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London Grand Prix
Crystal Palace, 25-26 July 2008




LATEST ACTION (all times BST)
606: DEBATE
To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111 - please put "athletics" before your message. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Ollie Williams

1740: That's it from me. If you're watching the coverage on the web or TV and wondering what that monkey's doing, you can find out more here:

All your contributions have been much appreciated. Everybody back here in a couple of weeks, when it's for real.

1736: "Great Britain need to do a lot more work in the relay if they want a medal. They are just not in the same league as the Americans at the moment."
Via text on 81111

1735: The consensus from the race is that Britain have some work to do, despite good work at the baton change - but the athletes themselves seem pretty happy.

"Today was all about going out there and trying to get a good run, and Tyrone ran a good back straight."
Christian Malcolm

"I believed in Christian, he's a great talent on the bend and when he gave me the baton, I tried to do the best I could."
Tyrone Edgar

"I was in a good position as Tyrone gave me the baton, I went past the American on the outside of me. We didn't win but it's good preparation."
Marlon Devonish

"It's been seven years since I've run the last leg so I need the experience. We'll try to improve on that come Beijing."
Craig Pickering

1730: It's the USA "red" team who win the 4x100m in 37.80, the quickest relay time this year and a British all-comers' record for this event. Trinidad and Tobago finish second with a strong team, and Craig Pickering brings home the British baton for third place.

1726: No Usain Bolt, who has decided not to compete in the relay. That's a disappointment but I can understand the decision.

Malcolm, Edgar, Devonish and Pickering make up the first of two British teams - the other, younger team comprises of Scott, Yearwood, Fifton and Aikines-Aryeetey.

1724: It's 4x100m men's relay time. This gives us a preview of what we expect to be the team GB unveil to defend their Olympic title in Beijing...

1722: 44.83 is Rooney's time, with Canada's Tyler Christopher second in 45.29, and Ireland's David Gillick third in 45.35. Rooney, as you'd expect, is a delighted man.

"That was perfect. It was great to do it at Crystal Palace, I'm the local boy here and it's great to run a PB here. I'm just so happy.

"I've been in this shape all season and I needed to get in a race where I was going to be challenged, then taken around in a good 300m time. I knew it was coming and today's the day to do it.

"If I don't make the final at the Olympics now it'll be a bad championships. Then if I get a good lane in the final, who knows."
Martyn Rooney

1718: Brilliant! Martyn Rooney wins in magnificent, majestic, masterful style, gliding over the line in the knowledge he had yards and yards of space behind him. A famous 400m victory for the Croydon man - he's only 21 and the crowd love that. At last, is this a man with some serious Beijing potential for Britain?

1716: "Yates works his tail off for years, starts to produce world class performances and our selectors would rather send nobody to the Olympics than take a punt on an athlete who could be a real force in 2012."
lightborsdane on 606

1715: Bad news for Goldie Sayers fans - she has to settle for 63.82m, which leaves her second behind the relentlessly chirpy German, Christina Obergfoll.

My dad's great Olympic claim to fame is that he once met Goldie Sayers' mum. So she'd better pull something out of the bag in Beijing or else he'll be incredibly disappointed.

The men's 400m is next up, with GB's Martyn Rooney in action.

1710: "Mo Farah is the most inconsistent athlete. Great run by Okoro, she knew it was her last chance to see what she had before Olympics and went for it. We need to see more of that especially form Sanders and Ohuruogu who have the speed and talent there."
gerbs17 on 606

"We are impressed with the sheer size of Mr Ron Macintosh - he dwarfs the athletes and makes the microphone look like a toy... just how tall is he?"
Anonymous via text on 81111

In case you don't know, Big Ron is BBC Sport's interviewer at Crystal Palace - currently to be seen on your screens, towering over Veronica Campbell.

I am told, though I have no independent proof, that Ron is 6'9". I'm not stating that as fact but he doesn't look far off, does he?

1706: Veronica Campbell surges through in a time of 10.87, in zero wind, to win the women's 100m. Shelly Ann Fraser is second, ahead of Marshevet Hooker. That time is a season's best for Campbell.

