After nine days of excitement, when new heroes were born and some old stars burned bright, the curtains came down on the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships today. Birds Nest stood witness as records were smashed, and new friendships fostered. The final day proved to be productive for the Indian contingent, with commendable performances from the track.
OP Jaisha – Climbs new heights as she breaks national record
OP Jaisha broke the national record in her name in the women’s marathon, clocking 2:34.43 to finish 18th. The Keralite bettered her own national best timing of 2:37.29, set earlier this year during the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon.
The Asian Games bronze medalist was closely followed by Sudha Singh, who came up with a personal best of 2:35.35 to finish 19th. Lalita Babar preferred to skip the event after having finished eighth in the 3000 metres steeplechase competition.
The men’s high jump event saw facial hair-or the lack of it- gathering more second-looks than the medal winning jumps. Italian Gianmarco Tamberi showed up at Bird’s Nest with half his face shaved, but if it was supposed to work as a good luck charm, Tamberi might well be heading for a barber’s shop now.The Italian could manage only an eighth place finish. Canada’s Derek Drouin took gold, while critics’ favourite Multa Barshim finished at a dismal fourth. Silver went to China’s Guowei Zhang, and bronze to Ukraine’s Bohdan Bondarenko. Australian cricketer Mitchell Starc’s brother Brandon Starc would have hoped to salvage some family pride after the Ashes, but failed with just a 12th place finish.
The podium belonged to Ethiopia for the women’s 5000 metres race. Almaz Ayana took gold, finishing with a championship record timing of 14:26.83 seconds. Silver went to Senbere Teferi (14:44.07), while critic’s choice and 1500 metres champion Genzebe Dibaba had to settle for bronze. Incidentally, Ayana broke Dibaba’s sister Tirunesh’s mark, with today’s feat.
So that’s it from Beijing. Kenya finished on top of the medals table with 16 medals (7,6,3), while Jamaica came in second (12 medals- 7,2,3). United States were pushed to the third position, with 18 medals, 6 of each hue.