Spotakova dominates javelin final – day seven evening session | 10.08.2012
|Barbora Spotakova claimed the Olympic javelin title.
The Czech thus becomes only the second woman in the history of the Olympics to successfully defend a javelin title. The only other athlete to do so was GDR’s Ruth Fuchs 1972-1976.
"I didn't even dare to think about it [retaining her title] in this competition. I didn't realise it but it will come tomorrow. I said to myself this evening, I have got lots of experience and I am healthy and I am 100%. I believe in myself."
"My coach (Jan Zelezny) has won it (Olympic gold medal) three times so I still have things to do.”
Silver and bronze also went to European athletes as Germany’s Christina Obergfoell and Linda Stahl threw 65.16 and 64.92 respectively.
The shock of the final was the unexpected failure of Russia’s world champion, Mariya Abakumova to breach the 60m mark with her two valid attempts, eventually finishing 10th.
"It's so difficult for me to talk, I have too many tears,” said the Russian. “Today was not the right day for me, I don't know why. Perhaps the success of last year (winning the world championships) had some effect on my psychological condition. I lost my adrenaline, I felt some emptiness. My reaction was that I thought I had to train more. Even my trainer was telling me 'that is enough'."
"Psychologically and in the tests I was doing everything right. I even threw 65m in the warm-up. I have power, I was strong today but once the competition started I could not put the power in the javelin."
Osagie 1:43.77 for eighth!
Despite finishing eighth and last in the world record breaking 800m, Europe’s only representative in the final, Britain’s Andrew Osagie, still set a personal best of 1:43.77.
"This is my first international season where I’ve managed to last from May until the championship, so it bodes well for the future,” explained Osagie. “Going into this season my PB was 1:45.3, so I’ve now run 1:43.7 – it’s a big jump if you look at it like that.”
It was a race in which seven out of eight personal bests were set including three national records. The winner, David Rudisha of Kenya crowned his career with the greatest accolade of all, Olympic gold in a world record 1:40.91.
Four days short of his 36th birthday, Fabrizio Donato won his first ever Olympic medal, clinching triple jump bronze with 17.48.
All the Italian’s first four jumps ranged between 17.38 and 17.48 for a model of consistency. It was in the last two round rounds when he was trying to move into a higher position that he committed two fouls.
"Finally the dream has come true. This result is great because of the pressure I was under," said Donato.
"I still can't believe it. I find it difficult to describe the feelings. This year was very tough for me. First I had an injury to my back and then my left Achilles. Before this injury, in training, I was doing incredible things. I was jumping 18 metres and my plan was to come and jumplike this here.
“These pains have also hampered me psychologically. Today I wasn't feeling on best form. Today my Achilles heel was very painful and I couldn't run as I wanted, so I had to push in the jump and put in a lot of strength so I didn't jump as far.
"This is the first medal of Italian athletics (at the London 2012 Olympic Games) and it has been 15 years that I have been waiting for this moment."
Russian trio through to women’s 800m final
Russian champion Ekaterina Poistogova qualified by right in the first semi-final alongside one of the favourites for gold, Pamela Jelimo of Kenya.
"The race went well,” explained Poistogova. “ I had the impression that no one wanted to lead. I didn't particularly want to lead. It was easier for me to stay in second, as I could look up at the scoreboard and I could see that third place was quite a way behind - I then knew I would have a place in the final. Yesterday I was nervous (during round one), but today it was a lot easier,"
With two to count, compatriot Elena Arzhakova had a more difficult job to get through a tougher heat, but squeezed past former world champion, Janet Jepkosgei of Kenya, by 0.13 (1:58.13) to go through in second position behind an impressive Caster Semenya of South Africa.
The Russian trio in the final was completed by Mariya Savinova, the world champion, who ran her usual race coming through with a late rush to finish first in semi-final three in 1:58.57.
Netherlands national record in women’s 4x100m
The Netherlands finished third in their heat of the 4x100m to go through to Friday’s final with a fine national record 42.45.
In the second heat, Ukraine (42.36) and Germany (42.69) went through while France were disqualified.
Anchoring the European champions, Germany, Verena Sailer said: “It felt good. We have achieved our goal to reach the final. The changes were extremely safe, especially the last one. We could certainly make it (the last changeover) better in the final and run faster."