Lebedeva leaps 15.14m, swift 9:11.68 Steeplechase for Samitova in Athens IAAF World Athletics Tour


Athens, Greece - More than 30,000 spectators turned out in Athens Olympic Stadium for the Tsiklitiria 2007, a Grand Prix status meet as part of the IAAF World Athletics Tour 2007, to witness several top world class performances and close competitions in most of the events.
Although the Greek stars did not compensate the crowd for the turnout, the interest was heightened by a world leading 15.14 leap by Tatyana Lebedeva in the Triple Jump, the seasons fastest womens 3000m Steeplechase race by Gulnara Samitova-Galkina, Derrick Atkins 9.95 Bahamian national 100m record, and a meeting record by the incomparable Virgilius Alekna in the Discus Throw.

Lebedeva debuts with 15.14 world lead

Russian Tatyana Lebedeva opened her season in the Triple Jump demonstrating fantastic form as she produced a world leading 15.14m leap, while she had also jumps of 15.08m and 14.96m.

Cuban Yargelis Savigne, the world leader in the event until tonight, reached 14.72m in the first round, which proved to be enough for second place, as Greeces Chrysopigi Devetzi, who verified her participation in the meeting at the last moment as a minor injury kept her far from training in the last week, had a best attempt of 14.57m to finish third.

Samitova clocks world leading 9:11.68

As expected the pace in the womens 3000m Steeplechase was fast and the World record holder, Russias Gulnara Samitova-Galkina, maintained record-breaking pace for the first two kilometres. She faded slightly over the waning laps but nonetheless clocked 9:11.68, the fourth fastest performance ever. The 28-year-old now owns the five fastest performance in the history of the event.

Soboleva, Cherkasova and Borzakovskiy lead Russian parade in the middle distances

Yelena Soboleva, the only sub-four minute 1500m runner this year, took a commanding victory in 3.58.3(h) - automatic timing failed for this race. Following the pace set by her compatriot Natalya Lavshuk, Soboleva began the final lap in the lead, with only Bahrains Maryam Yusuf Jamal and Yuliya Chizhenko briefly giving chase. Jamal held on for second (3:59.0) with Chizhenko (4:00.7) third.

Svetlana Cherkasova impressed again in the womens 800m, clocking 1.59.03 and winning the event more easily than the time of the runner-up, 1:59.14 by Kenyas Janeth Kipsogei, indicates.

In the mens 800m, Olympic champion Yuriy Borzakovskiy again utilized his well-known tactic of running well behind the pack, leaving others to lead. Entering the straight some 15 metres back, he accelerated down the straight to win in 1:44.38, ahead of Kuwaiti Mohammad Al-Azemi (1:44.55) and Canadian record holder Gary Reed whose 1:44.66 was his first sub-1:45 of the season.
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