Laalou and Robles impress in rainy Turin
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF
11th June 2011
Turin, Italy - Amine Laalou and Olympic 110m Hurdles champion Dayron Robles headlined the 12th Memorial Primo Nebiolo on Friday (10) in the athletics stadium named after the late IAAF President Primo Nebiolo who died in 1999.
Laalou set a new meeting record in the men’s 1500m with 3:31.92. Robles clocked 13.23 into a headwind in the 110m Hurdles to score his third win in his favourite meeting in Turin.
Moroccan Laalou came to Turin with the goal to clock a super fast time in the 3:30-3:31 region. Kenyan pacemakers Joseph Boit and Job Kinyor set a fast pace going through 800 metres in 1:51.09, when Boit dropped out. The second pacemaker Kinyor was charged to push Laalou to 1200 metres, doing so in 2:49.67. Without opposition in the final 300 metres, Laalou continued his race against the clock to strip the meeting record from his illustrious compatriot Hicham El Guerrouj who ran 3:33.51 in the meeting’s second edition in 1996. Laalou, who ran 3:29.53 in Monaco last year, is now ranked sixth on the 2011 world seasonal list.
“I am proud that I broke El Guerrouj’s meet record. I want to return next year to run faster,” said Laalou.
Robles cruised to a winning 13.23 with a headwind of -0.5 m/s to clinch his third win in Turin after 2008 (when he clocked 13.28 one week before his world record in Ostrava) and 2010 (13.08 meeting record). The weather was a bit wet for a faster time after a heavy downpour during the afternoon but Robles showed his impressive form. For the Cuban star it’s the fourth win this outdoor season after Baie Mahault (13.35), Hengelo (13.07) and Ostrava (13.14).
“I felt nervous before the race,” Robles said. “I had a very bad start but I ran better in the second half of the race. I am disappointed with the time. I did not put in practice what I am doing in training. However I enjoy running in Turin, a lucky city for me. The atmosphere is always very nice. The track was wet but it’s a fast one.” Robles will now return home to Cuba to train ahead of his next race in the Samsung Diamond League fixture in Lausanne on 30 June.
A surprising result came in the women’s 800m where Cuban Yusnesiy Santiusti clocked a new lifetime best of 1:59:00, the sixth fastest time in the world this year. Santiusti, who runs for the Assindustria Sport Padova team and finished second in the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Dakar behind World champion Caster Semenya, held off Ukraine’s Liliya Lobanova who again dipped under the two-minute barrier with 1:59:28. European indoor and outdoor 400m finalist Marta Milani showed her potential in the longer race after smashing her PB to 2:01.50 for fourth place.
Ethiopian Alemu Birtukan, the World junior champion and recently-minted World junior record holder in the women’s 3000m Steeplechase at the Compeed Golden Gala in Rome, continued her breakthrough season with a solid win in the steeplechase with 9:36.31, beating Kenyan Christine Muyanga (9:42:79) and Moncton 2010 World Junior champion Purity Kirui (9:46:39). A great result for Italian athletics came from last year’s World Junior finalist Giulia Martinelli who set her second Under 23 record in a week by smashing the 10-minute barrier for the first time in her career with 9:52.51.
Aziz Lahbabi from Morocco, born in 1991, set a new PB to win the men’s 5000m in 13:14.07, missing Daniel Salel’s meeting record (13:12:46) set in 2010.
In the men’s 100m, Aziz Ouhadi from Morocco, who set his PB earlier this year clocking 10.09, took the victory in 10.25 beating 2009 European 60m indoor silver medallist Fabio Cerutti who finished second in 10.38 in his home city. The women’s 400m win went to Ukraine’s Antonina Yefremova In 51.43. Yvette Lewis from the USA clocked a winning 13.04 in the women’s 100m Hurdles.