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Yelena Isinbayeva vaults to world record

London: Russia’s Yelena Isinbayeva set a world record in the women’s pole vault in front of a sparse crowd in a Super Grand Prix meeting in Gateshead on Sunday.

The 21-year-old’s mark of 4.82m exceeded American Stacy Dragila’s 4.81m set in California in June 2001.

Isinbayeva, who collected a cheque for $50,000, has been in top form and set a world leading mark of 4.73m in Poznan, Poland just over two weeks ago.

She told the IAAF website: “This was not unexpected because I have been jumping quite well in training sessions.

“I was just waiting for the moment to come when this would happen. I have jumped 4.80 numerous times in training. Today was my moment,” said the world indoor silver medallist.

“As I came up to jump I was thinking this is not a world record jump, it’s just one of those jumps I do in training everyday. It’s only 4.82, I have done that many times before (in training). Just go for it without any worries.”

She had opened at 4.30m and progressed through 4.44, 4.54, 4.64 and 4.74, needing two attempts at all those heights except the first and the third. By the time she attempted the world record mark, most of the 10,000 crowd had gone home.

The bar wobbled for a few seconds before Isinbayeva landed in triumph to the delight of a sparse crowd that had shrunk to about 1,000 for the last event of the night.

Her compatriot Svetlana Feofanova, who holds the world indoor record of 4.80m set at the world championships in Birmingham in March, was second on Sunday with 4.54m.

Earlier, Briton Dwain Chambers won the men’s 100m in controversial circumstances after rivals Kim Collins and Bernard Williams had already run the race once following a false start.

Neither Collins from St Kitts and Nevis nor American Williams heard the two guns fired to alert the athletes to the false start by Briton Mark Lewis-Francis and they crossed the finish line together before realising they had been recalled.

After a short delay Chambers led a British clean sweep in 10.27 seconds followed by Lewis-Francis (10.35) and Darren Campbell (10.36). Williams and Collins faded towards the end to finish sixth and eighth.

“It was a bit of a difficult one with the false start and near enough running the whole race,” Chambers told the BBC.“I heard something but I thought no-one’s stopping so I carried on.

“I heard another gun and I saw a few people stopping so I thought I’m not carrying on running if no-one else is. It (the gun) wasn’t loud enough but instinct told me to stop running.

Collins felt the organisers could have rescheduled the 100m to allow the sprinters a brief rest.

“If they’d said we’d put you (the sprinters) a little bit further (back in the day’s schedule) that would have been great because it was a great disadvantage to us who’d run the 100m already. Of course we were going to be tired.

Chambers was second in the 200m, sandwiched between fellow Britons Christian Malcolm, who won in 20.73 seconds, and Marlon Devonish.

Personal best

European champion Christian Olsson managed a personal best to win another triple jump duel with Briton Jonathan Edwards. The Swede recorded 17.92m to beat the Olympic champion, who nevertheless jumped a respectable 17.61.

“When I came here I felt that I was probably in the shape of my life, which I proved today,” said Olsson.

Edwards, however, was also upbeat.

“That was my furthest opening jump of the season ever. To open with 17.61 — I’m flabbergasted really,” he said.

A below-par Hicham el Guerrouj was still streets ahead of his rivals as he won the 1500m in 3:33.41 after holding off Kenya’s Paul Korir and American David Krummenacker.

Allen Johnson won the men’s 110m hurdles in 13.37 seconds ahead of fellow American Duane Ross (13.58).

Maria Mutola of Mozambique coasted home in the women’s 800m in 1:58.80, ahead of Slovenia’s Jolanda Ceplak, her main rival for gold at next month’s world championships in Paris. (Reuters)

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