Masterkova caps a memorable season

Athletics

Zurich experienced the 20th world record in its history last night after another astonishing performance by the woman who can now claim to be the world's leading middle-distance runner. Svetlana Masterkova, Russia's double Olympic champion, reduced Paula Ivan's seven-year-old mark for the mile of 4min 15.61sec, finishing 25 metres clear of the pack in 4:12.57.

It was a stupendous conclusion to a stupendous season for Masterkova, who was the surprise winner of both the 800 and 1500m at the Olympics. As the hugely noisy, hugely knowledgeable crowd at the Letzigrund stadium acclaimed her - chanting her name like a football crowd, which is no easy task - and as the photographers and TV interviewers moved in, she seemed quite taken aback. She will have to get used to it.

Any hopes that Roger Black might have had of improving his British 400 metres record of 44.37sec disappeared in the wake of Anthuan Maybank, the American who had headed him home in the Olympic relay final. Maybank won last night in 44.18. Black finished a weary fourth in 44.83. "Of course I'm tired," he said. "To come down from the Olympics is very hard."

Mark Richardson, whose form in defeating Black over 300m four days earlier at Crystal Palace suggested the record might be within his reach but he only managed fifth place in 44.97.

Colin Jackson's melancholy season shows no sign of improving. Britain's 110m hurdles world record holder, diminished by tendinitis in his knee, was just a blur among the also-rans on a track where he has earned two famous victories in the last four years.

Given his wretched form in the last weeks it was no great surprise. But there was something of a turn-up as the Olympic champion, Allen Johnson, behind whom Jackson finished fourth in Atlanta, was beaten by his fellow American Jack Pierce.

Pierce, who failed to make the Olympic team after hitting a hurdle badly in the final of the US trials, won in 13.22sec. "This was my satisfaction," he said. "This was my Olympic Games."

Jackson had earlier received a tremendous ovation on being introduced to the crowd. At the moment he needs all the encouragement he can get. The sooner his season is over, and his knee properly attended to, the better.

A quarter of an hour earlier, Jackson's training partner Jamie Baulch had emphasised the new strength in depth of Britain 400m running in winning the B-race in 45.14sec. Jackson's own race was preceded by a B event, won in 13.38 by Tony Jarrett, who defeated both Jackson and Johnson at Crystal Palace.

Jonathan Ridgeon may not have been a winner on the night, but as he recovered from his 400m hurdles race he was the picture of a happy athlete.

His time of 48.79 - behind the 48.69 recorded by the American winner, Eric Thomas - was just 0.06sec off the personal best he set back in 1992. More significantly it marked his arrival at an intended destination in a year when he had made his third courageous comeback from serios injury.

Ridgeon, whose career appeared to have finally ended when he snapped an Achilles tendon early in 1993, had planned to be running sub-49sec at the Olympic Games. But, as he revealed last night, his Olympics nearly didn't happen after a strained calf in training left him unable to walk properly just 48 hours before his opening heat.

"I couldn't believe it when I woke up with the injury," he said. "After struggling back all year I thought I was going to miss the Olympics." In the event, after intensive treatment from the British team masseur, Mark , he was able to compete, winning his heat but being well beaten in the semi-final.

"I was so worried about the shape I was in that I think it drained me for the semi," he said. "But if I couldn't produce the run I wanted at the Olympics, here was the next best place. I am absolutely delighted. A lot of athletes have had it after the Olympics, but I feel really motivated. I want to do myself justice."

The evening did not prove to be similarly uplifting for Angie Thorp, who broke Sally Gunnell's eight-year-old British 100m hurdles record at the Olympics, running 12.80. Thorp looked jaded last night as she failed to qualify from her semi-final, finishing seventh in 13.09.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Telemarketers / Sales - Home Based - OTE £23,500

£19500 - £23500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced B2B Telemarketer wa...

Recruitment Genius: Showroom Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global company are looking for two Showro...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This publishing company based i...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor