MOSCOW, Russia — Sore legs might have prevented Usain Bolt from running an even faster time than he did last night as he won back the IAAF World Championships men’s 100m title he last won four years ago in Berlin.
In pouring rain inside the Luhzniki Stadium in front of a less than impressive crowd, Bolt ran an effortless season’s best 9.77 seconds to beat back the challenge of American Justin Gatlin, who won the silver medal in a season-best 9.85 seconds, while Nesta Carter won Jamaica’s second medal in the race, the bronze in 9.95 seconds.
An unprecedented four Jamaican men lined up in the final as Kemar Bailey-Cole was fourth in 9.88 seconds after a poor start, the same time given to his fifth-placed teammate Nickel Ashmeade.
The four men in the final matched the feat of the Jamaican women in the 2009 Berlin World Championships where Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce beat Kerron Stewart for the gold, while Veronica Campbell Brown was fourth and Aileen Bailey eighth.
The closet any country came was in Helsinki in 2005 when four American men finished 1-2-3-4 in the 200m, the same race where Bolt was eighth after pulling a muscle.
Last night, Bolt said he had thought about trying to challenge his World Record 9.58 seconds. “I thought about it, I wanted to come here and run as fast as possible, but after the semi-finals my legs felt a bit sore and it was better to be safe than sorry,so I came out just to execute and win the race.
The gold medal was Bolt’s fourth, the most by any Jamaican athlete and his fifth overall — still six behind the record of 11 medals won by Merlene Ottey.
Jamaica’s two medals won yesterday place them in fourth place over all, while the United States leads with two gold and a bronze and African giants Ethiopia and Kenya each have a gold, silver and bronze.
After another hot and muggy day, the weather changed dramatically late in the evening and it started to rain just before the final and got progressively heavier as the start time approached.
After an average start, Bolt caught Gatlin by 60 metres and eased past him for a comfortable win as five of the eight men went under 10.00 seconds. He then took off on his now famous victory lap, stopping for photo ops along the way.
The tone was set in the semi-finals
two-and-half-hours earlier when seven men ran under 10.00 seconds to make it to the final and two of the races were affected by recalls, while one runner, Bingtian Su of China, was disqualified after a false start.
In the semi-final, Bolt ran hard for about 70 metres to reel in the fast-starting Rodgers to win in 9.92 seconds after Ashmeade and Bailey-Cole did the same to Dasaolu a race earlier, both running personal best times of 9.90 seconds and 9.93 seconds, respectively.
Carter had booked his place with a comfortable second place in the first heat, running 9.97 seconds to finish behind Gatlin’s 9.94 seconds.
After the final, Bolt described his race as “a good one, and I am
happy with what I did”, adding the rain “was never a factor, we have run in much colder weather than this one”.
Jamaica will be hoping for more medals today with two runners qualifying for the women’s 400m final and the possibility of individuals advancing to the final of the men’s 110m hurdles and the women’s 100m as well.
Veteran Novlene Williams-Mills qualified for her fourth World Championships final and first-timer Stephanie McPherson her first,
both advancing as fastest losers after both finished third in yesterday’s semi-finals, while Patricia Hall failed to move on finishing eighth in her heat.
Williams-Mills ran 50.34 seconds to finish behind Great Britain’s Christine Ohuruogu (49.75 seconds) and American Natasha Hastings (49), both season’s bests.
McPherson looked set to win her semi-final, leading into the final 60 metres before she was caught and passed by American Francena McCorory who ran a personal best 49.86 seconds and Russian Antonina Krivoshapka (49.99 seconds), the same time credited to the Jamaican.
The women’s 100m also got underway yesterday and all four Jamaican women led by Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce advanced to today’s semi-finals without a glitch.
National Champion Kerron Stewart and IAAF Diamond League champion Fraser-Pryce both won their heats in 11.02 seconds and 11.15 seconds, respectively, while Central American and Caribbean Senior Championships gold medallist Sherry-Ann Brooks and Schillonie Calvert were both third in their heats and grabbed automatic qualifying spots.
Despite injuries and inactivity, sprint hurdlers Andrew Riley and Hansle Parchment both advanced to their semi-finals as did all three men in the 400m to complete a good first session for Jamaica.
In addition to the favourites advancing, including Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare, the second- fastest woman after Fraser-Pryce this season so far, the Ivory Coast’s Murielle Ahoure and American Carmelita Jeter should not be counted out of medal contention.
Stewart’s time was the second fastest of the preliminaries, only behind American English Gardner’s 10.94 seconds. “I executed a good race and now looking forward to a good semi-final,” said Stewart.
Both Brooks and Calvert said they were happy with their runs and qualification for the semi-finals.
After not racing in over three months, and going through rehabilitation for a sprained ankle he suffered at the JAAA National Senior Trials, Parchment, the Olympic Games bronze medallist, struggled home in fifth place in his heat in 13.43 seconds, good for 13th overall of the 16 men that advanced to the semi-finals.
Parchment lay on his back on the inside of the track after the race with his hands behind his head somewhat in despair. “I was seeing that (the result) being the end of the World Championships for me,” he told reporters. Riley, who picked up an Achilles injury two weeks ago, hit no fewer than four hurdles on his way to finishing third in the race won by American David Oliver in13.27 seconds hours after learning that the third member of the sprint hurdling team, Dwight Thomas, was forced to withdraw due to a recurring knee injury that he had an operation on last year.
In the men’s 400m first round, 18-year-old Jevon Francis and national champion Javere Bell both advanced automatically, while Omar Johnson had to sweat before advancing as one of the best losers.
Francis made an impressive debut in the senior team, running 45.37 seconds for second behind Brazilian Anderson Henrique’s’ personal best 45.13 seconds.
Bell, whose coach Bertland Cameron is the only Jamaican man to win the 400m at the World Championships in 1983, was also happy for this 45.20 seconds, having time to look around in the last 30 metres as he chased home defending champion Kirani
James of Grenada (45.00 seconds) and Trinidad’s Jarrin Solomon (45.19) to the line.
Credits; Jamaica Observer
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