for their daily newspapers and weekly magasines didn't get the message, however, and the questions would get more direct and less comfortable for Sanna before and after each subsequent competition.

Susanna was sitting on a gold mine, and they knew it. She pretended as well as she could that she didn't notice how incredibly close she was to making her little country of 9 million proud by becoming the second athlete in three years to set a world indoor record. Kajsa Bergqvist, who retired last month, set the world indoor high jump record of 2,08 metres in Arnstadt, Germany on February 4, 2006.

There is something magical about Germany, and Sanna got a good taste of that when she stopped the timing device 7,72 seconds after it fired in Stuttgart.

There was no denying her place in history following that race, as she elevated her status and position in the sport to the second-highest place on the all-time list -- 0,03 seconds behind Russian Lyudmila Narozhilenko's 7,69 clocking in Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 1990, and one hundredth of a second ahead of Narozhilenko's Swedish record time of 7,73 set when she became a Swede and had changed her name to Lyudmila Engquist.

Susanna Kallur, daughter of an NHL hockey star with four Stanley Cups to his name, was setting herself up to make history, even if she felt the time wasn't yet right to touch a record all the greats in the 18 years preceding her had been unable to tie or surpass. The outdoor record-holder couldn't touch the mark.

The American record-holder, who was known for her foot speed, couldn't, either.

Engquist's mark was becoming a permanent fixture in the books, but not one which her adopted country wanted to see remain as word of her post-career drugs-testing failure turned the love-love relationship with her into one which pushed her far from the country with thoughts of committing suicide for letting it down.

Then Sanna headed back to Germany earlier this week to withdraw against her recent deposit into her training bank, and make an effort to run fast on a good surface. World record thoughts were still outside of her realm of thinking, she'd state, and she was simply there in Karlsruhe to have fun and run her best.

This time when journalists -- still armed with cameras and notepads -- were to pop up to ask about her training, she'd grant one of them an opportunity to film her practice indoors on Wednesday in a break from Sanna's normal routine. Perhaps she sensed the inevitable was in the air, and she simply wanted to show the world that she was as average and normal as the next athlete.

Nevertheless, Susanna Kallur, twin sister to Jenny Kallur, lined up to race late this afternoon at the BW Bank Meeting in Karlsruhe in a heat to determine which athletes would compose the final field at the end of the meet.

She remained set in her blocks when the gun sounded, and eased into the final with the fastest time of the day, 7,78 seconds after the gun sounded.

Chatter had filled the stadium earlier in the day as talk about a world-record attempt had permeated throughout the media out to the public, with the journalists doing most of the talking as Sanna had left it up to them to make prognostications about speed, charts and climbs up all-time lists.

She did later admit that the record had begun itching between the ears, so-to-speak, but she'd not dwell on it; she didn't want to chase times and marks, as doing so had previously caused her to get nervous and the goals to remain elusive.

By the time the eight women-strong final would take place, at 16.42 Central European Time, nearly every resident in Sweden had their televisions tuned to Eurosport or had their radios turned on to a newscast either waiting to watch history unfold literally in the blink of an eye, or to be interrupted from milking cows and shoveling snow if only for a minute to let out a loud "yes!"

American Lolo Jones broke the 19-year-old meet record with a 7,87 run in the first heat. Sanna, blocking out the distractions and focussed on her own plan, erupted for a 7,78 in the following heat.

An entire stadium erupted in cheer when the gun sounded. Sanna Kallur had a decent reaction to the gun and started off quickly toward the first hurdle. She flew over all of the barriers between the start and the finish tape, and, with her lean at the finish, flew through a barrier which had stood since Sanna was but seven years old.

The clock stopped at 7,68 seconds -- a time 1/100th of a second faster than the previous world-record, and the first time Sanna had broken the 7,80-second barrier.

Sanna stared at the clock a moment, not knowing if the time would be adjusted up or down, as often occurs when the official time is given.

When the official time was announced, Sanna Kallur, who turns 27 in five days, realised she had broken the world record, and was immediately congratulated by Damu Cherry, an athlete who had been previously banned for two years for steroids abuse. Sanna didn't appear enthused to embrace the controversial hurdler, but shook her hand, nonetheless.

Then she took her laps of honour in front of a class of people who had assembled for the possibility that they again would witness history on German soil.

