SPORTS

Canada's Sifuentes claims bronze medal at world indoor championships

03/08/2014 04:56 EST | Updated 05/08/2014 05:59 EDT
SOPOT, Poland - A record-setting performance earned Winnipeg's Nicole Sifuentes a bronze medal Saturday at the world indoor championship.

Sifuentes finished third in the women's 1,500. With world record-holder Genzebe Dibaba absent, Sweden's Abeba Aregawi broke away to win the race in four minutes 0.61 seconds, 6.51 seconds ahead of Ethiopia's Axumawit Embaye.

Sifuentes crossed the finish line in a Canadian indoor record time of 4:07.61.

"I'm very proud of how I ran," said Sifuentes. "I honestly pictured myself on the podium.

"I am so proud to bring home a medal for Canada. When I was a little girl watching these meets I was always watching for a Canadian woman just to be on the start line. To be a Canadian woman on the podium is really special."

Damian Warner of London, Ont., was seventh in the heptathlon while Michael Mason of Nanoose Bay, B.C., qualified for the high jump final.

American Ashton Eaton, who is married to Saskatoon's Brianne Theisen-Eaton, won the heptahlon, finishing 329 points ahead of Andrei Krauchanka of Belarus. Belgium's Thomas Van der Plaetsen took bronze.

On Friday, Theisen-Eaton took silver in the pentathlon.

There was plenty of American success to celebrate. In the biggest upset of the championships so far, Nia Ali caught up with defending champion Sally Pearson at the last hurdle and outkicked her for the line to take the 60 hurdles title in a personal best of 7.80 seconds, holding an .05 edge over the Australian.

In the women's 400, Francena McCorory outlasted Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica to add an individual title to her world outdoor and Olympic 4x400 relay titles.

It left the U.S. atop the medal table with four gold and six medals overall, followed by Russia with two gold.

If Eaton rules the multi-events like no one else, Valerie Adams is in a class all her own in the women's shot put. She won with 20.67 metres over Germany's Christina Schwanitz, who took silver with 19.94. Since taking silver at the 2010 indoors, the New Zealander has won every major event she's entered.

"This is my job and I love my job," she said.

With great sprinters like Jamaicans Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake skipping the indoor championships, the 60 race is hardly to decide the world's fastest athlete. But where most were expecting another U.S-Jamaican battle, between Nesta Carter and emerging U.S. sprinter Marvin Bracy, it was Richard Kilty who ran off with gold. It was the third indoor title for Britain in 10 years.

Kilty finished in 6.49 seconds, .02 ahead of Bracy. Femi Ogunode of Qatar took bronze.

There were plenty of surprises, with Pavel Maslak setting a Czech record to win the 400 ahead of Chris Brown of the Bahamas and Kyle Clemons of the United States.

In the women's high jump, gold was shared between Maria Kuchina of Russia and Kamila Licwinko, who set a Polish record and the crowd alight with her jump over two metres.

Almost as close was the women's triple jump, where Russia won its first gold medal. Ekatarina Koneva set a mark of 14.46 metres, while Ukraine's Olga Saladukha closed within one centimetre of the winner.

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With files from The Associated Press

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