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2007 World Championships in Athletics Osaka, Japan

2007 11th IAAF World Championships - Osaka - Women's 400m

 

 

Host City: Osaka, Japan Format: First round (First 4 & 4 fastest to semi-finals) (Aug 26)
Dates: 24 August - 2 September 2007 Format: Semi-finals (First 2 & 2 fastest to final) (Aug 27)
Nations participating: 200
Athletes participating: 1,978
    Main venue: Nagai Stadium
Overview by IAAF   nagai stadium01 
With Sanya Richards and Allyson Felix running the 200m, Novlene Williams became the pre-race favourite. The Jamaican was the fastest in both preliminary rounds, with 50.21 and 49.66. The other semi-final winners were the British pair of Sanders and Ohuruogu. The latter had just returned from a year’s suspension after having missed three doping control tests and clocked a surprising 50.56 in the Osaka warm-up meeting two days before the championships opened. Williams and former champion Guevara were off fastest in the final, passing 100m in 12.0, then Williams surged and led at halfway in 23.37, with Ohuruogu and Guevara four metres behind. At 300m Williams led by two metres in 35.73, with Antyukh (35.9), Ohuruogu (36.13) and Sanders (36.17) well placed to attack. First Sanders and then Ohuruogu passed Antyukh. The two Britons closed on Williams, finally catching her with five metres to go, and Ohuruogu finally dipped 30cm ahead of Sanders and Williams, who appeared to ease off just before the line. In fourth place Guevara completed what was to be her final individual race. The 2005 champion Tonique Darling had already retired at this point in time.
 The women's 400 metres at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics was held at the Nagai Stadium on 26, 27 and 29 August.
 
  400m 29 August
  Final

Event report: Women’s 400m Final

Great Britain claimed its first World Championship one-two as Christine Ohuruogu executed the perfect tactical race to take the world title in 49.61 by 0.04sec from compatriot Nicola Sanders.

After leading for most of the race, Novlene Williams of Jamaica finished just 0.01 further back in the closest battle for the medals in the history of the Championships.

It was a remarkable comeback for Ohuruogu, the Commonwealth champion, who had only returned to competition at the beginning of the month after a one-year doping suspension. She had been picked without racing in the British trials, and the Osaka final was her sixth race back.

In her comeback race at the Scottish Championships in Glasgow earlier this month, she clocked a modest 53.09 and it would have been laughable to suggest just 18 days later she be crowned World champion.

But the Briton confirmed her medal credentials by running 50.56 at warm up meeting in the Nagai Stadium here in Osaka just two days before the start of the championships.

Through the rounds the Londoner, although not posting the quickest times in the field, looked as if she had a lot more to give and so it proved.

On the greatest day of her life, the former England under-19 international netball player, who only started running seriously four years ago, shattered her personal best by 0.55.

Behind Ohuruogu, Sanders, the quicker of the two Britons in the semi-finals, came with an exhilarating late burst to take the silver medal in a personal best 49.65 from the rapidly fading Williams, who seemed to concede the gold medal by applying the brakes just before the finish line.

A shellshocked Ohuruogu said: “Never in my wildest dreams could I have thought of coming back from my ban as a world champion.

“On the finish line I said ‘Was it me?’ It is unbelievable. The title does not mean so much for me. I am just pleased that I ran so fast. It is a great time.

"I am not so much a sprinter, but I have strength. On the home stretch, when I saw Novlene in front of me, I told myself 'let me just try and see’... I am very proud of myself. It was hard for me to come to Osaka because everyone had ten races or so – and me? Only five for my comeback.”

Sanders, coached by Tony Lester, was also pleased with her tactical approach to the race and she explained: “Before the race, my coach just told me 'make sure you’ve got something left in the last hundred’. In the first 200m I let them go a bit. That was my race plan, but I had quite a bit to catch up and I had to work quite hard around the top bend.”

Behind the medallists, former champion Ana Guevara (MEX) ran a season's best for fourth place (50.16), 0.01sec ahead of US champion DeeDee Trotter.

Natalya Antyukh (RUS), having chased Williams at a frantic pace for 320m of the race and come into the finishing straight clearly in second place, tired more than anyone, finishing sixth in 50.33.