"If the Jamaicans haven't made their mind up yet about their third spot, she's certainly put forward a very persuasive argument."
BBC Sport's Steve Cram

1704: "I enjoy the BBC's coverage but what is this crazy camera position at the pole vault?"
Anonymous via text on 81111

I've actually been quite enjoying that camera angle! By the way, we're adding photos of today's action all the time, take a look:

1702: Plenty of injury news - or non-news as it turns out. I did wonder how Greg Rutherford managed to injure himself, since I never saw it happen, and he's just cleared up the mystery of why he was pictured holding an ice pack to his leg:

"There's no problem at all, it's just precautionary stuff, I do it after every session. There's nothing wrong, I'm just making sure it stays nice and calm down there."
Greg Rutherford

1700: And right on cue, with a four-event victory under her belt, Kelly Sotherton tells us that misplaced hurdle did give her an injury:

"It could be quite severe. Nobody wanted me to run today - physio and doctor - but I felt okay. The aim was not to run the bend, but run the straight.

"It hampered me a lot and I'm not very happy about that, it could have been a major injury for me. But I still won!"
Kelly Sotherton

1656: Sotherton sails past Louise Hazel in the 200m and storms on to take second behind the American Gi-Gi Johnson, in what was not a particularly quick race. But at least Sotherton is now home and dry, and all set for Beijing.

"Could someone explain what happened yesterday with Sotherton and the hurdles? I know about the hurdles being in the wrong place but was the race re-run later?"
ManUnited2008 on 606

Yes, the race was re-run last night, and Sotherton finished a mildly disappointing fourth. As can be seen if you scroll right back down to the start of today's coverage, she was not at all impressed with the organisers. Can you blame her? I still can't believe that happened.

1654: Turns out Boniface Kiprop (see 1646) can be rearranged as "Bacon Pie If Pork". Brilliant.

Kelly Sotherton's final event of her four is the 200m, coming up now.

1652: "I'm gutted for the guy, I don't want to leave people at home, especially if they're up and coming. But the criteria are there and it's too late. I will be more than happy to pick him in 2012."
Dave Collins on Rick Yates, centre of Facebook selection protest

1651: Apparently Greg Rutherford has also taken a knock in the long jump so, given what we saw happen to Chris Tomlinson, Britain's two top jumpers are now both potentially on the injury list going into the Games. Not good.

"Marilyn Okoro was absolutely tremendous. As for Chris and Greg, they'll get their scans. We can do rehab work with them and get them set up as well as we can."
Dave Collins, UK Athletics performance director

1646: It turns out the commentators were right. Farah finishes a disappointing sixth, and now he's lying on the track - one white trainer, one black, incidentally - looking a little bemused.

Uganda's Boniface Kiprop is the winner (anagrams have gone a bit quiet, anyone fancy trying that one?), ahead of Kenya's Mike Kigen.

"I'm really disappointed, it would have been nice to win at home. But the race is done and I'm looking forward to Beijing. We need to work out exactly what happened, the last bit was quite quick and I couldn't go with it."
Mo Farah

1644: Mo Farah is causing the TV commentators all kinds of trouble in the 3000m as the bell goes for the final lap. He looked as though he'd tired himself out, but now in the final lap Mo tries to turn on the accelerator.

1640: Christina Obergfoll looks like an incredibly cheeky lady, whereas Goldie Sayers has got that British furrowed brow of calm, serious endeavour under pressure.

Obergfoll, from Germany, has just outdone Sayers in the javelin, and responds with a playful grin at the camera. Sayers is now back in second.

1638: The men's 3000m event is under way.

"Is there any way that Rick Yates can now be taken to the Olympics? Surely common sense must prevail."
cairotcat on 606

I may be wrong, but I'm 99.9% sure there is no way Rick Yates can now compete at the Olympics.

1636: Yevgeniy Lukyanenko wins the pole vault for Russia, reaching a height of 5.97, from Australia's Steve Hooker. Britain's Stephen Lewis finishes fifth with a mark of 5.62.

1631: Our first view of Goldie Sayers in the javelin. This woman used to hurl javelins into fields full of horses to train, which I think is hardcore - from the horses' point of view, if not Goldie's.

Her first throw is 62.35, her best throw this season.

"I was expecting to run fast. All the endurance training I did over the winter has paid off and I think I'm ready for Beijing!"
Marilyn Okoro

1627: Britain's Marilyn Okoro builds an impressive lead in the 800m but, as so often in athletics, there's a worry that she's broken a little too early.

