Athletics: Crushed and beaten by Delhi's heat

By Dylan Cleaver

Open any travel guide to Delhi and somewhere on the first few pages it will tell you that the place can get really hot.

It's not something Adrian Blincoe is going to forget in a hurry.

The US-based runner finished a disappointing 11th in the 5000m after succumbing to Delhi's cloying heat.

"I didn't get myself to a warm climate soon enough and I paid the price," Blincoe admitted.

The 30-year-old said that before Beijing, he gave himself a month's training in the heat but decided against it on this occasion.

"I'm kicking myself for making the wrong decision."

When discussing Nick Willis' late arrival in Delhi, team coach Chris Pilone said athletes needed a month to truly acclimatise to conditions.

Nikki Hamblin had a month in Hong Kong - which has a similar climate to Delhi - and Willis, aping a technique used by marathoner Lorraine Moller, wore extra layers of clothing.

Blincoe, though, was caught with his pants down.

Blincoe finished the 5kms in 14m 03.07s, nearly a minute outside his personal best. After appearing to be sitting quite comfortably in the lead bunch, he hit the wall with three laps still to go.

His goal was to be in touch with a lap to go and see whether he had anything left for a kick finish, "but I didn't even get the chance to do that".

The race was a bonanza for those whose surnames began with "Kip". Uganda's Moses Kipsiro won in 13m 31.25s, followed by Kenyans Eliud Kipchoge (13m 31.25s) and Mark Kiptoo (13m 32.58s).

The result was a minor upset, as Kipchoge was expected to reel in the Ugandan on the final lap but Kipsiro kept his nerve in the closest of finishes.

In all honesty, Blincoe would have struggled to match the blistering 52s final lap even if he was in the form of his life, but he would have enjoyed the chance to try.

Blincoe races in the 1500m heats on Monday.

Also in action in the early hours of Thursday morning was parasport shot putter Jess Hamill. The 20-year-old Southlander had the biggest throw of the night with 7.17m, but finished behind Australia's Louise Ellery, who threw a personal best of 6.17.

"I was nervous but I think it helped me," Hamill said. "It was really hot out there but I managed to live up to my expectations.

"It's mentally tough. It's not like a race where you run and then you're finished. "I was out there for three hours."

- NZ Herald

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