Tully of UCLA did more than he ever has, but emerged hungry. He cleared a
personal best of 18'4�" to beat Wladislaw Kozakiewics of Poland for the
first time in 11 tries this summer, then missed at a world-record 18'8�".
An interesting blend of candor and fluff, Tully said, "My technique is
very, very good, about the best in the world. Possibly within five years I can
jump 19 feet, but I'm not serious about anything. It's not important for me to
go to Moscow. I'm going into different areas. There is a chance I can model
clothes, be on TV. If I don't make it at that, I'll be a vaulter somewhat
were a showcase for Miruts Yifter of Ethiopia, who had blown his share of
chances over the years. After finishing third in the 1972 Olympic 10,000,
Yifter, then 29, had been a favorite in the 5,000, but he reported to the wrong
gate and, in a runner's nightmare, watched sobbing as Lasse Viren won. In 1976
he gave his age as 29 again but this time missed the Olympics completely
because of the African boycott.
everything came together for him. "I prepared as for an Olympics,"
Yifter said. The 10,000 became a slow, jockeying race that let Yifter husband
his incredible finishing speed (he has run the final 400 meters of a 10,000 in
49 seconds). Frank Shorter tried to draw the field out with a mile to go but
was running with a badly strained right hamstring and finished sixth. "It
was as if my whole body was held together by a single cotter pin," he said
later. "And somebody pulled it." Shorter at his best couldn't have held
Yifter, who won easily with a 54-second last lap.
"Did you see
that?" asked 5,000-meter runner Nick Rose of Great Britain and Louisville.
Rose has found that although he does not sprint with authority, he is capable
of introducing killing bursts in the usually placid middle of races. In one
5,000 this summer, he ran a mid-race lap in 58.7 and was never headed as he
went on to win in 13:16 from Yifter and 3:52 miler Marty Liquori. In
D�sseldorf, Rose said simply, "If the pace is quick early on, there's no
need to make a break, but if it lets these fellows breathe, then something has
to be done."
The 5,000 was one
event in which the front and back of the pack were not embarrassingly far
apart. All eight men hung with the fast pace set by Karl Fleschen of West
Germany. For the first six laps there was virtually no jockeying, simply an
evenly spaced line of intent runners. Rose was hovering near the lead, Yifter
hugging the curb behind Liquori. "The whole race I knew we were close to
world-record pace," said Liquori later. "I haven't run this enough to
really know what kilometer times mean, so before the race I wrote the
world-record splits on the heel of my left hand." With five and a half laps
to go, Rose took off, followed by the Australian, Fitzsimons, and then Yifter.
Liquori surged, too, but not enough to close the gap separating him from the
three leaders. "I thought Rose's bursts would take it out of everyone who
went with him," Liquori said. "I paced myself to what I thought would
be the world record and took a calculated risk that I'd be back up
Rose slowed, and
Fitzsimons went into the lead. Rose charged down the back-stretch again, easing
with three laps to go, then blasting out again, Yifter and Fitzsimons with him.
Liquori stayed 20 meters back. With 600 meters to run, Liquori closed to 10
meters, then five. Into the last lap he regained contact.
"I could see
the chance of boxing Yifter for a second," he said. "I wanted to get
the jump down the backstretch. I got there about 30 yards too late." As if
he could sense the looming Liquori, Yifter exploded past Rose and blew out to a
five-meter lead again, accelerating even more in the last curve. Liquori, with
a drive reminiscent of his great finishes against Jim Ryun, drew to within a
meter with 100 to run. Then his long chase finally got to him, and he could
gain no more.
Yifter won in
13:13.8. His last lap was 53.8. Liquori, second, was timed in 13:15.1, breaking
his own American record. It was an enthralling event and seemed to assure the
points title for the U.S. men's team, which with Arnie Robinson's victory in
the long jump (26'10�") and Clancy Edwards' in the 200 (20:17), had won six
of 19 men's events. Only the 4 x 400 relay remained, and it was an event in
which the U.S. team of Stan Vinson, Tom Andrews, Moses and Maxie Parks was
favored. It was not to be, however. Parks, running anchor, took the baton with
a five-meter lead and seemed comfortably ahead of West Germany's Bernd Herrmann
when suddenly, on the backstretch, he pulled up, lurched to the side of the
track and toppled over in agony with a hamstring pull in his right leg.
Herrmann went on to win the race, with East Germany taking five points for its
fourth-place finish, giving the GDR the team championship by seven over the
In the women's
competition, Poland's Irena Szewinska, who had won the 200 on Friday, joined
Juantorena and Yifter as a double winner on Sunday by taking the 400 in 49.52,
.23 off her world record set at the Montreal Olympics. Two more victories for
the European women's team ( Grete Waitz of Norway in the 3,000 and a 4 x 100
relay triumph), were enough to overcome East Germany 107-102.
bursts of excitement revealed international competition at its best. Or perhaps
Liquori did that when he tore away from reporters to get on the field for the
final athletes' parade. "Quit?" he called back in response to their
eternal question. "Retire? Hell, next year I'm going to really train."
For the record, Liquori will be 34 in 1983 when the next World Cup is likely to
be held. Yifter will be 29, of course.