Baddeley's Dream Mile victory puts cup place within reach
Saturday 07 June 2008
Andy Baddeley rounded off a night on which Tirunesh Dibaba broke the women's world 5,000m record by winning the concluding event of the Oslo Golden League meeting, the Dream Mile, in a personal best of 3min 49.38sec. It was Britain's first victory in the showpiece event since Peter Elliott's in 1991.
The 25-year-old aeronautical engineering graduate from Cambridge, who had made a breakthrough in this race a year ago by knocking five seconds off his best to take second, timed his effort ideally after lying fifth with 200 metres remaining.
Having reached last year's World Championship final, Baddeley is looking like a serious Olympic contender. He admitted, however, that it had been the earlier performance of fellow Briton Tom Lancashire, who won the 1500m in a personal best of 3min 35.33sec, which had offered additional motivation, given there will be only one place available at the European Cup later this month.
"This is a big breakthrough for me, taking seconds from my previous best," Baddeley said.
Dibaba clocked 14min 11.15sec to better the mark of 14: 16.63 set in the same race last year by her fellow Ethiopian Meseret Defar. The world 400m champion, Christine Ohuruogu, dipped below 23 seconds for the first time over 200m, recording 22.94sec in third.
While Baddeley and Ohuruogu, not to mention Dibaba, are looking good for the Olympics, the same cannot be said for Justin Gatlin, who learned yesterday that his attempt to defend the Olympic 100m title had ended in failure when the Court of Arbitration for Sport announced they had rejected his appeal for a four-year doping ban to be halved. The CAS also annulled his world record-equalling time of 9.77sec set in Doha on 12 May, 2006.
Dwain Chambers, who is also seeking to overturn a doping ban to take part in the Beijing Olympics – he is expected to lodge proceedings in the High Court next week against the British Olympic Association's life ban – will run his first 100m on home soil for two years when he turns out for Belgrave Harriers at the British League meeting in Birmingham tomorrow.
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