Jones placed second in 7,77 seconds, the 10th-fastest ever recorded. So loaded was the field that six of the seven finishers set new personal bests in the race.

That Sanna would catch and pass a ghost of the sport's past in her fourth meet of the season was not remotely in her thoughts before the race began, and her reaction to her time and place in history says it all.

"This is absolutely unbelievable," reports the IAAF. "I can’t put my feelings into words. In comparison with my race last week in Stuttgart, today was much better."

Engquist would later send her congratulations to Sanna through a message she sent to Sportbladet, the sports division at tabloid newspaper Aftonbladet. Sanna also spoke with Jenny Kallur and received an SMS congratulation from Christian Olsson, who has the world indoor triple jump record.

Said Engquist through tabloid newspaper Aftonbladet:

Sanna! An emornously big congratulations for a fantastic and well-deserved record. I wish now that you will be injury-free, for then you will win the Olympics.

Congratulations from my heart! Ludmila.

The 26-year-old had endured a winter's worth of grueling practices in her pursuit of bettering her starts, her technique and her overall strength.

Sanna's race was the third time this indoor season that she has set a new persona
l best at this race distance. She concedes that she is strong at this distance, but the 100m hurdles -- the official Olympic distance -- is where the American hurdlers seem to excel, a fact which doesn't necessarily put her in the driver's seat heading to Beijing in August.

"There are some Americans who have better 100 metres hurdles times than I do. You certainly must consider them ahead of me," she said.

The Olympic Games are still six months down the road, and Sanna Kallur has much remaining on her plate this indoor season, with a date in Birmingham planned for Saturday.

"I like Birmingham", Sanna told Aftonbladet reporters. "They have good coffee there."

Indeed they do. Perhaps that was Sanna's best effort at staving off further talks about records and medals.

The Swedish national championships are being held in two weeks in Malmö, and the IAAF World Indoor Championships will take place next month in Valencia. Sanna's world record run tonight, though a phenomenal time, was far from perfect, and she realises there are areas yet to improve.

Time will tell how much more she can improve this indoor season, though her trainer, Karin Torneklint, believes Sanna can run much, much faster both indoors and outdoors in 2008.

The journalists, who flocked to Arlanda Airport in Stockholm when Sanna landed on Monday, believe she can, too.

Sanna's hopes of escaping further question-and-answers sessions disappeared with her entry into the world record books, and it appears as though this has only been the calm before the great storm which occurs once every fourth year, namely the Olympic Games.

Kallur, who has had a winter of injury-free training with her twin sister, Jenny, holds a 12,49 second 100m hurdles best outdoors - a mark she also achieved with her successes in Germany last season in Berlin.

The Swedish national record is held by Engquist, who twice ran 12,47.

Kallur was injured for three months leading up to the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, and did not make it past the semi-finals.

She also hopes to improve on her fourth-place finish from last season's IAAF World Outdoor Championships 100m hurdles final - a race she was winning until American Michelle Perry, the eventual winner, interfered with Kallur over the final hurdle and impeded Kallur's finishing drive.

Perry is skipping the 2008 indoor season in favour warm-weather training in Australia's summer season.

The Kallur twins are no strangers to handling success. Their father Anders Kallur, the four-time Stanley Cup winner with the New York Islanders, is their manager.

Jenny Kallur, who was born four minutes before Sanna, is skipping the 2008 indoor season.

International Indoor Meeting, Karlsruhe

Women's 60m Hurdle Results:

1 KALLUR, SUSANNA SWE WR 7,68 (reaction: 0,162)
2 JONES, Lolo USA PB 7.77 (0,155)
3 CHERRY, Damu USA PB 7,89 (0,166)
4 WELLS, Kellie USA =PB 8,00 (0,163)
5 BOBKOVA, Miriam SVK PB 8,04 (0,138)
6 TRYWIANSKA, Aurelia POL SB 8,08 (0,181)
7 VUKICEVIC, Christina NOR PB 8,10 (0,157)
- TEJEDA, Anay CUB DNF (0,164)

Five-fastest indoor 60m hurdle races all-time:

7,68, Susanna Kallur, SWE, Karlsruhe, 2008-02-10
7,69, L. Engquist, RUS, Chelyabinsk, 1990-02-04
7,73, Cornelila Oschkenat, EG, Wien, 1989-02-25
7,74, Jordonka Donkova, BUL, Sofia, 1987-02-14
7,74, Michelle Freeman, JAM, Madrid, 1998-02-03
7,74, Gail Devers, USA, Boston, 2003-03-01

