Oslo - Women’s Review: Cheywa, Müller, Vlasic in the spotlight

It was almost a wire-to-wire victory: Milcah Chemos Cheywa’s (KEN) time of 9:12.66 minutes in the 3000m steeplechase was the first exclamation mark at this year’s ExxonMobil Bislett Games (just 35 minutes before Asafa Powell celebrated his fourth victory in Oslo). The African athlete was in the lead round after round and brought home a great first place with a great time. The attack of her fellow countrywomen Gladys Jerotich Kipkemoi (9:16.21/SB) and Lydia Jebet Rotich (9:18.03/PB) came too late.

«I ran too fast in the middle of the race and in the seventh lap I felt such a pain in my chest», said Cheywa. «I was worried that I could not finish the race. That means I am surprised by the final time.»

In matching her season’s best of 50.34 seconds, Amantle Montsho (BOT) won the 400m women during the Bislett Games in Oslo today. Second finished Novlene Williams-Mills (JAM/50.43), and third Debbie Dunn (USA/50.75/SB). With this victory, Montsho took the lead in the Diamond Race; the winner of the first race, Allyson Felix (USA) was not in the starting grid in Oslo. 

“For the first time in my career I won such a big meet”, Montsho said. “I knew that I’m in shape and to have strong opponents in the race was my big motivation. This season I have enough power. My goal is the Commonwealth Games in October, but I hope to break the 50 seconds soon again.”
The first winner of a Diamond League event at the Bislett Games in Oslo today was Nadine Müller from Germany. The 24-year-old athlete, who has already reached 67.78m this year, threw the discus 63.93m, winning in front of Zaneta Glanc (POL/62.16m/SB) and Aretha D. Thurmond (USA) who achieved 61.80m. An interesting side-fact: Cuba’s Barrios, the winner of Doha’s competition, failed her first three attempts and had to quit the competition. Müller realised her winning throw in the first round, and had five invalid attempts afterwards.

“I have to admit I was hoping for a top three place today”, Müller said. “We had good warm weather, and the wind was not bothering me too much. Unbelievable! It is the first big win of my career at such level, so it is a great feeling. In the last rounds I was a little bit nervous about what the other throwers will do, but at the end just one valid attempt was enough for a very important win.”

The long jump was won by Olga Kucherenko (RUS/6.91m) in front of Naide Gomes (POR/6.78m) and Darya Klishina (RUS/6.77m).

The high jump saw the expected clash between Blanka Vlasic (CRO) and Chaunte Howard-Lowe (USA). Both finished at 2.01 m, but Vlasic needed one attempt less at 1.99 m. Lavern Spencer (LCA) got third place with 1.94 m.

“It was hard work, but it was all about winning today. For me, the competition started to be good when the sun went down – I cannot jump with sunglasses. I still do not have the best feeling, but it will come later in the season. But, hey, staying in the Diamond Race with two wins is not that bad, isn’t it?”

Also Lolo Jones was able to repeat her victory in Doha at the beginning of the 2010 Diamond League at the Bislett Games in Oslo today. The American won the 100m hurdles in a personal season’s best of 12.66 seconds in front of Priscilla Lopes-Schliep (CAN/12.72) and Perdita Felicien (CAN/12.72).

“To win the Diamond Race is always in the back of my mind, but first I want that my race times will go down. Today, I had a very good start, that was the key. I’m back, I want always to win!”

IAAF Diamond League - Exxon Mobil Bislett Games