Thundering Bolt sinks 200M record

Croatian Vlasic claims womens high jump; Brathwaite wins 110 hurdles as Robles crashes out

Thundering Bolt sinks 200M record

Jamaican Usain Bolt celebrates with mascot Berlino after winning the 200M gold at the World Athletics Championships on Thursday. Reuters

For the second time at the 12th World Championships in athletics, Bolt stretched out fully and the result was the same, with the 200M record going the way of the 100M mark as the Jamaican gave himself a birthday present a day early.

Bolt, who ran the longer dash in 19.30 seconds at the Beijing Olympic Games, clobbered that with an incredible 19.19-second sprint in front of a massive gathering at the Olympic Stadium.

The fastest ever 200M final also saw four other athletes going under 20 seconds but after winning by a massive 0.62 second margin from Panama’s Alonso Edward, the night belonged to Bolt and Bolt alone.

After a false start by France David Alerte in lane two, Bolt was off in a flash the second time from lane five. In a couple of strides, he caught Edward on lane six and coming past the bend, was couple of metres ahead of fellow Jamaican Steve Mullings.

Former Olympic champion Shawn Crawford and Wallace Spearmon of the United States attempted desperately to catch up but Bolt was flying down the straight, in no mood to relax. His face reflected the desire as he gritted his teeth and ran hard to the line, pointing to the time and breaking into a smile as he crossed it in a new time.

Edwards’ 19.81 was a new South American record while Spearmon timed 19.85 for the bronze. The wind read -0.3 m/s.

"I did not have the record on my mind," said Bolt. "I said early in the season that I had to get my start right. I worked on it. That was the key in this final. I definitely showed people that my world records in Beijing were not a joke,” he added.

Vlasic triumphs

Billed as a one of the contests of these championships, women’s high jump didn’t live up to expectations but there was joy for Croation Blanka Vlasic, who broke the German hearts by defeating their favourite Ariane Friedrich. Vlasic defended her crown with a 2.04M clearance while the German, who had a 2.06 here in June, had to be satisfied with the bronze behind Russian Anna Chicherova. After securing the world record, Vlasic, who had suffered a head injury two days back, attempted a world record at 2.10 but fell short of the mark.

On the track, Melaine Walker scripted another Jamaican triumph, in the women’s 400M hurdles earlier in the evening. Walker, the Olympic champion, faced a serious challenge from American Lashinda Demus, the season’s leader at 52.63 seconds. But the Jamaican turned in a superbly-judged race, timing 52.42, the second fastest of all-time, just a tenth of a second behind Yuliya Pechonkina’s world record of 52.34.

Brathwaite wins

Ryan Brathwaite ended Barbados’ wait for a medal at the worlds, notching an upset win in the 110M hurdles.

Olympic champion and world record holder, Dayron Robles of Cuba, had crashed out earlier in the semifinals.

Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, gunning for a double, qualified for the 5000M semifinals, winning his semifinal in 13:19.77. Bernard Lagat, the defending champion from the United States, also made it, taking the fourth spot in the second semifinal.

Harting wins thriller

On Wednesday, Robert Harting won Germany’s second gold medal after a fabulous contest in men’s discus throw. Harting overtook Poland’s Piotr Malchawski with his final throw, a personal best of 69.43 metres. Malchawski had set two national records to hold the top spot with 69.15 till then. Favourite Gerd Kanter had to be satisfied with the bronze medal.

DH News Service

Results:
Men: 200M: Usain Bolt 19.19 seconds (world record) 1; Alonso Edward (Panama) 19.81, 2; Wallace Spearmon (USA) 19.85, 3.

110M hurdles: Ryan Brathwaite (Barbados) 13.14 seconds, 1; Terrence Trammell (USA) 13.15, 2; David Payne (USA) 13.15, 3.

Discus throw: Robert Harting (Germany) 69.43 metres, 1; Piotr Malchawski (Poland) 69.15, 2; Gerd Kanter (Estonia) 66.88, 3.

Women: 800M: Caster Semenya (South Africa) 1:55.45, 1; Janeth Kepkosgei (Kenya) 1:57.90, 2; Jennifer Meadows (Britain) 1:57.93, 3.

400M hurdles: Melaine Walker (Jamaica) 52.42 seconds, 1; Lashinda Demus (USA) 52.96, 2; Josanne Lucas (Trinidad) 53.20, 3.

High jump: Blanka Vlasic (Croatia) 2.04 metres, 1; Anna Chicherova (Russia) 2.02, 2; Ariane Friedrich (Germany) 2.02, 3.

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