Osaka 2007 News Team/sl

1 Christine Ohuruogu GBR 17 May 84 49.61
2 Nicola Sanders GBR 23 Jun 82 49.65
3 Novlene Williams-Mills JAM 26 Apr 82 49.66
4 Ana Guevara MEX 4 Mar 77 50.16
5 Deedee Trotter USA 8 Dec 82 50.17
6 Natalya Antyukh RUS 26 Jun 81 50.33
7 Ilona Usovich BLR 14 Nov 82 50.54
8 Mary Wineberg USA 3 Jan 80 50.96
  Semifinals 27 August

Event report: Women's 400m Semi-finals

Three smoky semifinals delivered three national records - yet only one of those was good enough to go through to Wednesday night's final, which looks like it could be an unexpected showdown between Novlene Williams, of Jamaica, and Britain's Nicola Sanders.

Williams won the first of three semi-finals (only the first two from each were guaranteed a place in the final) with a season's best 49.66 to go third on this year's rankings. In her bright yellow outfit, the 2005 silver medallist easily caught the eye of the good-sized crowd, and she was outstanding, too, in her running, coming off the final bend four metres ahead of her rivals. Former champion Ana Guevara, of Mexico, could only glance across the track in anxiety as she finished in 50.19, a season's best.

Ilona Usovich (50.31) and Joanne Cuddihy (50.73) set Belarus and Irish national records in finishing third and fourth, but would have to wait to see if they would progress as fast losers.

Sanders ran an equally positive race, to the obvious surprise of Russia's Natalya Antyukh, who spent the home straight gradually closing the Briton down, but still unable to quite catch her as they finished in a personal best 49.77 and 49.93, the fifth and seventh fastest times of the year. In third place, DeeDee Trotter, the American champion, would find that her 50.31 would progress as a fast loser.

Sanders was disqualified in the semi-final of the one-lap hurdles in Helsinki two years ago. Since then, she has reverted to flat racing with tremendous effect, winning the European Indoor title earlier this year with similar buccaneering tactics, although an injury delayed her seasonal debut this summer.

Sanders's team mate, Christine Ohuruogu also had a late start to her season, but seems to be finding form at just the right time. She showed little sign of race-rustiness or fatigue as she powered down the home straight to win the third semi-final in a personal best 50.16 ahead of Mary Wineberg (USA) in 50.27.

Osaka 2007 News Team/sd

  Heat 1
1 Novlene Williams-Mills JAM 26 Apr 82 49.66 Q
2 Ana Guevara MEX 4 Mar 77 50.19 Q
3 Ilona Usovich BLR 14 Nov 82 50.31 q
4 Joanne Cuddihy IRL 11 May 84 50.73
5 Lee McConnell GBR 9 Oct 78 51.07
6 Indira Terrero CUB 29 Nov 85 51.08
7 Natasha Hastings USA 23 Jul 86 51.45
8 Asami Chiba JPN 25 Sep 85 51.81
  Heat 2
1 Nicola Sanders GBR 23 Jun 82 49.77 Q
2 Natalya Antyukh RUS 26 Jun 81 49.93 Q
3 Deedee Trotter USA 8 Dec 82 50.31 q
4 Shericka Williams JAM 17 Sep 85 50.37
5 Christine Amertil BAH 18 Aug 79 51.18
6 Daniela Reina ITA 15 May 81 51.99
7 Barbara Petrahn HUN 16 Sep 78 52.12
8 Aliann Pompey GUY 9 Mar 78 53.58
  Heat 3
1 Christine Ohuruogu GBR 17 May 84 50.16 Q
2 Mary Wineberg USA 3 Jan 80 50.27 Q
3 Tatyana Veshkurova RUS 23 Sep 81 50.71
4 Amantle Montsho BOT 4 Jul 83 50.90
5 Shereefa Lloyd JAM 2 Sep 82 51.00
6 Christy Ekpukhon NGR 2 Jun 85 51.60
7 Ionela Tirlea ROU 9 Feb 76 51.62
8 Aymee Martinez CUB 17 Nov 88 57.77
  Heats 26 August

Event report: Women's 400m Heats

The relatively unchallenging qualifying requirements for the Women’s 400 metres produced only one surprise elimination this morning, but that was enough to prompt the immediate retirement of a former IAAF World champion.

Novlene Williams (JAM) was the fastest qualifier from the five heats, her 50.21sec clocking in the fourth heat giving her a small advantage over one former champion, Ana Guevara (MEX).

“I was saving energy,” Guevara said after her 50.85. “I’m feeling in the right shape, I think a low 49 will be needed to win the final.”

