Gold comfort for Doha stars

Chambers and Jones taste redemption as Jessica Ennis takes first indoor gold.

    American Lolo Jones says she has 'matured' after putting her Olympic mistake behind her [AFP]

    The gold medals came thick and fast on day two of the world indoor championships in Doha, with Ethiopia's runners continuing their domination of the middle distance events and Britain celebrating two firsts.

    Dwain Chambers claimed his first global sprint title and Jessica Ennis posted the fourth-best pentathlon score of all time on Saturday.

    The 31-year-old, banned for doping for two years in 2003, won the 60 metres with the year's fastest sprint time, an impressive 6.48 seconds.

    "Some people said in '08 when I went into the Olympics and I messed up that I wasn't able to handle pressure. I think this race right here shows that I'm maturing"

    Lolo Jones, 60m hurdles world champion

    American Mike Rodgers took second in 6.53 with Antigua's Daniel Bailey third at 6.57.

    "It wasn't easy, I had stiff competition from the Antiguan and the American which was to be expected," Chambers, who hopes to win the European 100m title this summer, told Al Jazeera.

    "I just had to stay relaxed as best as I could. But I'm just really grateful for the opportunity to be here."

    World heptathlon champion Ennis won the pentathlon with 4,937 points, holding off all three medallists from the Beijing Olympics to win her first-ever world indoor title.

    Only world record-holder Irina Belova of Russia and Sweden's Carolina Kluft have posted better scores than the 24-year-old Briton.

    She topped Kluft's championship record by four points.

    Record 'in reach'

    "I know the world record is within reach," said Ennis, who had victories in the 60m hurdles and high jump, a season's best in the shot put and personal bests in the long jump and the concluding 800m.

    Ethiopian Meseret Defar also added more gold, claiming her fourth successive women's 3,000m title.

    Defar claimed her fourth 3,000m title in a row [AFP]

    She sprinted home in 8:51.17 to edge Kenyan 5,000m world champion Vivian Cheruiyot.

    There was redemption of sorts for the United States' Lolo Jones in the 60m hurdles.

    She infamously tripped over the penultimate hurdle when seemingly on course for gold at the Beijing Olympics – but there were no such mistakes this time as she successfully defended her indoor title before mounting the crash barrier in jubilation.

    A powerful US team claimed four golds on this second day of the three-day meeting in Qatar, but Jones was perhaps the happiest after clinching a championship-record 7.72 seconds.

    "Some people said in '08 when I went into the Olympics and I messed up that I wasn't able to handle pressure," she told Al Jazeera.

    "I think this race right here shows that I'm maturing and that I can handle pressure."

    Australian Olympic and world pole vault champion Steve Hooker collected the only global title he was missing, the indoor title, with a championship record 6.01 metres.

    He then took three unsuccessful tries at adding a centimetre to Sergei
    Bubka's world record of 6.15 metres.

    Another defending champion, Croatian Blanka Vlasic, won her second successful high jump title with a clearance of 2.00 metres.

    Only two women, Swedish world record holder Susanna Kallur and Russia's Ludmila Engquist, have run faster.

    The Americans went 1-2 in the heptathlon with shot put defender Christain Cantwell and women's 400m runner Debbie Dunn also winning.

    Feet of clay

    Olympic decathlon gold medallist Bryan Clay scored 6,204 points to edge world champion Trey Hardee, who had 6,184.

    Russia's Aleksey Drozdov was third with 6,141.

    Cantwell took the shot put with a last-throw toss of 21.83m to overtake Andrei Mikhnevich of Belarus.

    Mikhnevich threw 21.68.

    Dunn clocked 51.04 seconds for her 400 metres.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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