Mon, Jul 23, 2007 - Page 18 News List

Blanka Vlasic wins, but falls short of 2.09m

AP, MADRID

Croatia's Blanka Vlasic won the women's high jump with a season best leap of 2.05m at the Madrid Grand Prix on Saturday.

Vlasic tried to break Stefka Kostadinova's 20-year-old world record of 2.09m with three attempts, but couldn't improve on her effort to clear 2.05m. Nevertheless, she eclipsed the 2.04m she achieved in Doha, Qatar, in May.

The world indoor silver medalist, who has failed to clear 2m only twice in 10 meets this season, beat Ruth Beitia of Spain and world champion Kajsa Bergqvist of Sweden, who finished 2-3 with 1.95m.

US sprinter Rachelle Smith edged countrywoman Lauryn Williams to take the women's 200m in 23.12 seconds.

Williams, the world 100m champion, crossed in 23.14 in a steady headwind that kept track times low through the evening.

European champion Francis Obikwelu took the men's 100m in 10.38, beating Australia's Joshua Ross, who finished second in 10.42, though this time in zero wind.

Maria Mutola of Mozambique received the loudest cheers of the night as she overtook the pack and rounded the final bend clear to take the women's 800m in 1 minute 58.80 seconds. Hasna Benhassi of Morocco was runner-up.

Australian sprinter Jhon Steffensen edged US champion Angelo Taylor in the men's 400m. Both sprinters finished with the identical time of 45.05, but Steffensen won by a nose. Jamaica's Michael Blackwood was third.

Ron Bramlett led a US sweep in the 110m hurdles, edging David Oliver and Aries Merritt with a time of 13.44.

In the men's 800m, Youssef Saad Kamel of Bahrain surged through the pack at the final turn to cross the finish in 1:44.49. US sprinter Khadevis Robinson finished ahead of countryman Nicky Symmonds for second.

Iyan Heshko took the men's 1,500m in 3:37.54 after overtaking runner-up Dahame Najen Bashir of Qatar. Russia's Olesya Chumakova took the women's 1,500m with a time of 4:06.89, nearly one-tenth of a second faster than Morocco's Ibhissam Lakhoud. Kenya's Julius Nyamu won the men's 3,000m steeplechase in 8:23.81.

Tatiana Lebedeva of Russia won the women's long jump with a leap of 7.15m, while Nelson Evora of Portugal won the men's triple jump.

The Netherlands' Rutger Smith won his second shot put of the season, edging Reese Hoffa of the US with a toss of 21.12m. Lithuania's Virgilius Alekna threw 68.74m to take the men's discus.

Nikola Brejchova of the Czech Republic took the women's javelin.

It was the last meet at the 46-year-old Estadio Vallehermoso, which is scheduled for demolition to make way for a new 12,000-seat Olympic-standard venue, as part of Madrid's bid for the 2016 Games.

The meet marked the 20th anniversary of American runner Danny Harris snapping Edwin Moses' 400m hurdles winning streak of nine years, nine months and nine days. In that span of 122 races, Moses, a three-time Olympic medal winner, broke the world record four times.

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