Natalya Antioch (RUS) had won the first heat in 50.88, while other heats were won by DeeDee Trotter, as she overhauled an easing Nicola Sanders (GBR) on the line, and Christine Ohuruogu (GBR), who took the fifth heat in 50.46 ahead of Ilona Usovich’s Belarus record of 50.53.

With four from each heat plus four fastest losers going through to Monday’s semi-finals, qualification was not too demanding, but it proved too much for 2001 World champion Amy Mbacke Thiam (SEN), who finished only seventh in heat three, won by Tatyana Veshkurova (RUS, 51.67).

Thiam, now 31, ran 54.31. “It’s over. I quit,” she said. “I don’t feel I can carry on any more.”

Osaka 2007 News Team/sd

  Heat 1
1 Natalya Antyukh RUS 26 Jun 81 50.88 Q
2 Mary Wineberg USA 3 Jan 80 51.25 Q
3 Shereefa Lloyd JAM 2 Sep 82 51.42 Q
4 Lee McConnell GBR 9 Oct 78 51.44 Q
5 Oksana Shcherbak UKR 24 Feb 82 52.39
6 Justine Bayiga UGA 15 Jan 79 53.25
7 Joy Eze NGR 23 Apr 87 53.83
8 Olga Tereshkova KAZ 26 Oct 84 54.09
  Heat 2
1 Deedee Trotter USA 8 Dec 82 51.27 Q
2 Nicola Sanders GBR 23 Jun 82 51.45 Q
3 Joanne Cuddihy IRL 11 May 84 51.55 Q
4 Christine Amertil BAH 18 Aug 79 51.55 Q
5 Zuzanna Radecka-Pakaszewska POL 2 Apr 75 52.19
6 Sade Abugan NGR 17 Dec 90 52.58
7 Maria Laura Almirao BRA 20 Sep 77 53.68
8 Hazel-Ann Regis-Buckels GRN 1 Feb 81 54.78
9 Vera Barbosa CPV 13 Jan 89 58.56
  Heat 3
1 Tatyana Veshkurova RUS 23 Sep 81 51.67 Q
2 Shericka Williams JAM 17 Sep 85 51.72 Q
3 Barbara Petrahn HUN 16 Sep 78 51.86 Q
4 Amantle Montsho BOT 4 Jul 83 51.87 Q
5 Kineke Alexander VIN 21 Feb 86 52.51
6 Ginou Etienne HAI 12 Jan 85 53.89
7 Amy Mbacke Thiam SEN 10 Nov 76 54.31
8 Nawal Al-Jak SUD 17 Oct 88 55.29
  Heat 4
1 Novlene Williams-Mills JAM 26 Apr 82 50.21 Q
2 Ana Guevara MEX 4 Mar 77 50.85 Q
3 Ionela Tirlea ROU 9 Feb 76 51.59 Q
4 Aymee Martinez CUB 17 Nov 88 51.74 Q
5 Ionela Tirlea ROU 9 Feb 76 51.95 q
6 Christy Ekpukhon NGR 2 Jun 85 52.05 q
7 Makelesi Batimala FIJ 23 Oct 77 52.23
8 Solen Desert-Mariller FRA 2 Aug 82 54.03
  Heat 5
1 Christine Ohuruogu GBR 17 May 84 50.46 Q
2 Ilona Usovich BLR 14 Nov 82 50.53 Q
3 Natasha Hastings USA 23 Jul 86 51.07 Q
4 Indira Terrero CUB 29 Nov 85 51.76 Q
5 Daniela Reina ITA 15 May 81 52.02 q
6 Asami Chiba JPN 25 Sep 85 52.13 q
7 Gabriela Medina MEX 3 Mar 85 53.16
8 Sandrine Thiebaud-Kangni TOG 21 Apr 76 54.11
9 Temalangeni Dlamini SWZ 16 Aug 87 58.27

Heat 1 26 AUG 2007 10:50

Order / LaneBibATHLETECOUNTRYPBSB 2007
2 589 Shereefa Lloyd JAM JAM 51.02 51.02
3 1006 Mary Wineberg USA USA 50.24 50.24
4 634 Olga Tereshkova Tsykunova KAZ KAZ 51.62 51.62
5 793 Natalya Antyukh RUS RUS 49.85 50.10
6 473 Lee McConnell GBR GBR 50.82 52.27
7 910 Justine Bayigga UGA UGA 52.73 52.89
8 704 Joy Eze NGR NGR 51.20 51.20
9 929 Oksana Shcherbak UKR UKR 51.23 51.93

