Minenko carrying Israel’s hopes in triple-jump final

August 6, 2017 23:30

At the 19-mile mark, Tola had made his decisive effort and sped away from the 24-year-old Kenyan but within two miles Kirui had hauled back the lead before surging away immediately and emphatically.

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Israeli triple-jumper Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko won her event in the European Athletics Team Champions

Israeli triple-jumper Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko. (photo credit: UDI ZITIAT)

After recovering from foot surgery to reach the women’s triple jump final at the World Athletics Championships in London, Israel’s Hanna Knyazyeva- Minenko enters Monday’s showcase with little pressure.

The 27-year-old, who finished in fifth place at the Rio Olympics and won a silver medal at the Worlds in Beijing two years ago, equaled her season-best with a jump of 14.17 meters in the qualifiers on Saturday.

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While it was three centimeters short of the result that secured automatic qualification, Minenko still advanced, with her best jump being good enough for eighth place overall and the top 12 progressing.

The World Championships are just Minenko’s second competition of the year and she has already met expectations by advancing to the final for the third straight time.

Israel’s five other representatives in the championships entered the fray on Sunday. Korlima Chemtai ended the women’s marathon in 41st place in a time of 2:40:22 hours. Maor Tiyouri was 63rd in 2:49:45.

Girmaw Amare came in 62nd place in the men’s marathon in 2:26:37h, with Marhu Teferi not completing the course.

Also Sunday, Marharyta Dorozhon registered a throw of 61.33 meters in the women’s javelin qualifiers, which ended after press time. Dorozhon couldn’t match her season best of 63.07m.

Meanwhile, Rose Chelimo, a Bahraini who switched allegiance from her Kenyan homeland, sprinted away from her former compatriot Edna Kiplagat to win the women’s marathon after a tactical battle and exciting finish on Sunday.

Chelimo, who had looked beaten, fought back over the last few hundred meters approaching the Tower Bridge finish after Kiplagat struck for home too soon with two kilometers left.

Forging away to victory, the 28-year-old, who acquired Bahraini citizenship two years ago and was cleared by the IAAF last year to run for her adopted country, denied Kiplagat what would have been an unprecedented third world marathon gold.

Chelimo finished strongly in 2 hours 27 minutes 11 seconds, seven seconds clear of Kiplagat. American Amy Cragg made a tremendous final burst to overhaul another Kenyan Flomena Daniel, who had looked set for the bronze medal.

Chelimo had enough energy to wave to the crowd as she approached the line and took the Bahraini flag offered by her team officials. This, though, was the sort of scene that the IAAF want to see ended.

Earlier this year, they froze new transfers of allegiance to stop oil-rich countries luring talented athletes from poor countries with offers of school and financial rewards.

Earlier Sunday, Kenya’s Geoffrey Kipkorir Kirui prevailed in a compelling east African duel with Ethiopian Tamirat Tola in the men’s marathon.

Kirui, victor at the Boston Marathon in April, finally broke Tola, the fastest man in the field, with five miles (8.05 km) of the 26.2-mile course left after they had gone head-to-head over the second half of the race.

At the 19-mile mark, Tola had made his decisive effort and sped away from the 24-year-old Kenyan but within two miles Kirui had hauled back the lead before surging away immediately and emphatically.

Kenya’s fifth men’s world champion at the distance eventually clocked 2 hours 8 minutes 27 seconds, finishing one minute and 22 seconds ahead of Tola (2:09:49).

Reuters contributed to this report.

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