Russia''s Isinbayeva suffers defeat in World Athletics
BERLIN: Yelena Isinbayeva, the queen of global athletics, was dethroned in the first great shock of the World Championships when she lost her first major pole-vault competition for six years.
But on the night when Usain Bolt collected his 100 meters gold medal in the Olympiastadion and then watched his fellow Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser crowned the world''s fastest woman, Berlin saluted another true phenomenon of the sport as Ethiopia''s Kenenisa Bekele brilliantly won his fourth consecutive world 10,000m title.
Isinbayeva is Bolt''s female equivalent, the charismatic Russian dominates her event in a manner practically unequalled by any other athlete and she was expected to soar to her fourth consecutive title as a matter of course.
Chambers and Gay out of 200m Yet just 24 hours after the gasps of astonishment which greeted Bolt''s brilliance, this time the sensation was the sight of the 27-year-old double Olympic champion sobbing after failing to clear a single height.
Needing one last-gasp clearance of 4.80m, a height she can normally clear in her sleep, the woman who has soared 25cm higher and set 26 world records ended up slumped, head in hands on the vault bed after finishing last.
Out of sorts from the time she entered the competition at 4.75m and failed even to reach the bar at her first attempt, she looked forlornly for advice from her coach in the sparse crowd and, having gambled at 4.80m, appeared to have completed the clearance until brushing the bar on the way down.
Poland''s new champion Anna Rogowska, who had ended Isinbayeva''s six-year unbeaten run in all competitions at Crystal Palace recently, had already cleared 4.75m, and the Russian could not cope with the pressure of her do-or-die attempt.
It was the first time she had failed to win a major championship since 2003. "I can''t explain it. I was in perfect shape. I don''t know what happened," she said.
Even Kate Dennison, Sale Harriers'' UK record holder, will now be able to say she beat the great one as she finished sixth with 4.55m.
Bekele was simply magnificent, as he defended his six-year unbeaten record over 25 laps by going with the fierce pace set by Eritrean Zersenay Tadese, who broke the rest of the 25-man field, and then destroying him by some 20 metres with a searing 57.4sec last lap to clock a new championship record of 26min 46.31sec.
Bolt may be considered the phenomenon of his age but you will get a decent argument from the distance-running fraternity that Bekele is every bit as great. This was his 23rd gold medal at world and Olympic championships.
Fraser, the Olympic 100m champion, produced a scintillating run of 10.73sec to make her the third fastest woman of all-time, and pipped Kerron Stewart by two-hundredths of a second for a Jamaican one-two.