Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 15th 2013 Contents A56
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, August 15, 2013
Robert Heffernan became Ire-
land s first male world champion
in 30 years by defeating the Russian
challenge in their own back yard
to win the 50 kilometres race walk
gold in Moscow.
The 35-year-old, who finished an
agonising fourth at London 2012 last
summer, strode away from home
favourite Mikhail Ryzhov in the clos-
ing kilometres to win in a world-
leading three hours 37 minutes 56
He said: "I wanted to go to
Moscow and take on the Russians
in Moscow and that s what I did.
"I m very proud that an Irish man
can come to Russia and beat them
His country were proud too, with
president Michael D Higgins saying
the people of Ireland would celebrate
Heffernan s triumph saw him fol-
low in the footsteps of Eamonn
Coghlan, the last Irish man to take
global gold when he won the 5,000m
in Helsinki in 1983.
Heffernan was Ireland s first world
champion of either sex since Sonia
O Sullivan triumphed over 5,000m
in Gothenburg 18 years ago.
He went to Moscow in fine form
and was considered a genuine medal
hope for an Irish team, although few
could have predicted gold.
In a composed morning run, he
was with the leading pack at the
halfway mark and, when one by one
it was whittled down, he went toe-
to-toe with Ryzhov.
Heffernan looked far fresher going
into the final 5km, though, and was
away and gone by the time he came
into the Luzhniki Stadium, winning
"It s surreal, it s just a great feel-
ing," he said. "When I came into the
stadium it just felt like an out of
body experience. It s hard to take it
all in at the moment. I m delight-
ed.Victory earned Heffernan his first
major medal after years of near miss-
es, including fourth-placed finishes
over 20km and 50km at the 2010
European Championships in
He added: "I knew I was moti-
vated. People go on about medals,
for the last 11 years I ve been moti-
vated and challenging for a medal.
For some reason or other I hadn t
"I was prepared for everything
coming into it. I stayed thoroughly
motivated this year after London
when a lot of people take their foot
off the gas.
Australia s Jared Tallent took the
bronze, with Heffernan s compatriot
Brendan Boyce finishing 25th in a
new personal best of 3:54.24.
Greg Rutherford failed to make
the long-jump final at the World
Championships but believes his
selection for Moscow was a "no
brainer" despite furious criticism
from rival Chris Tomlinson.
A year on from winning Olympic
gold, the selection of 26-year-old
Rutherford for Russia was contro-
Despite struggling with a ham-
string injury, he was picked by UK
Athletics performance director Neil
Black ahead of the fully-fit Tom-
It was a decision that backfired
as the Milton Keynes athlete fin-
ished 14th in qualification, man-
aging a best of 7.87 metres---well
shy of the 8.35m personal best he
set last year.
An already irked Tomlinson was
furious at Rutherford s performance
and vented his fury on Twitter.
"Words can t describe my anger,"
he wrote. "Season ruined on media
profile and not current athletic
form, thanks for the support from
the athletics community." His post
was later deleted.
Tomlinson later added: "Thanks
for the support, choosing not to
tweet (again) will regret it when my
blood pressure settles! Good luck
to all the team. I ll see you soon."
By that point, though, Rutherford
had already been asked about Tom-
linson s comment and launched a
staunch defence of his selection.
"Ultimately I m still British num-
ber one as it stands and still jumped
further multiple times than him
this year," he said. "I ve beaten him
every time apart from when I got
"I think in any event, no matter
what if you re looking at somebody
better who s failed the distance that
year but won more head-to-heads
and still has a major title behind
them, it s a no brainer.
MOSCOW---After winning her
latest, and perhaps last, gold
medal, Yelena Isinbayeva almost
immediately looked at the next
Sports greatest female pole
vaulter put on one of her best
shows ever at 31, turning a half
decade of losses, injuries and frus-
tration into Russia s best night so
far at the world championships.
Now, the athlete who almost
singlehandedly turned women s
pole vaulting from a sporting odd-
ity into a star event will be looking
out for herself.
Soon, she said shortly after
Tuesday night s victory, she will
"A kind of walking penguin," she
There had been rumors of retire-
ment, but this time she provided
clarity: She will come back for the
2016 Olympics after giving birth.
"If I will be able to come back
I will be in Rio definitely, but if
something will go wrong I will offi-
cially announce that I will retire,"
Isinbayeva said. "For the moment,
just a small woman s break."
