Korir coasts to glory as injury wrecks Warner’s hopes

August 11, 2022 0 Comments

EUGENE, Oregon-Kenya’s Emmanuel Kipkurui Korir and Pedro Pichardo of Portugal added world titles to their respective Olympic crowns on Saturday, but there was injury heartbreak for Canada’s Damian Warner in the decathlon.,Two other gold medalists from last year’s Tokyo Games had mixed fortunes-India’s Neeraj Chopra had to content himself with silver in the men’s javelin while Dutch runner Sifan Hassan left Eugene medalless after finishing sixth in the women’s 5,000m.,The women’s 4x100m relay final saw the US beat a loaded Jamaican team featuring individual sprint champions Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson, to win gold. In the men’s event, a Canada team anchored by Olympic 200m champion Andre de Grasse stunned the favored US quartet for gold.,Korir produced a trademark kick from 200 meters out to win the men’s 800m in 1 min 43.71 sec, well ahead of second-placed Djamel Sedjati of Algeria and third-placed Marco Arop of Canada.,”I knew there were some guys close behind me in the last 100 meters,” Korir said.,”I was expecting someone to come, but no one did. I never shake my end in training but I do in races. It’s like magic. I have been working for this. It’s been a long wait-I failed in 2017 and 2019 and I made it now.”,Pichardo was imperious in the triple jump, all but tying up competition when he went out to 17.95 meters on his first attempt.,”I opened strongly,” the Cuban-born Pichardo said, adding that he had been mentally focused on the mythical 18-meter mark in a bid to better his two previous silvers.,”My mindset was focused on 18 meters. It did not come out today but, more importantly, I won gold. This world title was elusive to me.”,In the absence of American multiple global medal winner Christian Taylor, world and Olympic bronze medalist Hugues Fabrice Zango of Burkina Faso claimed silver, 40 cm off Pichardo, while China’s Zhu Yaming took bronze.,Warner, also a winner in Tokyo, was in full control of the decathlon after four of the first day’s five events, but he pulled up injured a quarter into the 400m.,He was left lying on the track clutching his left hamstring.,Puerto Rico’s Ayden Owens-Delerme is now installed as the overnight leader, with the second day of action comprising the 110m hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw and 1,500m.,Relay upset,Andre De Grasse anchored Canada to an upset gold medal in the 4x100m relay as the United States quartet once again failed to deliver.,De Grasse-who battled through injury and a second bout of COVID-19 in order to be fit for duty in Eugene-surged home to take the gold for Canada in 37.48 sec at Hayward Field.,Aaron Brown, Jerome Blake and Brendon Rodney put De Grasse in position to streak home for victory as the USA took silver (37.55) and Britain the bronze in (37.83).,De Grasse admitted the Canadian victory on US soil was especially sweet.,”It felt great to do it, to spoil the party for them,” De Grasse said. “There are a lot of Canadian fans out there and it feels like we kind of did it a little bit on home soil.,”We talked about this moment so many times. We came up a little bit short at the Olympics, and we were all like, you know, we could do better.”,The relay gold was also satisfying for De Grasse on a personal level. The Olympic 200m champion had been touch-and-go to participate in the championships after his recent bout of COVID-19.,”It was just bad timing,” De Grasse said. “I mean, I got COVID three weeks before the championship. I didn’t have the energy to do the 200 meters and then of course, I was lingering with a foot injury for like two or three months.”,Even without the injured 100m gold medalist Fred Kerley, the powerful United States quartet had been expected to add another gold to their successful track campaign.,But after a blistering first leg from 2019 100m world champion Christian Coleman, a sluggish first changeover to 200m champion Noah Lyles left the Americans scrambling.,Another poor baton change from third-leg runner Elijah Hall to Marvin Bracy proved costly, and De Grasse was able to hold on.,”Obviously, we wanted to win but we can’t win them all,” Coleman said. “We came home with the best we could.”,No mercy,Grenada’s Peters retained his javelin throw title with a best of 90.54 meters on his sixth and final attempt for victory, having dominated the competition throughout.,”To defend the title is not an easy task. I had to push myself,” Peters said.,”The last attempt, I already knew I was a champion but I was working on my technique in every throw and I finally got it through.”,Olympic champ Chopra took silver with 88.13m, while Czech Jakub Vadlejch claimed bronze (88.09).,There was also no mercy shown in the women’s 5,000m, where Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay surged down the home straight to win in 14:46.29 ahead of Kenya’s Beatrice Chebet and another Ethiopian, Dawit Seyaum.,Olympic champion Hassan could only finish sixth, meaning she will depart Oregon not having made the podium in either the 5,000m or 10,000m.,Hassan produced a stunning 1,500m-10,000m double at the 2019 world championships in Doha before winning 5,000m and 10,000m gold and 1,500m bronze at last year’s Olympics.,But she admitted that she needed seven months out of competition after her exertions.,”I really overworked last year so I wanted to get a break for my mental part because athletics is not only about running but also about motivation,” she said.,”It is so hard to get motivated again.”,US track legend Allyson Felix, having deferred her retirement, played her part by helping the US women’s 4x400m relay qualify for Sunday’s final.,The US team won its heat in 3:23.38, Felix running the second leg, and will be joined in the final by Britain, Jamaica, Belgium, Canada, Italy, France and Switzerland.,Should the US team medal, Felix would win her 20th world medal. Her overall world tally currently stands at 19 medals (13 gold, three silver, three bronze), including four individual golds.,AFP