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Kenya blockbuster marks opening day

Kenya’s women distance runners dominated the opening day of the world championships on Saturday, remarkably snapping up all six medals on offer in the 10,000m and marathon.

india Updated: Aug 28, 2011 00:13 IST

Kenya’s women distance runners dominated the opening day of the world championships on Saturday, remarkably snapping up all six medals on offer in the 10,000m and marathon.

But there was heartbreak for household names Steve Hooker and Christine Ohuruogu in South Korea.Reigning world and Olympic pole vault champion Hooker failed to register a single vault while Ohuruogu, the Olympic champion, was disqualified from the women’s 400m after a dreadful false start.

Jamaican sprint superstar Usain Bolt safely negotiated his 100m heat, however, as did American Allyson Felix in the 400m, moving a step closer to her bid for a 200-400m double.

But the day belonged to Kenya, the east African country putting archrivals Ethiopia firmly in their place in the battle for distance supremacy.

First up was Edna Kiplagat, who claimed marathon gold in 2hr 28min 43sec as she led Priscah Jeptoo and Sharon Cherop across the line in the streets of Daegu.

The evening session saw a superb lesson in superior team tactics pay off when the four Kenyans in the race worked together effectively and saw Vivian Cheruiyot claim gold in the 10,000m in 30min 48.98sec. Fellow countrywomen Sally Kipyego and 2009 champion Linet Masai completed the podium to round off an incredible opening day’s medal haul for Kenya.

Mayookha makes long jump final

WITH A LEAP of 6.53m, India's Mayookha Johny entered the medal round of the women long jump event on Saturday, becoming the second Indian athlete make the cut since 2003 when Anju Bobby George became the eventual bronze medallist at the Paris Worlds. Brazil's Maurren Higa Maggi led the field. Harwant Kaur, however, failed to proceed into the final round of the women’s discus event. With a throw of 56.49m, she finished 10th in her group. German Nadine Mueller dominated.

On Sunday, two Indians —Gurmeet Singh and Babubhai — will be in the fray in the men’s 20km walk. Also, Mayookha Johny will be seen in action in the women’s long jump final.