Shelly-Ann Fraser led an unprecedented women's 100 metres Olympic medal sweep for Jamaica on Sunday, devastating American rivals in a head-to-head sprint showdown to decide the world's fastest woman.
One night after Jamaican Usain Bolt thrilled his homeland by winning the men's 100m in a world-record 9.69 seconds, Fraser powered to victory in 10.78 seconds with Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart sharing second in 10.98.
"I was inspired by last night," Fraser said. "This is a crazy Bolt effect."
"I am just so happy to put Jamaica on the map. No one expected me to win so there was no pressure."
There is now as Fraser moved level as the eighth-best all-time performer alongside Americans Torri Edwards and Dawn Sowell.
"I was thinking before the race about winning," Fraser said. "I thought to myself, 'Calm down. You have to win first. You need to go out there and do it.'"
Fraser, whose prior claim to fame came on last year's world 4x100 runner-up relay, surged ahead at the start and pulled away from Simpson midway into the race with Stewart catching her for the first Olympic sweep in the event.
Three Jamaicans and three Americans advanced to the championship matchup from earlier semi-finals, but only disappointment awaited US women. Athens Olympic runner-up and 2005 world champion Lauryn Williams was fourth in 11.03 with US champion Muna Lee fifth in 11.07 and 2003 world champion Edwards eighth and last in 11.20.
Radcliffe falls short again
Romania's Constantina Tomescu won the women's marathon with a dominant solo run from the halfway point. The 38-year-old made her move after a large leading group set a plodding early pace and, with nobody choosing to respond, was a minute clear inside the final 10km.
Pre-race favourite Catherine Ndereba of Kenya beat China's Zhou Chunxiu for silver.
Briton Paula Radcliffe missed out on an Olympic medal for the fifth time when her patched-up body again fell foul of the rigours of the marathon four years after she dropped out of the race in Athens.
Radcliffe, the world record holder, looked unlikely to even make the Beijing Games after suffering a stress fracture of her thigh three months ago.
Bekele retains 10,000 title
World record holder Kenenisa Bekele secured what he hopes will be the first leg of the long-distance double when he retained his Olympic 10,000 metres title with a devastating last lap.
After tracking the lead for most of the race, Bekele let rip over the last 400 metres to finish well clear of team mate Sileshi Sihine, who also got silver behind him in Athens, while Micah Kogo snatched bronze for Kenya.
Bekele's time of 27 minutes 1.17 seconds was an Olympic record, bettering the time he set in 2004.
Russia's Gulnara Galkina-Samitova won the gold in the women's 3,000m steeplechase.