Photos by PhotoRun
Whiting wins gold on first day of World Indoor Championships
ISTANBUL, TURKEY -- For the fifth consecutive time the World Indoor gold medal in the men’s shot put will return to the United States. Ryan Whiting recorded his first personal best in two seasons to win the gold medal Friday during the 14th edition of the IAAF World Indoor Championships at the Atakoy Athletics Arena. Americans Ashton Eaton, Bernard Lagat, Chaunte Lowe and Sanya Richards-Ross each made important steps toward the weekend’s finals.
Whiting launched himself into the lead for good on his fifth attempt with a toss of 22.00m/72-2.25. In his first trip to the World Indoor Championships, Whiting follows Christian Cantwell (2004, 2008, 2010) and Reese Hoffa (2006) as the fifth consecutive Team USA World Indoor champion in the event. Hoffa ended up placing fourth with a throw of 21.55m/70-8.5.
Meanwhile, world heptathlon record holder Eaton used big performances in both the 60m dash and the long jump to grab the first day lead in that event and put himself in position to extend his world mark. Eaton’s personal best in the long jump of 8.16m/26-9.25 gave him 1,102 points en route to his first day total of 3,654. Oleksiy Kazyanov of the Ukraine is currently in second at 3,489.
Lagat battled a physical third heat, which included Great Britain’s Mo Farah, to advance to Sunday’s final in the men’s 3,000m in a time of 7:57.68. It was the first step as he begins his defense of his 2010 World Indoor title in the event.
Lowe was one of six high jumpers to clear 1.95m/6-4.75 and advance to Saturday’s final and Richards-Ross battled through a pair of preliminary rounds to record the fastest time of the day in the women’s 400m of 50.99 and into Saturday’s final. Richards-Ross will make an attempt at the American indoor record, held by Francena McCorory’s of 50.54 set in 2010.
The American duo of Trell Kimmons and Justin Gatlin each cruised in their respective heats of the men’s 60m to advance to Saturday’s semi-final. Kimmons, the current world leader, ran a time of 6.70 to win the sixth heat while Gatlin ran a time of 6.64 to win the seventh heat.
Current world-leader Kristi Castlin failed to advance in the women’s 60m hurdles after stopping shortly into her heat thinking there had been a false start. Meanwhile Vanneisha Ivy placed fourth in the final heat in a time of 8.28 but did not advance to the final.
Will Claye advanced to the finals of the men’s long jump with a mark of 7.91m/25-11.5 while Lopez Lomong will join Lagat in the finals of the 3,000m after he advanced on time at 7:50.36.
Matthew Centrowitz took advantage of running from the second heat to advance into Saturday’s final in the men’s 1,500m. The 2011 World Outdoor Championships bronze medalist, Centrowitz placed fourth in his heat in a time of 3:39.54. Galen Rupp, running from the first heat, was not able to advance despite a new personal best time of 3:43.39.
Both Jackie Areson and Sara Hall advanced to Sunday’s final in the women’s 3000m. Areson did so by placing fourth in the opening heat in a season best time of 9:12.62 and Hall placed sixth in the second heat to advance by time in 9:02.49.
Team USA 800m runners Tevan Everett and Michael Rutt both advanced into Saturday’s semi-final rounds for the men while Erica Moore did the same in the women’s 800m. Everett placed second in the sixth heat in a time of 1:49.72 and Rutt placed third in the opening heat in 1:49.72. Moore positioned herself well to place second in the final heat in 2:00.24. Phoebe Wright ran a time of 2:03.11 in the opening heat, but did not advance.
Men’s 400m runners Gil Roberts and Calvin Smith advanced past the first round, but were unable to make it into Saturday’s final. Sara Vaughn and Brenda Martinez each battled physical heats in the women’s 1,500m, but were also unable to advance.
Amanda Smock missed qualifying for the final in the women’s triple jump. Competing in group A she recorded her best jump of the competition on her third attempt of 13.25m/43-5.75.
The World Indoor Championships continue through Sunday. For continuing updates checkwww.usatf.org.
Athlete quotes - Day one
Reese Hoffa - men’s shot put
Trell Kimmons - men’s 60m
Justin Gatlin - men’s 60m
Chaunte Lowe - women’s high jump
Sanya Richards-Ross - women’s 400m
Natasha Hastings - women’s 400m
Erica Moore - women’s 800m
Phoebe Wright - women’s 800m
Bernard Lagat - men’s 3,000m
Lopez Lomong - men’s 3,000m
Matthew Centrowitz - men’s 1,500m
Galen Rupp - men’s 1,500m
On running a personal indoor best: “That really doesn’t make me feel better. That was from a long time ago.”
Sara Vaughn - women’s 1,500m
Brenda Martinez - women’s 1,500m
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