Bolt dominates World Athletics Championships
BERLIN: Jamaica’s Usain Bolt dominated the World Athletics Championships here in the same way he did the Beijing Olympics, winning triple gold and shattering the world records for the 100m and 200m.
Bolt beat American defending champion and arch-rival Tyson Gay into second in the 100m, running an astonishing 9.58 seconds. But any further duels between the sprinters were cut short when Gay was ruled out injured after winning silver in 9.71sec in the 100m.
It was, however, the United States which again headed the medals table with 10 gold, six silver and six bronze medals for a total haul of 22 at the championships, which featured 1,984 athletes from 201 territories. Jamaica were in second on 13 (7 gold, 4 silver, 2 bronze), Kenya third on 11 (4, 5, 2) and Russia in fourth with 13 (4, 3, 6).
Bolt’s individual sprint double was emulated by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, who reinforced his credentials as arguably the best distance runner ever when he won gold in both the 5000 and 10,000m, repeating his Beijing Games double. His victory in the 10,000m was the fourth in succession and matched the record set by former mentor Haile Gebrselassie.
Bolt spearheaded the Jamaican team to sprint glory, the only title missing from their haul being the women’s 200m, won by American Allyson Felix for an unprecedented third time. Despite Bekele’s
best efforts, it was not all good
news for Ethiopia as double women’s Olympic champion Tirunesh Dibaba was ruled out of both the 5000 and 10,000m, allowing Kenyans Vivian Cheruiyot and Linet Masai in for gold.
Both men and women’s 800m races were won by South Africans, but the victory by Mbulaeni Mulaudzi’s paled into comparison with that of Caster Semenya in the women’s equivalent. Semenya, 18, thrashed the field in her race but she was also asked by the IAAF to undergo a gender test given her recent startling improvement on the track, her undoubtedly boyish looks also attracting some unsavoury speculation.
Arguably the biggest shock
of the championships was the failure of the double Olympic
champion and world record holder (5.05m) Russian Yelena Isinbayeva to win a third successive pole
vault crown. After losing a competition for the first time in six years just before the championships, she amazingly failed to land one of her three attempts.
Russia claimed a unique clean sweep of the three walking titles, while Kenyan Abel Kirui and China’s Bai Xue won the marathon titles. The third world record of the nine-day-long event was set by Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk, who won the women’s hammer throw with a best of 77.96 metres.