Welcome back to Helsinki! What better way to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the IAAF World Championships in Athletics than to host it in its inaugural city! Just 22 years after the first event the Helsinki Olympic Stadium and the citizens welcome back the event.
In the Women’s 10,000m Ethiopia swept the Awards Podium. It was a family affair as Tirunesh Dibaba took the gold and her older sister Ejegayehu Dibaba secured the bronze. Tirunesh also became the first women ever to take the gold in both the 5,000m and 10,000m in a single IAAF World Championships. Another Ethiopian long-distance runner, Kenenisa Bekele, presented his gold medal to his fiancée’s grave after his victory.
This year Yelena Ishinbayeva took home her first IAAF World Championships Gold Medal in the Women’s Pole Vault breaking her own World Record by 1cm paving the way for her future success.
The Men’s 110mH was a thriller as Liu Xiang (CHN) lost the Gold to Ladji Doucoure by just 1/100th of a second in the Final.
In a show of extraordinary sportsmanship the Organizing Committee allowed Shot Putter Shaka Sola from Samoa a once in a life time opportunity. The athlete missed his flight to Helsinki and arrived 2 days after his event had finished. He then asked to compete in the Javelin, an event that he had never thrown. The committee allowed the young athlete to throw. During the event he had a max throw of 41.18m, less than half the distance of Sergey Makarov’s Gold Medal throws of 85.08m. Sola was cheered on by the other Javelin athletes as they knew the reason he competed in the event.
Next time we will make our back Japan for the 11th IAAF World Championships in Athletics. They sure do have a legacy to uphold. See you then!