Heat 2 26 AUG 2007 10:58

Order / LaneBibATHLETECOUNTRYPBSB 2007
1 700 Folasade Abugan NGR NGR 51.44 51.44
2 532 Hazel Regis-Buckels GRN GRN 50.64 53.07i
3 347 Vera Barbosa CPV CPV 57.09 57.09
4 556 Joanne Cuddihy IRL IRL 51.09 51.56
5 1003 Deedee Trotter USA USA 49.64 49.64
6 474 Nicola Sanders GBR GBR 50.02i 50.02i
7 229 Christine Amertil BAH BAH 50.09 50.99
8 742 Zuzanna Radecka POL POL 51.58 52.14
9 269 Maria Laura Almirão BRA BRA 51.30 52.16

Heat 3 26 AUG 2007 11:06

Order / LaneBibATHLETECOUNTRYPBSB 2007
2 592 Shericka Williams JAM JAM 50.24 51.02
3 868 Nawal El Jack SUD SUD 51.19 51.78
4 267 Amantle Montsho BOT BOT 51.13 51.13
5 851 Amy Mbacke Thiam SEN SEN 49.86 50.15
6 1016 Kineke Alexander VIN VIN 51.35 51.48i
7 536 Ginou Etienne HAI HAI 51.94 52.46
8 839 Tatyana Veshkurova RUS RUS 49.99 50.22
9 542 Barbara Petráhn HUN HUN 51.50 52.68

Heat 4 26 AUG 2007 11:14

Order / LaneBibATHLETECOUNTRYPBSB 2007
2 360 Aymeé Martínez CUB CUB 52.04 52.22
3 703 Christy Ekpukhon Ihunaegbo NGR NGR 51.11 51.11
4 590 Novlene Williams-Mills JAM JAM 49.63 50.06
5 677 Ana Guevara MEX MEX 48.89 50.34
6 779 Ionela Târlea ROU ROU 49.88 51.98
7 435 Solene Désert-Mariller FRA FRA 51.42 51.42
8 418 Makelesi Batimala FIJ FIJ 51.89 53.12
9 535 Aliann Pompey GUY GUY 50.93 51.61

Heat 5 26 AUG 2007 11:22

Order / LaneBibATHLETECOUNTRYPBSB 2007
1 678 Gabriela Medina MEX MEX 51.25 51.25
2 609 Asami Chiba JPN JPN 51.80 52.17
3 362 Indira Terrero CUB CUB 51.00 51.00
4 570 Daniela Reina ITA ITA 51.18 52.14
5 968 Natasha Hastings USA USA 49.84 49.84
6 900 Sandrine Thiébaud-Kangni TOG TOG 52.50 53.97
7 477 Christine Ohuruogu GBR GBR 50.28 50.56
8 259 Ilona Usovich BLR BLR 50.69 51.00i
9 894 Temalangeni Dlamini SWZ SWZ 58.97

Event preview: Women’s 400m

Rarely has the American trials system, with its unrelenting first-three-past-the-post method, had such a profound impact on an IAAF World Championship event as it seems likely to do in the women’s 400m.

Tiredness and illness took their toll on the 2006 athlete of the year, Sanya Richards, at this year’s US Trials, and she placed only fourth in her do-or-die trial, and so probably will not run here, despite heading this season’s form book with 49.52sec.

Deedee Trotter, the resulting US champion, heads the likely field, with her best this year of 49.64sec, two-tenths quicker than team mate Natasha Hastings.

The Russian contingent, headed by Natalya Antyukh, the 2004 Olympic bronze medallist, is traditionally strong and could see multiple representatives in the final, as could Jamaica’s trio of runners, spearheaded by the 2005 World silver medallist Novlene Williams.

Watch out, too, for two former champions, Ana Guevara, the 2003 winner from Mexico, and Amy Mbacke Thiam, of Senegal, the 2001 World champion who, at 30, is getting back to close to 50.00sec form.

Much attention may also be focused on Britain’s Nicola Sanders, who ran 50.02 to win the European Indoor title earlier this year, and Christine Ohuruogu. Ohuruogu, the Commonwealth champion, will be taking part in only her third competition since her return from a one-year ban for missing drug tests, but she has already shown excellent form, running 50.56 on the Nagai track in a warm-up meeting here on Thursday.

2007 Osaka News Team/sd

 

 

 

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