Sunday, April 14, 2024

Bolt locks it down


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MOSCOW – Usain Bolt has restored order to the world of sprinting.
Regaining the 100 metres World Championship gold he lost through a false start two years ago, the Olympic champion once again holds every major sprint title there is.
And he shook off rain, a slow start and any doubters yesterday to prove there never has been an athlete quite like him.
Despite getting late out of the blocks in the downpour, the Jamaican superstar steadily caught up with 2004 Olympic champion Justin Gatlin and left the American behind with a trademark late burst of speed that, still, no one can match.
If the result was predictable, the demeanour was not.
At 26, he has left most the hot-dogging that has made him famous behind. While he used to start celebrating well before the finish on big wins, he remained expressionless this time as he ran across the line watching his performance on the giant screen in front of him.
It took him several minutes of understated celebrations before he unleashed the mighty “Lightning Bolt” pose that made him famous across the globe.
His time was almost irrelevant, 9.77 seconds, 0.19 seconds slower than his world record. Gatlin crossed second in 9.85, while Bolt’s teammate, Nesta Carter, took bronze in 9.95.
Earlier, Olympic champion Shelly-ann Fraser-Pryce (11.20), fellow Jamaicans Kerron?Stewart (11.02), Schillonie Calvert (11.20) and Sheri-Ann Brooks (11.32) all qualified for the semi-finals of the women’s event along with Bahamian Sheniqua Ferguson with 11.33 seconds.
Grenada’s Olympic champion Kirani James, with 45 seconds flat, led the Caribbean contingent into the next round of the men’s 400 metres.
Trinidadians Deon Londore (45.17) and Jarrin Solomon (45.19) as well as the Jamaican trio of Javere Bell (45.20), Javon Francis (45.37), Omar Johnson (45.97) and Olympic relay gold medallist Chris Brown of The Bahamas, who did 45.97, are also through.
Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia won the women’s 10 000 metres, making her move with about 500 metres to go and quickly pulling away. She won in 30 minutes, 43.35 seconds. Gladys Cherono of Kenya took silver and Belaynesh Oljira of Ethiopia won bronze.
Ashton Eaton added the world title to his Olympic decathlon gold medal and Brittney Reese reigned over the long jump for the third time in a row in a golden day for the United States.
Eaton, the world-record holder, collected 8 809 points to finish ahead of Michael Schrader (8 670) of Germany and Damian Warner (8 512) of Canada, who both won their first major medals.
Reese only reached the final as the last qualifier, but a huge jump of 7.01 metres on her second attempt was good for gold. (AP)


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