Head of UK Sports Reporting
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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.

Aug 11, 2013

Bolt regains 100 meters title in Moscow storm

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Usain Bolt was made to look human by a combination of a Russian rainstorm and a fired-up Justin Gatlin on Sunday but the Jamaican superstar was still good enough to regain his world 100m title in a surging 9.77 seconds.

With former world and Olympic champion and twice-banned doper Gatlin leading at halfway, Bolt was forced to race a rival, rather than the clock, although his time was still the second-fastest of the year behind the 9.75 of Tyson Gay, absent from Moscow after testing positive.

Aug 11, 2013

Eaton takes decathlon gold to complete dream treble

MOSCOW (Reuters) – American Ashton Eaton cemented his position as the world’s greatest athlete when he won the world decathlon title on Sunday, completing a spectacular hat-trick having won Olympic gold and broken the world record last year.

Eaton led from the first event on Saturday morning when he laid down a marker with a 10.35-seconds 100 metres, completing the first day with the fastest 400m ever run in a decathlon world championships having been given a dressing down by his coach after “lacking motivation.”

Aug 11, 2013

Eaton edges closer to decathlon gold at deserted Luzhniki

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Never before in the field of sporting conflict can so much have been given by so many and watched by so few as the men vying for the title of the world’s greatest athlete set about their work in a virtually empty Luzhniki stadium on Sunday.

Ashton Eaton might be Olympic decathlon champion and world record holder but the Russian public did not feel compelled to shell out their hard-earned rubles to watch him bid to add the world title to his collection, even with tickets available for the equivalent of three U.S. dollars.

Aug 11, 2013

Gardner sets the pace with sub-11 first-heat 100m

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The long-running, high-octane battle between Jamaica and the United States in the women’s 100 meters shows no sign of easing after the two sprint superpowers dominated the first round of qualifying at the world championships on Sunday.

Just as in the men’s event, the countries have dominated the global sprint scene in the last two decades and the United States took first blood on Sunday with an explosive performance by English Gardner.

    • 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."
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