In the just concluded 15th World Championships, several athletes entertained fans with their best efforts. However, five women stood out in Beijing, the host city of the meet. They were Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland, Allyson Felix of the United States, Dafne Schippers of Holland, Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia and Cuban Denia Caballero. Before the world’s best congregated in Beijing, Wlodarcyzk had stretched her global record past 80 metres with a mark of 81.08m. In Beijing, the Polish blond dominated with the second and third 80 plus throws in history. Her best was 80.85 metres. Elegant as ever, Felix turned on the speed early in the 400 metres final and left the field gasping in her wake. After a little rest in the third quarter of the race, she floored the accelerator in the last 100m to win the gold medal in 49.26 seconds, a personal best. She was even more impressive in the 4x400m. Her third leg was an outstanding interval of 47.7, the second fastest ever recorded. Runner-up in the 100m, Schippers edged past Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson on the finish line in the 200 metres final. The astounding times – 21.63 to 21.66 seconds – moved the gold and silver medal winners to fourth and sixth fastest of all time. Almaz did a demolition job on the Dibaba family in the 5000 metres. Though pundits picked 1,500 winner and world record holder Genzebe Dibaba to win, Almaz used a long surge to break away. Her dispirited compatriot slipped to third. Almaz’s time of 14 minutes 26.83 seconds did the damage and lowered the old meet record which had belonged to Dibaba’s celebrated big sister, Tirunesh. Caballero had issued a warning by beating reigning discus champion Sandra Perkovic before Beijing. Once there, she ruled. In the end, she made good her threat with a winning throw of 69.28 metres. That’s the longest in World Championship history since the 1991 renewal in Tokyo. Caballero is the first Cuban to win the event at the World Championships.
160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Whether it’s a moonlit hike in 4,107-acre Griffith Park — complete with a show of glowworms — or a self-help class to reduce stress, health and fitness programs for all ages are plentiful in the San Fernando Valley. ADD/ADHD support group, 7:15-9 p.m. the third Wednesday of every month (free) at the Ashley Children’s Psychology Center. Call to reserve a spot. 9036 Reseda Blvd., Suite 204, Northridge. (818) 886-3531. ashleypsychology.com. The Agoura Hills Department of Community Services offers Pilates exercise, 5:30 p.m. Mondays ($8); yoga, 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays ($7); and cardio kick-boxing, 7:15 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays ($8) at the Agoura Hills Recreation Center, 30610 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Agoura Hills. All fitness and experience levels welcome. (818) 597-7361. AIDS Project Los Angeles offers free support services, including food banks and nutrition education, a dental clinic, case management, mental health counseling, home health care and counseling on benefits and workplace re-entry. (213) 201-1600. Alliance on Mental Illness offers free support groups for families and friends of people suffering from mental illness at various times at Northridge Hospital, San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center and West Valley Christian School. For information on meetings and times, call (818) 994-6747. American Cancer Society offers free services for women undergoing breast cancer treatment, including transportation and support. Call (800) ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org. California State University, Northridge, Language, Speech and Hearing Center offers low-cost speech and hearing evaluations, hearing aid dispensing, stuttering therapy and speech therapy for seniors, adults and children. (818) 677-2856. Cancer Information Service provides information on the latest treatments, clinical trials, early detection, risk reduction and community services. (800) 422-6237. The Center for the Partially Sighted offers a free vision evaluation for people with macular degeneration, diabetes or glaucoma to determine the benefits of vision rehabilitation services. (310) 458-3501. Comedy Camp Workshops offer games and improvisation exercises to help shake loose resistance, old beliefs and negative programming, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays. 4900 Serrania Ave., Woodland Hills. (818) 620-8592. capers4u.com. Del Carmen Medical Center offers breast-cancer screenings for low-income women, 40 and over. Reseda. (818) 705-1157. Encino-Tarzana Medical Center offers gestational diabetes class on Thursdays (call for times); nutrition assessment, 9:30 p.m. Wednesdays at 18321 Clark St., Tarzana. Healthy living with diabetes and carb-counting classes also offered. (818) 345-8955. Family Wellness Chiropractic Group offers free computerized nerve test, spinal exam and consultation at 7439 Reseda Blvd., Reseda. (818) 345-4924. The Foot Health Center of Northridge offers free foot examinations and answers questions regarding bunions, hammertoes, ingrown nails and diabetic foot care. San Fernando Valley: (818) 885-8400. Antelope Valley: (661) 945-3628. Glendale Adventist Medical Center offers a carcinoid cancer support group, 1 p.m. the third Saturday of every month in its Cancer Center Conference Room, 381 Merrill Drive, Glendale. (818) 951-3995. Hearing Loss Association of America San Fernando Valley Chapter offers a support group, 10 to 11:30 a.m. the third Wednesday of every month (free) at More Than Waffles, 17200 Ventura Blvd., Encino; lip-reading class, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Mondays (free) at Jewish Home for the Aging, 18855 Victory Blvd., Reseda. (818) 785-8858. Hollywood Walks organized group walking program, 12:15 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (free) at the Metro Red Line Station at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue. Registration recommended. (323) 469-8311. Northridge Hospital — Roscoe Campus offers cancer support and healing group (in Spanish) 3:30 p.m. Fridays (free) at Leavey Cancer Center, (818) 885-5331; fibromyalgia support group, 7 p.m. the second Monday of every month in IFL Tower’s penthouse, (818) 886-8730; spinal cord injury support group, 3 p.m. Thursdays (free), (818) 885-8500, Ext. 3656; breast cancer support groups, 7 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at Leavey Cancer Center, (818) 885-8500, Ext. 2833; Parkinson’s disease support group, 3:30 p.m. the third Monday of every month (free), (818) 776-1183. 18300 Roscoe Blvd., Northridge. Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center offers personal appearance rehabilitation services (free, by appointment); maternity tours and classes for expectant mothers and their families. Times vary (costs vary, but maternity tours are free) at 501 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank. (818) 843-5111. Sherman Oaks Hospital offers free memory screenings, 1 to 3 p.m. the first and third Mondays of the month at the S+Age Center, 5000 Van Nuys Blvd., Suite 110, Sherman Oaks. (818) 990-2573. Tai Chi Chuan Club Encino, 10 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Free introduction for first-timers. Balboa Park, 17015 Burbank Blvd., Encino. (818) 996-3787. Tai chi classes, 8:15 to 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays through March 21 ($15 per class, $130 for all 10 sessions) at the Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Drive., La Ca?ada Flintridge. (818) 949-4200. www.descansogardens.org. The Tesla Walkers, 9 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays ($1 donation) at Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Drive, La Ca?ada Flintridge. (818) 317-4605.