Okoro keeps on going though, and she crosses the line in 1:58:45, a big personal best for her and a stunning victory. As soon as I sound a negative note about GB track performances today, Okoro shuts me up in style.

"She was rewarded for her bravery there, she went for the pace and had enough strength to see it through to the end."
BBC Sport's Steve Cram

1622: "Nice to see Paul Hession in third running a good 200m race, good from an Irish perspective."
JM-Sixto on 606

1620: Lolo Jones wins the 100m hurdles in 12:58, Britain's Sarah Claxton seventh in a time of 13:01.

There has been a lot of negative talk on 606 and the texts about Britain's track athletes struggling to even threaten the top three in their Crystal Palace events. It is becoming increasingly difficult to argue with some of it.

Meanwhile there's a fascinating pole vault competition developing, with two men, including Australia's Steve Hooker, locked in battle and vaulting over 6m.

Confirmation of the long jump result too - Greg Rutherford wins with a leap of 8.16m, fellow Brit Chris Kirk was fourth with 7.84m, and Chris Tomlinson, who dropped out, finished sixth with 7.74m.

"It kind of stings a bit but you have to be tough when you're a hurdler. It was the second fastest time of my career, and I'm happy with my form at the moment."
Sally McLellan, Aussie stunt hurdler

1613: We've not heard too much about athletes from Down Under at this event, but Australia's Sally McLellan finds herself literally down under the rest of her 100m hurdles field as she throws herself over the finish line.

Has that spectacular dive/collapse won her the race? It's incredibly tight but America's Lolo Jones just steals it ahead of her.

1611: Women's 100m hurdles time. Let's hope the organisers have put the hurdles in the right places this time, otherwise they'll feel the wrath of Sotherton. (She's not competing in this, Sarah Claxton is the British representative, but Kelly still has her 200m race to run so she'll be lurking.)

1608: Confirmation of times from the men's 800m: Abraham Chepkirwok won the race in 1:45.64, with GB's Michael Rimmer very content, I should imagine, to place second in 1:45.76.

Greg Rutherford looks to be well on the way to winning the long jump. Chris Tomlinson, sat on the sidelines holding ice to his injured ankle, must wish he'd never got out of bed.

1605: "Am I alone in hoping that come the Olympics athletics coverage, the BBC will once again have Michael Johnson as a commentator? I'm rather missing him at Crystal Palace!"
pricklyd on 606

1603: "It's very sore at the moment, I can't even do a calf raise. I'm absolutely devastated."
Chris Tomlinson, who has dropped out of the long jump with an ankle injury

1600: Michael Rimmer, Britain's lone competitor in the 800m, holds on to second place heading into the final straight. He then shows a thrilling burst of pace to challenge Abraham Chepkirwok, but just falls short.

Further back, Gary Reed and Mbulaeni Mulaudzi clash feet, and both end up out of the race, but Rimmer won't be worried about that.

1553: Phillips Idowu has been chatting about his poor start to the triple jump on Friday - and in trademark fashion, he can't find anything negative to say.

"Everyone thinks I'm the kind of athlete who will bash out the big jumps in the first round, and that's all I've got. It's nice to start off slow and then build on that. In Beijing I know I'll have enough ammunition to retaliate."
Phillips Idowu

1549: And there's Chris Tomlinson, holding ice to his ankle and looking thoroughly miserable, as you would when you pick up an injury less than two weeks from the Games.

Fellow jumper Greg Rutherford, meanwhile, turns in a great jump of 8.16 to give himself a good lead.

1547: Jen Rhines, from the US, wins the women's 3000m by a considerable distance in a time of 8:53.28 - Britain's Steph Twell finishing back in fifth. We're hoping to hear from Chris Tomlinson on BBC Radio 5 Live shortly, about his injury.

1545: "Yates has just sent a message to the selectors - what a huge mistake they made in leaving him out of the squad."
boknows34 on 606

1542: We reckon Chris Tomlinson has withdrawn from the long jump with that ankle injury.

"I don't think Chris Tomlinson will be taking any further part. He's limping badly, has taken his spikes off and is showing his ankle to a track official. It looks like the problem is just above his right ankle."
BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce at Crystal Palace

1537: A little worrying for Chris Tomlinson, who holds his ankle after a slightly awkward landing in the long jump. I'll keep an eye on him.

1533: A time of 49.06 is a massive PB for Rick Yates - who has been at the centre of a protest against the UK Athletics selectors on Facebook.

