Meadows savours silver lining

2800m runner loses out but sets new British record / Ennis raises gold bar and Chambers sprints to glory

After the gold rush, the silver lining. And a bonus bronze, too, for the Great Britain team on the final day of the World Indoor Championships.

As Jenny Meadows turned into the finishing straight in the Aspire Dome yesterday, she was in the lead in the 800m final and in sight of a third gold medal for the British team she had been captaining in Qatar. When she glanced up at the giant screen ahead of her, though, she could see trouble looming on her shoulder in the form of Mariya Savinova, a half-miler blessed with the speed of a world-class quarter-miler. Unlike Jessica Ennis in the pentathlon and Dwain Chambers in the 60m final the previous day, Meadows could not quite keep herself in the gold medal picture.

She gave everything she had, but halfway down the home straight the 5ft 1in Wiganer known as the "Pocket Rocket" found herself trailing in the afterburners of a Russian jet fighter. "With 100m to go, I was thinking, 'I am going to win it'," Meadows said. "I looked up at the screen and I saw who was behind me and I was thinking, 'keep going, keep driving'. Mariya's run 52.05sec for 400m this year and I knew I was up against it."

She was that, but while Savinova blasted to gold in 1min 58.26sec, Meadows took a chunk out of the British record she set in Birmingham three weeks ago. Her time, 1:58.43, was an improvement of 0.68sec – further confirmation of the 28-year-old's place among the global elite, following her brilliant breakthrough bronze medal run at the outdoor World Championships in Berlin last summer.

"The time says it all," Meadows said, with a smile of satisfaction. "Hopefully, there are big things in me, so I can keep on building. Today was very different from Berlin: learning how to handle the nerves and the expectations."

Happily, when it came to the men's 4 x 400m final, the British team – Conrad Williams, Nigel Levine, Chris Clarke and Richard Buck – managed to handle the rough and tumble of a race in which the Bahamas and Jamaica came to grief on leg two. Buck anchored the quartet to bronze behind the United States and Belgium, in a time of 3min 07.52sec. All of which left the Great Britain squad not quite partying like it was 1999, when they won a record three golds in Maebashi, but fourth in the medal table behind the United States, Ethiopia and Russia with a final tally of two golds, one silver and one bronze.

It was fair to say there was an extra glint to the gold that Ennis earned in the five events of the pentathlon on Saturday. For one thing, the Sheffielder beat all three women who got on to the heptathlon medal podium at the Beijing Olympics, which she missed after suffering a triple stress fracture in her right foot: Natalya Dobrinska, Hyleas Fountain and Tatyana Chernova. For another, she beat them in style, breaking Carolina Kluft's championship record and missing Irina Belova's world record by 54 points, finishing with a tally of 4,937 points.

"Kluft had several bashes at that world record and she didn't achieve it," Ennis's coach, Toni Minichello, said. "So for Jess to get that close was remarkable." Especially so, considering his charge had been forced out of competition for six weeks with a foot problem. Ennis herself was simply satisfied to have backed up her heptathlon victory at the outdoor World Championships last year. "That's the nicest thing," she said, "to come back this year and prove I'm not a one-hit wonder."

At 24, Ennis actually happens to be only the second two-hit wonder in British athletics history – the second Briton to have won world titles indoors and out. Colin Jackson was the first, back in 1999. The Welsh hurdler never quite scaled the ultimate peak in the sport, winning Olympic silver in Seoul in 1988 but no gold. Two years out from the home Games of 2012, Ennis has established herself as Britain's biggest hope for gold in the track and field arena.

For Chambers, of course, there will be no home Olympics in which to compete, thanks to his past doping deeds. Still, at the age of 31, the Londoner has a global title in the bag, having emerged victorious from the 60m final on Saturday in 6.48sec. "This was my big opportunity to become a world champion," he said.

In the final round of the final event of the championships, the men's triple jump, the 20-year-old Frenchman Teddy Tamgho snatched gold from Yoandris Betanzos of Cuba with a stunning world indoor record of 17.90m. Watching events from home, having chosen not to defend the title, Phillips Idowu – with 2012 in mind – must have felt like he, too, had been Tamghoed.

Highs and lows: Britons compared

*On the plus side...

Finishing fourth in the medal table. Jessica Ennis taking pentathlon gold and Carolina Kluft's championship record. Dwain Chambers (right) winning his first global title at 31. Jenny Meadows backing up her world outdoor bronze with 800m silver. The men's 4x400m relay team snatching bronze.



*On the flip side...

Kate Dennison failing to qualify for the pole vault final. Greg Rutherford and Chris Tomlinson doing likewise in the long jump. The women's 4x400m relay team finishing fifth, just being pipped for fourth by the Czech Republic. Harry Aikines-Aryeetey pulling up with a hamstring injury in the 60m semi-finals.

Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
News
news
News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Extras
indybest
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

(Senior) IT Support Engineer - 1st-3rd Line Support

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful IT service provider that has bee...

Wind Farm Civil Design Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principal Marine Mechanical Engineer

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principle Geotechnical Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup