London, Aug 7 (IANS): Double Olympic Champion and World record holder Elena Isinbayeva relinquished her Olympic pole vault crown to Jennifer Suhr at the London Games.
Isinbayeva had not looked at her best in a competition held in difficult windy conditions, failing to clear above 4.70 metres. Suhr and Cuba's Yarisley Silva both cleared 4.75 with Suhr winning gold as a result of Silva failing her first attempt at 4.45.
"Beijing taught me a lot. That silver medal was so precious to me but I knew I wanted the gold," said the American, while Isinbayeva said she was pleased with bronze.
"I am really happy. It is like a gold medal for me. It has been a lot of things in the past which have been disappointing for three years. I think this bronze tells me 'Elena, don't quit', as I planned to quit after London," commented the two times Olympic Champion.
On the track, Felix Sanchez claimed the second gold medal of his Olympic career when he won the men's 400 metres hurdles final in London on Monday night.
The 2004 Olympic champion ran a controlled race and went into the final 100 meters of the race in command.
The runner from the Dominican Republic had built his reputation on a formidable 43 race winning streak, which took him to gold in the same event in Athens eight years ago, but that winning run had come to an end soon after his first Olympic trials and it had looked as if at 34 his best years were past him.
Now he is looking forward to the celebrations in his homeland.
"I have no idea. It's going to be huge. They expected the worlds (he won the 2001 and 2003 world championships), no one expected this. A lot of people said I should retire but I stuck with it. They'll all be celebrating now," he said,
Sanchez's winning time of 47.63 is exactly the same time he won gold with eight years ago. It is also the fastest ever time run in Britain.
The winner of the American trials, Michael Tinsley, took the bronze, while Javier Culson, two times World silver medalist, held off a late change from Britain's Dai Green to claim Bronze.
Russia's Yulia Zaripova ran the fastest time of the year and the third fastest in history to win the women's 300 metres steeplechase in 9 minutes 06.72 seconds. She finished well ahead of Tunisia's Habiba Ghribi and Sofia Assefa from Ethiopia.
Zaripova, who was the pre-race favorite was able to step up the pace in the last three laps and produced a powerful sprint to add Olympic gold to the world title she won in Daegu last year.
"At first I could not believe it. I run in third, then fourth, then fifth gear. Technically, I executed the race well. Towards the end I saw the score-board, I could hear the roar in the stadium but I kept my concentration to the very end. With the steeplechase you cannot be sure until the end. I did not want to risk it," she said.
The 400 metres was won thanks to an incredible run form Grenada's James Kirani, who clocked a time of 43.94 sec. ahead of Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic (44.46) and Lalonde Gordon from Trinidad and Tobago.
"I am very pleased with my work today, I have put so much work into it, I can't even quantify it. It was an emotional moment when I crossed the finish line," said Santos, while James was naturally delighted at his success set in a new UK all-comers record, beating the previous best of 43.98, which had been set by the Michael Johnson.
"I am just so proud. This is not just for me this is for my whole country, my agents, coaches. The whole place is going crazy right now. I am so excited. Everyone in Grenada will be proud. This is a great feeling. Nothing can describe what I am feeling," he commented
Belarus' Nadzeya Ostapchuk won the women's shot put with a throw of 21.36m. She had qualified for the final with the longest ever Olympic qualifying throw earlier in the day and continued her dominance into the evening with four throws over 21 meters in a display of consistent strength.
"I'm very happy at this moment. It's my third Olympic Games and it's a long way to get to this gold medal. My coach said that I must commit all because my opponents were very strong and they could do something until the end," commented the champion.
Nobody else passed the 21-metre mark, with 2008 gold medalist, Valerie Adams from New Zealand taking silver with a throw of 20.70, while Russia's Evgeniia Kolodko's final throw of the competition earned her bronze. Kolodko three 20.48 to relegated China's Gong Lijiao to fourth.
Gong had previously thrown a season best of 22.22, but it was not enough to earn her a medal
Russia's Natalya Antiiukh won the first of the women's 400 meters semifinals in 53.33 sec. and was followed home by Czech record holder Zuzana Hejnova.
Lashinda Demus was in control as the World record holder won the second semi-final in just over 54 seconds, ahead of Jamaica's Kaliese Spencer.
Nigeria's Muizat Odumosu won the third semifinal with a new Nigerian record of 54.40, while Georganne Moline finished strongly to claim the final qualification.
There were no big surprises in the first round of the women's 200 metres with current world record holder and 100 metres silver medalist. Carmelita Jeter looking composed as she won the third heat, while Sanya Richards-Ross who won gold in the 400 meters on Sunday also won her heat.
Defending champion Veronica Campbell Brown finished third in her heats behind, Ukraine's Mariya Ryemyen and 100 metres champion, Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce cruised though her heat.