There might be some red faces now that Yates has sliced almost half a second off his previous best.

"I've had a pretty hard week with not getting selected, but my coach told me to let my legs do the talking and I think I did that today."
Rick Yates

"That's a huge wake-up call to the selectors, they've really got to take that seriously."
BBC Sport pundit Colin Jackson

1529: Greg Rutherford shakes his head and has a bit of a sign-language conversation with his coach as he overbalances a little in the long jump. But he still has the lead with 7.91 metres into a pretty strong headwind.

I think it's worth noting that Rick Yates was wearing a very fetching blue number, by the way.

1526: What a run from Rick Yates in the 400m hurdles! Sadly for him it's two weeks too late to get into the GB team for Beijing, but Yates hauls his tired limbs over the line to come second, behind America's Kerron Clement.

1523: "Looking forward to the men's 4x100m. Jamaica's team is looking very good."
ManUnited2008 on 606

Jamaica are looking very good at everything here. Markino Buckley is the Jamaican competitor in the men's 400m hurdles now. Will he win?

1518: "I stumbled over my first hurdles but I was able to regain control. I saw Bolt run just now, I got fired up and there's a lot of support here, I love it."
Melaine Walker, women's 400m hurdles winner

"Bolt cruises to a 19.76 and he put the brakes on with about 15m to go. I think we'll see him run a sub-19.6 in Beijing."
boknows34 on 606

1515: A commanding performance from yet another Jamaican star, Melaine Walker, to win the 400m hurdles in 54.23. GB's Perri Shakes-Drayton finished in sixth place in 56.25, although the field wasn't the strongest in the world.

And yes, it's Melaine, not Melanie. It could have been worse.

1506: "The crowd here is wonderful. These guys come and support me and I have to put on a good show for them. I look forward to coming here every year.

"I'm still waiting to see what will be going on (with the option of running both 100m and 200m in Beijing), my coach is making that decision maybe in a week or so. I think I have a good chance of doing well in both of them so I'd love to do it."
Usain Bolt

Wallace Spearmon was second in 20.27, half a second behind, with Ireland's Paul Hession third in 20.37.

1503: Bolt posts a scintillating, incredibly fast British all-comers' record of 19.76. You could have driven a number of double decker buses between Bolt and the rest of the 200m field.

"Superb sprinting from Usain Bolt, he makes running the times most athletes can only dream of look so, so easy. What can we look forward to in Beijing from this man?"
BBC Sport's Steve Cram

1458: Kelly Sotherton smirks after her final attempt at the shot put, and gives a hand signal to suggest she's just about satisfied. That attempt was 14.36 metres, beating her earlier effort of 14.12, and that's enough to place her second behind Laurien Hoos.

So with one event remaining - the 200m - Sotherton has a commanding 165-point lead.

Here comes the men's 200m. Usain Bolt has promised us "something special", but he'll need to work hard to beat Idowu's trilby hat on that score.

1456: "The boys are out for the long jump, including new British champion Greg Rutherford, who is measuring out his run-up. Phillips Idowu, the impressive winner of yesterday's triple jump, is watching on from the stands - wearing a white athletics vest and a brown trilby hat."
BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce at Crystal Palace

1452: Away first time in the second heat and Shelly Ann Fraser wins that one by some distance in 11.01, ahead of another Jamaican, Carmelita Jeter, and Debbie Ferguson.

A bit of a shock for Kerron Stewart, though. She's posted 10.80 this year, but doesn't even make it into the final.

"That probably underlines the quality of the women's 100m here this year. Superb sprinting from Fraser."
BBC Sport's Steve Cram

"Allyson Felix has pulled out of her 100m heat. She had a desperately disappointing run in the 200m yesterday and while we haven't had an official reason, it looks like she's worried about her form."
BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce at Crystal Palace

1447: Marshevet Hooker won that first 100m heat in 11.04, but to give you an idea how close it was, she was followed by Veronica Campbell in 11.05 and Torri Edwards in 11.06.

The Brits, perhaps predictably, are lower down the results sheet. Douglas came sixth in 11.27, ahead of Turner (11.42) and Maduaka (11.78).

Two more Brits in the second heat, coming up.