Susanna Kallur's Yearly Bests

1998 8.33i
1999 8.44i
2000 8.10i

2002 8.00i
.......... 200112,74
2003 7.90i
2004 7.88i
2005 7.80i
2006 7.86i
2007 7.84i

2008 7.68i


All-time list source: Peter Larsson

Soboleva Smashes Through in Moscow

Story written by Eric

Yelena Soboleva's string of smashing runs continued today with a stellar world indoor record in the 1.500m during the third and final day of the Russian Indoor Championships in Moscow.

Soboleva, who set the previous world indoor record of 3.58,28 at the Russian Indoor Championships two years ago, knocked 0,23 seconds from her personal best to run her ninth career sub-4 minute 1.500m and win her second event of the week-end -- her third career indoor national title.

Soboleva, who holds lifetime bests outdoors of 3.56,43 in the 1.500m and 4.15,63 in the mile, became only the second athlete in history to record two sub-4.00 clockings indoors. For comparison, the sub-4.00 clocking has been accomplished 226 times outdoors, with 59 of those by a combination of Russian athletes - including seven by Soboleva.

American Regina Jacobs, third on the all-time list, was the first female under four minutes indoors, running 3.59,98 in Boston, USA in 2003. Jacobs was subsequently banned in connection with the 2003 BALCO scandal.

Tatyana Kazankina holds the Russian outdoor national record in 3.52,47 set in 1980.

Soboleva won the women's 800m in a national indoor record time of 1.56,49 on Saturday.

Soboleva, who set a national indoor record in the mile run (4.20,21) on 27-January, is now the fastest Russian ever indoors at the 800m, 1.500m and mile events. Soboleva's 800m is fifth on the all-time world indoor list and is a mere 0,67 seconds from the world indoor record.

Slovenian Jolanda Ceplak, who is currently facing a drug suspension, set the world indoor record of 1.55,82 six years ago in Wien - a race she won by defeating Austria's Stephanie Graf by a scintillating 0,03 seconds.

Soboleva, 25, won the prestigious 800m on Saturday by more than two seconds up on Natalya Ignatova (1.58,84), who set a personal record of her own in running under the two-minute barrier for the first time.

Marya Savinova and Marya Shapaeva both ran 1.59,71 for third and fourth, respectively, with Shapaeva establishing a new Russian Under-23 national indoor record.

Soboleva ran a very controlled opening two laps of her race, splitting 29,7 for the first 200m, and 28,5 to reach the half-way point in 58,2 - a pace spot-on for a 1.56,4.

Soboleva then peeled off a 28,6 third lap split to reach the 600m mark in 1.26,85, and concluded her historic run with a 29,6 final lap.

Soboleva's 600m en-route time has only been bettered by 10 women in a full 600m race, including Ignatova, who ran a 1.26,53 in Moscow the same evening as Soboleva's national record in the mile.

Soboleva's 57,1 middle 400m split was a testament to her fitness being at top-level, and sent a clear message that her international rivals will be hard-pressed to sprint past her in the 1.500m, which is 700m further and averages five seconds slower per lap.

Yulia Fomenko, the 2006 IAAF World Indoor 1.500m champion, broke her previous personal best by 1,05 seconds, clocking 4.00,21 to finish second. Fomenko became the fourth-fastest indoor runner ever with her effort.

Bronze medalist Yekaterina Martynova, 21, was the second middle-distance runner in as many days to break a Russian Under-23 record, but took the feat one step further than Shapaeva was able to manage on Saturday.

Martynova's time of 4.03,56 was not only the fastest-ever in her age classification in Russia's rich athletics history, but is now the fastest-ever indoor time by a European Under-23 athlete.

Martynova broke onto the international scene two years ago, clocking 2.02,83 indoors for 800m as a 19-year-old. Her previous indoor personal best at 1.500m was a 4.06,37 set 19-January.

Russian Indoor Championships, Moscow
2008-02-08 -- 2008-02-10
Select results:

Yelena Soboleva

Natalia Ignatova

Maria Savinova

Maria Shapaeva

Tatiana Andrianova

Yelena Soboleva

Yulia Fomenko

Yekaterina Martynova