Russian Bests Own 1,500 World Mark

APYelena Soboleva crossing the line to win the 1,500-meter world indoor title in record time in Valencia on Sunday.
VALENCIA, Spain -- Russian middle-distance runner Yelena Soboleva stole the show on the final day of the world indoor championships when she smashed her own indoor world record to take gold in the 1,500 meters.

The Russian, 25, left the field trailing as she recorded a time of 3-minutes, 57.71 seconds, 0.34 seconds quicker than the mark she set in Moscow last month.

Fellow Russian Yulia Fomenko was second in 3:59.41, while Gelete Burka of Ethiopia grabbed the bronze.

United States heptathlete Bryan Clay, Australian 800-meter runner Tamsyn Lewis, African runners Tariku Bekele and Abubaker Kaki Khamis and British triple jumper Phillips Idowu also shone on the final day, in which 14 titles were decided.

Clay, world decathlon champion in 2005 and twice runner-up in the world indoors, claimed gold in the multievent competition with an outstanding set of performances over the two days.

The American amassed a personal best total of 6,371 points, just 105 short of Dan O'Brien's 1993 world record, as he won four of the seven events to finish ahead of Andrei Krauchanka of Belarus and Kazakhstan's Dmitriy Karpov.

Lewis spoiled Maria Mutola's hopes of winning an eighth indoor world title when she produced an impressive last-lap burst to pass the Mozambiquan.

The Australian crossed the line in two minutes 2.57, with Tetiana Petlyuk taking the silver and Mutola the bronze.

Bekele took advantage of older brother Kenenisa's absence to storm his way to victory in the men's 3,000 meters in a time of 7 minutes, 48.23 seconds.

Bekele, 21, set a scorching pace on the final two laps to give Kenyan steeplechase specialist Paul Kipsiele Koech and fellow Ethiopian Abreham Cherkos no chance of victory.

Kaki Khamis became Sudan's first world indoor gold medalist at the age of 18 as he held off South African Mbulaeni Mulaudzi and Yusuf Saad Kamel of Bahrain in the 800 meters.

Triple jumper Idowu won Britain's first gold of the championships with a massive leap of 17.75 meters, just eight centimeters off Aliecer Urrutia's 11-year world record and more than half a meter better than his previous best mark of the season. Silver medalist Arnie David Girat of Cuba was way back on 17.47, while world outdoor champion Nelson Evora took the bronze with a leap of 17.27 meters.

Blanka Vlasic deprived Olympic champion Elena Slesarenko of a hat-trick of indoor titles in the high jump.

The Croatian cleared 2.03 meters, while the Russian could only manage 2.01, the same height as bronze medalist Vita Palamar.

Canada's Tyler Christopher found an extra a gear in the final straight of the men's 400 meters to snatch the gold from Johan Wissman of Sweden in a time of 45.67, the fastest in the world this year.

As expected the women's 400m was an all-Russian affair with Olesya Zykina equaling her world-leading time of the year of 51.09 as she managed to hold off Natalya Nazarova by one hundredth of a second in the lunge for the finishing line.

Portugal's Naide Gomes, the world pentathlon champion in 2004, took the honours in the long jump with a leap of seven meters exactly, with Brazilian Maurren Maggi taking silver ahead of Russian favorite Irina Simagina.

New Zealander Valerie Vili added the world indoor crown to her outdoor title with victory in the women's shot with 20.19 meters, while in the pole vault Evgeniy Lukyanenko beat defending champion Brad Walker with a clearance of 5.90 meters. The American had to settle for a personal best of 5.85 meters.

Russia won its eighth consecutive gold in the women's 4 x 400-meter relay ahead of Belarus, and the United States won its seventh title in the men's race.

The United States topped the medals table with five golds, five silver and three bronze, one silver better than Russia.