Head of UK Sports Reporting
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Aug 16, 2013

Bolt blocks out the pain to advance in 200m

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Usain Bolt stretched, stifled a yawn and, almost apologetically, extracted his giant frame from his blocks before strolling through his heat as he began his bid for a third successive world 200 meters title on Friday.

Bolt, never a fan of morning action and slightly tentative after dropping a starting block on his foot earlier in the week, was in the last of seven first round heats and duly won it in 20.66 seconds without ever getting out of second gear.

Aug 15, 2013

Controversial Isinbayeva back in the spotlight

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Yelena Isinbayeva was not competing on Thursday but Russia’s newly-crowned pole vault queen remained firmly in the world championships limelight as she ignited fresh debate over her country’s anti-gay propaganda law.

Isinbayeva entranced her adoring crowd again during a tearful medal ceremony and is popular throughout the world but she will have lost some admirers after voicing her support for the new law and condemning Swedish high jumper Emma Green-Tregaro for painting rainbows on her nails in support of gay rights.

Aug 14, 2013

Heffernan walks the walk after talking the talk

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Robert Heffernan said he wanted to create a “Rocky scenario” by beating the Russians in their own back yard and the Irish journeyman duly matched Sylvester Stallone’s most outlandish plotline to win the 50km walk world gold on Wednesday.

True, world and Olympic champion Sergey Kirdyapkin was missing after a late withdrawal but the “Ivan Drago” role memorably played by Dolph Lundgren in Rocky IV, sat comfortably on the shoulders of Mikhail Ryzhov.

Aug 13, 2013

Athletics – Inspired Isinbayeva brings Moscow to life

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The world championships finally caught fire on Tuesday as the fans turned up to say farewell to Yelena Isinbayeva, only for the Russian pole vault queen to roll back the years and win an emotional gold medal against all the odds.

Without a global title since 2008, struggling for form and due to retire after this event, the 31-year-old fed off the energy produced by a finally near-full and raucous Luzhniki Stadium to triumph with a leap of 4.89 metres.

Aug 13, 2013

Inspired Isinbayeva brings Moscow to life

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The world championships finally caught fire on Tuesday as the fans turned up to say farewell to Yelena Isinbayeva, only for the Russian pole vault queen to roll back the years and win an emotional gold medal against all the odds.

Without a global title since 2008, struggling for form and due to retire after this event, the 31-year-old fed off the energy produced by a finally near-full and raucous Luzhniki Stadium to triumph with a leap of 4.89 meters.

Aug 13, 2013

Peerless Harting completes world discus hat-trick

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Germany’s Robert Harting won his third successive world discus title in impressive style on Tuesday when his 69.11 meter throw, the fourth-longest of the season, was too good for perennial runner-up Piotr Malachowski of Poland who took another silver.

Harting, also the Olympic and European champion and world runner-up in 2007, has been the most consistent performer all season but with Malachowski the only man to break 70 meters this year it was always likely to be close.

Aug 12, 2013

German Holzdeppe takes shock pole vault gold

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Germany’s Raphael Holzdeppe was a shock winner of the men’s world pole vault title on Monday as he edged red-hot French favourite Renaud Lavillenie on countback.

Both men failed three times to clear 5.96 metres but the German had been faultless in moving up through the heights to notch 5.89 while Olympic champion Lavillenie, who had dominated the event all season, was uncharacteristically off form and had several failures along the way.

Aug 12, 2013

Oliver smiling after long-awaited hurdles gold

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Perennially cheerful American David Oliver finally had something to really smile about on Monday as a powerful run earned him the world 110 metres hurdles gold medal and the global title he so richly deserves.

Oliver, who missed last year’s Olympics after a wretched time with injury, had been the form athlete all year and ran impressively throughout the competition in Moscow.

Aug 12, 2013

Trinidad officials confirm Baptiste’s doping absence

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Trinidad and Tobago athletics officials confirmed on Monday that Kelly-Ann Baptiste, who won a world 100 meters bronze medal in 2011, and fellow sprinter Semoy Hackett missed the Moscow world championships because of doping violations.

The two athletes left Moscow before competition started on Saturday and Trinidad’s National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA), who initially declined to give a reason, issued a statement confirming the wide-reported news.

Aug 12, 2013

Another empty stadium as Moscow suffers post-Bolt blues

MOSCOW (Reuters) – There was a real Monday morning feeling as the world athletics championships got underway to the now-familiar backdrop of a virtually deserted Luzhniki Stadium, though a knot of dedicated Ukraine fans did their best to lift the flat mood.

If Muscovites were not going to turn out to watch Usain Bolt on a warm Sunday evening, when the stadium was still only three-quarters full, then they certainly had no intention of rocking up on an overcast Monday morning for a thin qualifying session, despite the presence of some world-class talent.

    • About Mitch

      "I'm the head of UK sports reporting, based in London. I've been on the Reuters sports desk since 1997 and cover mainly football, rugby, athletics, golf, cycling and cricket."
      Joined Reuters:
      1997
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