Monday, 17 December, 2018

High jump takes centre stage on opening day of world indoors

Rutherford only returned to action 11 days ago Rutherford only returned to action 11 days ago Andy Buchanan AFP Getty Images
Isaac Mcdaniel | 05 March, 2018, 00:15

After an uneventful first kilometer which was covered in a pedestrian 3:14.67, noted front-runner Konstanze Klosterhalfen -who broke the 30-year-old German indoor record with a solo effort of 8:36.01 at her domestic championships in Dortmund two weeks ago- was the first of the 14 finalists to move to the front with any goal.

Laura Muir is a double world indoor medalist after a stellar run to win 1500m silver at the IAAF World Indoor Championships on Saturday night (March 3).

Muir's medals followed her double European gold in Belgrade a year ago and she believes she has arrived as a contender.

Ethiopia's serial record holder Genzebe Dibaba won a fourth consecutive world indoor title when she romped to victory in the 3,000m in Birmingham on Thursday.

Liz's daughter Eilish was Muir's team-mate here and, like Muir, is doubling up at 1500m.

"I'm very happy to be indoor champion for the third time", said Dibaba.

Muir, who finished in four minutes 06.23 seconds, overtook Sifan Hassan on the final lap after the Holland runner finished ahead of her in the 3,000m.

After being denied a silver by Hassan, with many viewing Muir to have been impeded, the double European indoor gold medalist had the flawless opportunity for an alternative ending in the shorter distance in the Arena Birmingham.

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She said: 'I thought if I could scrape a medal that would be great but to get a silver medal is better still. The Ethiopian's 400m up to the bell was a vicious 62.43 and she was now clear but Hassan and Muir were in hot pursuit and began to close along the back straight. Dibaba then shot ahead in the final kilometre and began even more of a drive for home and now eight were left in the battle for medals. This day is for me and my country.

With the pace slow initially, Dibaba injected life into the race with 1,000 metres to go and after a brief moment where Muir looked leggy, she quickened to move from sixth to third during a 200-metre stretch, thrusting her into the medal positions with 400 metres to go. "It was a good race for me. It was very close but I had to play my cards right".

"I'm surprised I wasn't good in 2017 but 2018 is my time".

Birmingham-based Robbie Grabarz, who shared the Olympic bronze medal in 2012 and took silver in Portland, is the local hope. I went out hard which was the plan and I'm so pleased with the result. "I just tried my best to the end of the competition". "I don't feel too much pressure but hopefully I can put on a show and work the crowd, that would be nice".

The semi-finals in the women's 60m are due to take place at 6.50pm on Friday night. So to come out with a medal in that situation is fantastic.

The American broke the 20-year-old 60m indoor world record when he clocked 6.34 seconds at the US Indoor Championships in New Mexico this month.

After securing her first global medal in the 3,000m, she delivered again, later saying reaching the podium on Thursday gave her "confidence".

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