American sprinter Allyson Felix put her long-awaited victory in the 200m final on Wednesday night down to her earlier performance in the 100m.
Felix found an extra burst of speed down the home straight to pull away and win in 21.88 seconds, laying to rest the ghosts of Athens and Beijing where she finished second to Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown. The American has won the world title three times but always made it clear it was the Olympic crown she coveted most. In an attempt to find something extra for London, Felix had dropped back to the 100 this season. "It was huge for me," the 26-year-old said of running the shorter sprint where she finished fifth in the final in a personal best of 10.89."I learned a lot from last year... and I felt that going back to the 100 made me aggressive, of course there's work to do there but having a PR (personal record) encouraged me and I just knew that that speed would help in the 200 and it definitely did," Felix said.
It was a first women's 200 Olympic gold for the United States since Gwen Torrence in 1992. Jamaica's 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce took silver and American Carmelita Jeter the bronze. Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown, aiming for a hat-trick, finished fourth.
MUM'S THE WORD
America's Brittney Reese could have been shooting hoops instead of picking up an Olympic long jump gold medal on Wednesday but for what has turned out to be a wise choice by her mother.
"She sat me down and told me track was what I needed to do, and momma knows best so that's what I did," recalled Reese, who was a promising basketball player. Reese, 25, made the second biggest jump in the world this year - 7.12m -- to add gold to her world indoor and outdoor titles.
Elena Sokolova (Russia - 7.07m) claimed silver and Janay Deloach (US - 6.89m) won bronze.
MERRITT DOES IT
In two days, Aries Merritt has had two stark reminders of the high attrition rate of the high hurdles and it has made him all the more determined to enjoy his gold medal.
The American watched on Tuesday as 2004 Olympic champion Liu Xiang ruptured his achilles tendon in the first-round heats and then heard the yell behind him as 2008 champion Dayron Robles tore his hamstring in Wednesday's final.
Merritt, 27, was already ahead of Robles when the Cuban was injured and continued his smooth charge to win gold in a personal best 12.92 seconds. "Everyone has their time," he said.
“Everyone has their moment when they're just sizzling, they're on fire. This time it was me.” Fellow American Jason Richardson (13.04) won silver and Jamaica's Hansley Parchment (13.12) took bronze.