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Kirani James Wins Men's 400 Metres

Daegu, South Korea, Aug 30:   Kirani James of Grenada fought from behind to beat favorite LaShawn Merritt of the United States at the line to win the 400 meters Tuesday at the world championships.Merritt long
PTI August 30, 2011 19:07 IST
PTI

Daegu, South Korea, Aug 30:   Kirani James of Grenada fought from behind to beat favorite LaShawn Merritt of the United States at the line to win the 400 meters Tuesday at the world championships.

Merritt long looked like taking gold, but James never gave up and dipped at the line to finish in a personal best 44.60 seconds. It was Grenada's first world championship medal.

Merritt finished in 44.63 for silver and Kevin Borlee of Belgium took bronze in 44.90.

Heptathlon: Tatyana Chernova ended the reign of Jessica Ennis in the heptathlon, coming back from behind to take gold from the defending champion at the world championships on Tuesday.

Chernova made the difference in the javelin early in the day, when the Russian's season best throw of 52.95 meters contrasted sharply with Ennis' 39.95.

In the concluding 800, Chernova knew she could lose nine seconds to the Briton, but with a great finishing kick almost beat the hard-charging Ennis at the tape.
It left the Russian with a total of 6,880 points, compared to 6,751 for Ennis. Jennifer Oeser of Germany took bronze with 6,572.

Later Tuesday, compatriot Yelena Isinbayeva was seeking more Russian gold, two years after she no-heighted in the final of the worlds in Berlin.

Over the past two years, Ennis won gold in the multi-event indoor and outdoor world championships and at the European championships. She was counting on another outstanding performance for a boost of confidence ahead of her home Olympics in London next year.

Instead it was the 23-year-old Chernova who won her first major title.

Ennis had held a 151-point lead over Chernova after the first four events on Monday, but after the long jump got her closer, the Russian took over for good in the javelin.

Like Ennis, Isinbayeva also needed a boost ahead of London.

After her debacle in Berlin, the decline of the once regal vaulter continued when she took a year-log break after losing the world indoor title in early 2010.
Now, she wants her third world title to set her up for the 2012 London Games, where she still is the two-time defending Olympic champion.

Former Olympic 800 champion Yuriy Borzakovskiy will have a tougher time to add to Russia's tally since he will be facing the all-powerful David Rudisha in the final.

The Kenyan dominated qualifying with supreme ease, something which can hardly be said for rival Abubaker Kaki. The Sudanese runner only made the final with a fastest losing time.

Another highlight of the evening session is expected to be the 400 meters. After Jeremy Wariner withdrew because of injury, all attention is centered on Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt, who is coming off a 21-month doping suspension.

In early action, 10,000 champion Vivian Cheruiyot coasted in the 5,000 heats to qualify for a final where the defending champion can clinch a long-distance double.
The women's steeplechase and men's discus throw are also on the program.

Pole Vault:  Fabiana Murer of Brazil won the women's pole vault Tuesday at the world championships, clearing 4.85 meters a few minutes after two-time Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva was eliminated.

Martina Strutz of Germany took silver at 4.80, and Svetlana Feofanova of Russia earned bronze with a height of 4.75.

Isinbayeva, who failed to defend her title in Berlin two years ago after no-heighting in the final, cleared her first vault of 4.65 meters, but then failed at 4.75 once and 4.80 twice to finish in sixth place.

Two-time Olympic champion Isinbayeva was eliminated from the pole vault competition at the world championships after clearing only one height.

Isinbayeva had been a huge favorite heading into the 2009 world championships in Berlin, but she failed to defend her title after no-heighting in the final.

World-record holder David Rudisha of Kenya beat rival Abubaker Kaki of Sudan to win his first world championship title in the 800 meters with yet another dominating performance.

Rudisha took the lead early and never saw anyone threaten him again as he finished in 1 minute, 43.91 seconds. Kaki, a two-time indoor world champion, finished in 1:44.41 and former Olympic 800 champion Yuriy Borzakovskiy of Russia took bronze in 1.44.49.

Rudisha has now won 32 races in a row dating back to August 2009.   AP