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US strike triple gold as Greene boosts Britain

india Updated: Sep 01, 2011 23:15 IST

AFP
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The US team struck treble gold at the world championships on Thursday while Briton Dai Greene handed next year's Olympic hosts a massive boost with victory in the men's 400m hurdles.

Ezekiel Kemboi also led a 1-2 in the men's 3000m steeplechase to further confirm Kenya's status as the dominant nation in distance running after David Rudisha's 800m win and medal cleansweeps in the women's marathon and 10,000m.

Lashinda Demus (women's 400m hurdles), Jessie Williams (men's high jump) and Jennifer Simpson (women's 1500m) all produced podium-topping performances to ensure the United States remains atop the medal table with seven golds.

Simpson's showing was perhaps the most memorable of the night, the unheralded 25-year-old outshining two-time defending champion Maryam Jamal of Bahrain and more acclaimed team-mate Morgan Uceny.

"I'm very excited," said Simpson. "The last few metres I was thinking about what this could mean for my life and family and my little sisters starting in the army.

"I was thinking 'let's get that anthem played'."

The race was a disaster for the Ethiopian-born Jamal, who was boxed in and unable to make an impression after expending too much energy in a bid to scramble free.

To make matters worse for Bahrain, another import, Yusuf Kamel (formerly Kenyan Gregory Konchellah) will not be on hand to defend his 1500m title on Saturday after failing to make it out of the semi-finals.

Welshman Greene kept his composure to beat a high-quality field in the 400m hurdles that included US duo Bershawn Jackson and Angelo Taylor, and the Dominican Republic's Felix Sanchez.

The 25-year-old turned on the gas in the final 40 metres to secure a much-needed gold for Britain. "I am just overwhelmed," said Greene. "I am so happy about this victory. Now I am number one in the world. I was disappointed about my first half of the race, but that's not important now."

Earlier in the day, defending champion Caster Semenya safely negotiated her way into the semis of the women's 800m while injury-hit high-jumper Blanka Vlasic also advanced.