Coming back from motherhood
has been done before, notably by
Russia s second-most popular track
star, Anna Chicherova. The high
jumper returned from giving birth
to her daughter Nika in 2010 to
take both the world and Olympic
titles. At 31, she is the favourite to
retain her title in Moscow when
qualifying opens today.
With her biological clock ticking,
Isinbayeva is now taking more than
one step at a time, though.
"I m running ahead of everyone
again," she said. "My fiance is
shocked. He asks me in the morn-
ing not to tell anybody. Let s first
But sometimes her mouth has
been faster than her reasoning.
"Yes, I m going to be pregnant
but I do not know when. Maybe
the wedding will be soon," she said,
before remembering that her part-
ner has yet to propose to her.
Then again, she has a way of
making her wishes come true.
"I will have some victories in
my ordinary life---to give birth to
a child is also a victory. Family life
is also a hard job which I will have
to learn," Isinbayeva said. "I will
have to learn be a woman and
In truth, though, Isinbayeva
looked more like an overexcited
teenager than a mature woman on
Tuesday after bronze medalist
Yarisley Silva missed her last
attempt and the entire Luzhniki
Stadium erupted in one huge roar.
Suddenly, she was jumping for
joy, somersaulting and backflipping
on the track with a Russian flag in
her hand, leaping into the arms of
the mascot and hugging like never
before in a fit of showboating that
could put even Usain Bolt to
With one victory, the weight of
years of frustration fell off her
After she lost her Olympic and
world titles, she didn t really seem
close to recapturing that genius of
"I can say that this is the dearest
gold for me because from Beijing
and up to the world championships
in Moscow I had so many prob-
lems, I had so many losses, injuries.
I completely did not believe in my
abilities," Isinbayeva said. "I was
in despair and really was thinking
deep in my head that it was time
It was not only that, after years
of adulation when seven major gold
medals indoors and outdoors and
two dozen world records piled up
right up to the 2008 Beijing
Olympics, the mood sometimes
turned against her.
"People were saying that Isin-
bayeva s era was over, that she had
run out of gas. I ve heard so much
about it all---and it was so insult-
ing," Isinbayeva said. "But on the
other hand, it urged me on."
Andy Murray opened pursuit of his
third Western & Southern Open
championship yesterday with a 6-
2, 6-3 win over Mikhail Youzhny.
The second-seeded Murray, who
beat Novak Djokovic in the 2008
and 2011 finals and in the Wimble-
don final in July, needed one hour
and nine minutes to improve to 4-
0 in his career against the 25th-
Murray, who is also the defending
US Open champion, was coming off
a third-round loss last week in Mon-
treal, his first action since becoming
the first British male to win Wim-
bledon since Fred Perry in 1936.
"He made more mistakes than I
expected," Murray said. "I just want
to play as many matches as I can.
It s important to get a few matches
in before New York. I didn t make
too many errors and hit a high per-
centage of first serves."
Murray will face 36th-ranked
Julien Benneteau in the third round.
Eleventh-seeded German Tommy
Haas also advanced, beating No. 46
Spaniard Marcel Granollers, 6-4, 6-
1. He earned a matchup with fifth-
seeded and five-time tournament-
champion Roger Federer.
Belgian qualifier David Goffin,
ranked 80th, also reached the third
round with a 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (6) upset
of 40th-ranked Canadian Vasek
In the women s draw, 11th-seeded
Australian Samantha Stosur reached
the third round with a 6-3, 7-6 (3)
win over 26th-ranked American
Jamie Hampton, while sixth-seeded
Italian Sara Errani was challenged
by 102nd-ranked Slovakia s Polona
Hercog before prevailing, 6-4, 7-5,
6-4. That set up a third-round
matchup with 12th-seeded Italian
Roberta Vinci, who pulled out a 6-
4, 6-7 (3), 6-3 win over German
qualifier Andrea Petkovic.
Russia's Yelena Isinbayeva competes in the women's pole vault final at
the World Athletics Championships in the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow,
Russia, Tuesday. AP PHOTO
to be a real mother
strikes gold in Moscow
Robert Heffernan ....won his first major
medal after years of near misses
Rutherford fails to make final
Murray opens Cincy with straight-set win
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