August 3rd, 2007

American Deena Kastor, 34, has been honing her speed in preparation for the 10,000 m event at this month's World Athletics Championships in Osaka. In last Friday's London Grand Prix, Kastor came fourth in the 3000 m in 8:50.90, having run six seconds faster with a near personal best in the Super Grand Prix in Monaco on July 25th. "I feel my preparations are going great", Kastor reports.

World Athletics Championships, Osaka, August 25th - Sept 2nd


Deena Kastor (photo courtesy Ambibro)

The World Athletics Championships, staged last week in Osaka, brought mixed success to Jewish athletes.  On a hot and humid night at the start of the championships, American Deena Kastor, 34, came sixth in the 10,000m final in 32:24. Kastor, who had shown strong form throughout the summer, had been hoping to win a medal, but did not enjoy the slow pace that prevailed for most of the race. "It was a nightmare of a race for me tactically. I didn't get up in the thick of the race from the very beginning. I sat in the middle of the pack being pushed around. It felt like a ping-pong match out there."

Israeli pole vaulter Alex Averbukh, 32, twice a medallist at previous World Championships, achieved a season's best jump of 5.81m. Although this was the same height as achieved by the bronze medallist, Averbukh's clearance came at his third and final attempt, and the tie-break rules relegated him to seventh place.

As perhaps befits an eternal people, all other known Jewish finalists were well into their thirties, with one exception: Haile Satayin of Israel came 19th in the marathon, and thereby qualified for next year's Olympics by finishing in the top third of the field. He also became officially the oldest finisher in Athletics World Championship history  - at age 52.