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Anju fifth out of eight
- WORLD ATHLETICS FINAL l El Guerrouj pulls out; White clinches gold

New Delhi: Anju Bobby George cleared 6.50 metres to finish fifth in the women’s long jump at the world athletics final in Monaco on Sunday.

In a repeat of the recent world athletic championships in Paris, Eunice Barber of France clinched the gold with a leap of 7.05m while world No. 1 Russian Tatyana Kotova took the silver with 6.92m.

Anju narrowly missed the bronze which went to American Grace Upshaw for her 6.60m jump.

Wind conditions seemed to affect Anju’s performance who failed to surpass her season best of 6.70m which fetched her the Paris medal.

Anju cleared 6.49m against a head wind of (-0.6) on her first jump.

It was the second best for the round behind the 6.57m by Olga Rublyova of Russia, who eventually finished ahead of the Indian.

Except for Barber and Kotova, theother six struggled to put up their best performance.

Anju fouled on her next two jumps before managing to improve her best by a centimetre on the fourth and last attempt.

Meanwhile, four-time world 1,500m champion Hicham el Guerrouj pulled out because of fatigue and a high temperature.

International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) officials said the Moroccan, who turned 29 on Sunday, should still win $100,000 as men’s overall champion.

They added that Qatar’s world steeplechase champion Saif Saaeed Shaheen would need to break the world record on Sunday to overhaul El Guerrouj. The former Kenyan’s best time is nearly five seconds outside the current world mark.

El Guerrouj had 1,450 points, Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele 1,441, and Allen Johnson 1,440. Shaheen has 1,433.

World 110-metre hurdles champion Johnson ended the outdoor season unbeaten, while countryman Jerome Young, another runner embroiled in doping controversy, repeated his triumph at the Paris Worlds, winning the 400 metres.

Johnson, who became the first four-time world champion in the 110-metre hurdles in Paris last month, crossed in 13.11 seconds, ahead of compatriot Trammell Terrence, who was .06 back. Stanislav Olijars of Latvia was third in 13.25.

However, world high jump champion Hestrie Cloete of South Africa added a world athletics final win on Saturday and led the running for the world athlete of the year award.

Cloete, who successfully defended her World Championship title in Paris last month, cleared 2.01m on her second attempt to win track and field’s season finale from Ukraine’s Vita Palamar, who needed three tries. Kajsa Bergqvist of Sweden was third with 1.99.

Kelli White, running under a cloud of doping charges, kept alive a slim hope of winning the award by winning Saturday’s 200m in 22.31 seconds, well ahead of France’s Muriel Hurtis, who was .10 back. Russia’s Anastasia Kapachinskaya was third in 22.57.

“It was hard. I ran a good time but it wasn’t as fast as I needed,” said White.

Bernard Williams of the US won the men’s 100m title timing 10.04. Compatriot John Capel won the silver while Uchena Emedoki of Nigeria clinched the bronze.


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