"Conditions down here are absolutely perfect, there's no wind whatsoever."
BBC Sport pundit Colin Jackson

1444: GB's Steve Lewis is doing well in the pole vault but we've not yet reached the business end of that event.

Meanwhile America's Gi-Gi Johnson is out to upset Kelly Sotherton in her special four-event warm-up for Beijing. Johnson gets a season's best in the shot, but Sotherton sees that and raises it by over a metre, posting 14.12.

1440: The time is 11.05, identical to the GB record Douglas holds, but she flagged towards the end - it's between either Marshevet Hooker or Veronica Campbell. Either way, they're through to the final and it's unlikely if the same can be said for the Brits.

1438: False start from Joice Maduaka, which sets off a thundering klaxon, so there's a short delay. One of the other GB runners in this heat, Laura Turner, looked incredibly animated on her blocks. She loved it when she was announced to the crowd! That's what we want, a bit of pride. And perhaps some pace.

1436: First up for us this afternoon, it's the women's 100m heats. Montell Douglas is the new British star with the GB record to her name, but Torri Edwards is fastest in the world this year, in a time of 10.78 (Douglas's record is 11.05). Douglas and Edwards meet in heat one.

1432: Remember, if you're in the UK you can watch this afternoon's action live on TV or the web.

1430: "Perri Shakes-Drayton = 'Hardiest nosey parker'."
seymoursheep on 606

1425: When I said the athletics was on BBC Two earlier, I lied. It's on BBC One.

Some more things to look out for: Goldie Sayers in the javelin from 1617, Mo Farah in the men's 3000m from 1536, and the big one - the men's 200m with Usain Bolt - is scheduled to happen quite early on, at 1500.

"Apart from Kelly Sotherton's long jump PB I found yesterday's British performances rather flat and uninspiring."
speedy_gonzalez on 606

1420: On Friday night we ended up doing quite a good line in athlete anagrams. I'm encouraged to see this continued on 606 long after the events:

"Anagram for Allyson Felix: 'Fall on sexily'."
cullybelvo05 on 606

Well, I see no reason why we can't continue this theme today. Rugbyathletics1 has already produced an anagram for 200m runner Christian Malcolm, which I'm not sure I can publish on these pages. By all means get involved with your own suggestions.

1416: To start with, here's a strong entry from Chris Tomlinson for Best British Athlete Quote, 2008:

"I love being in Hampstead, it's very nice. I see Ricky Gervais around sometimes, and I've seen Russell Brand too.

"I doubt they recognise me. They must think I'm gay as I walk my Shih Tzu dog - especially as I'm on Hampstead Heath!"

On a slightly more topical note, Tomlinson adds he's hoping to "jump further than I ever have before" at Crystal Palace today.

Tomlinson and Greg Rutherford do battle from about 1515 in the long jump. The women's discus is already under way, and there is live coverage on your telly box from 1430 on BBC Two (and, if you're in the UK, on this here website).

1410: Welcome back to the Crystal Palace action - for the first time we get not one, but two days of top athletics, and this second day is packed with potential.

100m world record-holder Usain Bolt is the star attraction, but he's running in the 200m this afternoon, with Brits Christian Malcolm and Alex Nelson up against him.

Montell Douglas is the new owner of the British women's 100m record but faces stiff international competition today, and how will Kelly Sotherton recover from last night's hurdle debacle?

If you missed it, the organisers somehow managed to put the hurdles in the wrong place for her race - Kelly was not impressed, but she needs to pick herself up for the shot and 200m to round off her four-event contest.

"The long jump went so well but they ruined the hurdles, and now I'm just angry."
Kelly Sotherton, on Friday night


see also
Injured Tomlinson is Games doubt
26 Jul 08 |  Athletics
London Grand Prix photos - day two
26 Jul 08 |  Athletics
Sprinter Powell eases to 100m win
25 Jul 08 |  Athletics
London Grand Prix as it happened
25 Jul 08 |  Athletics
Bolt and Powell make a splash
24 Jul 08 |  Olympics
GB name Olympic athletics squad
19 Jul 08 |  Athletics
Douglas sets new GB 100m record
17 Jul 08 |  Athletics
In-form Bolt targets 200m success
16 Jul 08 |  Athletics
Rutherford finds form at trials
12 Jul 08 |  Athletics
Team GB for Beijing
21 Jul 08 |  Team GB
Athletics on the BBC
22 Jul 08 |  Athletics


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