Brilliant Bolt Cruises to the 200m Gold

From The Hindu | Sports |

Usain Bolt captured a fourth major event sprint double when the Jamaican superstar stormed to a third straight 200 metres world title on Saturday.

Bolt won his seventh overall world title in 19.66 seconds from countryman Warren Weir before the two danced to reggae music on their victory lap.

The 26-year-old Bolt can complete a treble, as at the 2009 worlds, and 2008 and 2012 Olympics, with victory in the 4x100m relay on Sunday.

Hosts Russia cheered double gold from high jumper Svetlana Shkolina and the women’s 4x400m relay for first place in the medal table with a 7-3-5 tally ahead of the US, who have however garnered more medals with a 6-11-3 haul.

Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich won Uganda’s first men’s gold at the worlds in the marathon, Meseret Defar of Ethiopia a fourth major 5,000m gold, American Brianna Rollins lived up to her 100m hurdles top billing with victory, and Czech Vitezslav Vesely the javelin.

Bolt’s latest 200m triumph was never in danger but he also stayed far above his world record 19.19 seconds in cool conditions in the Luzhniki.

He came out of the bend with a solid lead while Weir lowered his personal best to 19.79 in his slipstream for silver. Curtis Mitchell took bronze for the US in 20.04m.

Jamaica now lead rivals US 4-0 in the sprints going into Sunday’s relays, with Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce getting the women’s double.

Shkolina soared a personal best 2.03m on her first attempt to get the high jump gold a year after Olympic bronze from American Brigetta Barrett (2.00m). Spain’s Ruth Beitia and Russian holder and Olympic champion Anna Chicherova shared bronze on 1.97m.

Emma Green Tregaro of Sweden contested the final with red fingernails after being informed her rainbow-coloured nails protest in qualifying against a Russian anti-gay law violated competition rules outlawing political statements, the general secretary of the Swedish federation, Anders Albertsson, said.

Shkolina soared the winning height just as the crowd was in overdrive during the women’s relay in which Russian anchor Antonina Krivoshapka held off a final US attack from Francina McCoroy for victory in a 2013 world lead 3:20.19. Britain got bronze.

Kiprotich shook off Ethiopian rivals Lelisa Desisa, the fastest man of the season and winner of the bomb-attack-marred Boston race, and Tadese Tola in the final two kilometres to win the marathon in 2 hours 9 minutes 51 seconds.

“I realised that I could win after 40km. Then I just kept pushing.

I decided to break but my competitors were strong and I had to apply some tactics,” Kiprotich said.

Kiprotich, who trains in Kenya owing to better training conditions there, is the first non-Kenyan world champion since 2005 and only the second man to hold the world and Olympic marathon title at the same time, the other being Gezahegne Abera who won the 2000 Olympics and 2001 worlds.

Defar, 29, kicked with 200m to go to get her fourth major 5,000m title in 14:50.19 from Mercy Cherono of Kenya and Ethiopian Almaz Ayana, who had done most of the leader work in the deciding stages.

Defar now has two 5,000m worlds golds, the other being in 2007.

She also won the Olympic races in 2004 and 2012, and has one silver and three bronze over the distance as well from the two big global events.

“It is a big achievement for me. It is my sixth world championships and I won my second gold medal,” Defar said.

The season leader Rollins overcame a terrible start to top the hurdles in 12.44 from Australian holder and Olympic champion Sally Pearson, who had a 2013 best in an injury-marred year. Briton Tiffany Porter got bronze.

The European champion Vesely had 87.17m on his opening which turned out to be the winner, although the 2007 winner Tero Pitkamaki of Finland came very close with 87.07m for silver. Russia’s Dmitri Tarabin salvaged bronze on his last attempt.

The 14th world championships conclude Sunday with the men’s 1,500m, 4x100m and triple jump, and the women’s 800m, 4x100m and javelin.



TAGS: WORLD, BRONZE, OLYMPIC, GOLD, CHAMPION

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