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Redemption time for Bolt

Usain Bolt raced to redemption in 19.40 golden seconds on Saturday to retain his world 200 metres title while Anna Chicherova ended Blanka Vlasic's four-year run as high jump world champion.

india Updated: Sep 04, 2011 00:45 IST

Usain Bolt raced to redemption in 19.40 golden seconds on Saturday to retain his world 200 metres title while Anna Chicherova ended Blanka Vlasic's four-year run as high jump world champion.

"Believe" Bolt mouthed to the cameras as he celebrated his win. Nobody had stopped believing, even after he was disqualified from the 100 metres final last Sunday, but certainly there was a sense that the natural order had been restored.

If anyone in athletics can match Bolt for sheer charisma, it is Vlasic but the Croatian, who was aiming for a third successive world title, found that counted for nothing against a rival in the form of her life.

Allyson Felix gathered her first gold medal of the 13th championships, after failing to win the 200-400 double, when the United States women won the 4x400m relay for the third time in a row.

Australia left it late to win a gold medal in Daegu, but finally succeeded through Sally Pearson's barnstorming run in the 100 metres hurdles. She finished in 12.28 seconds.

The Ringmaster

For all the drama dotted around Daegu's cavernous stadium, there was no mistaking whose show it was and the world's fastest man conducted proceedings like a ringmaster.

From the second Bolt languidly entered the arena, all eyes were on him and he did not disappoint. First bumping fists with a girl volunteer he then went through his now familiar routine of fashioning his hair, gesturing to the TV cameras and, in a new twist for Saturday, smoothing his eyebrows.

Silver medallist Walter Dix recorded a season's best 19.70 and Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre won bronze. "I came out here to do my best and prove to them. At the start I did not panic, 19.40 for me, it is a good time. I am not in my best shape, but it is all about fun and enjoyment."

Perennial bridesmaid Chicherova finally got the better of Vlasic in high jump, taking the title after finishing runner-up to the Croatian in the 2007 and 2009 world championships.

Vlasic, who confirmed her attendance very late due to a knee injury, jumped her season's best of 2.03 metres but was matched by Chicherova.

When neither was able to manage 2.05, the title went to the Russian who, with her white socks pulled up to her knees, had a perfect five jumps at five previous heights.