Dazzling Bolt leads Jamaica to world record

The world's fastest man Usain Bolt anchored Jamaica to a golden 4x100m relay world record in the final race of the 13th world athletics championships today.

india Updated: Sep 04, 2011 19:29 IST
Ossian Shine
Ossian Shine

The world's fastest man Usain Bolt anchored Jamaica to a golden 4x100m relay world record in the final race of the 13th world athletics championships on Sunday.

Like so often before, Bolt crossed the line all on his own and once again his performance cast all others into the shade.

Mo Farah had been magnificent in clinching 5,000m gold for Britain in a superb race that would have proved a fitting climax to a dramatic Daegu games, but now that accolade must go to Bolt and his compatriots who set the first world record of the championships in its final event.

With an eye on the clock for what seemed like 50 metres, as soon as Bolt crossed the line he hurled his baton high into the crowd and the infectious celebrations began.

His dancing can only be described as world class, too.

"For me, it was just to go out there fast. We did just that. I am proud of my team," Bolt said after setting the 37.04 record.

"I am happy with myself. I enjoyed being the anchor. I had a little problem with my Achilles. I can't run the bend. It was decided I would run the anchor. Yohan Blake ran a great bend. I am happy with that."

Lost title

As Farah was clinching 5,000 metres gold for Britain -- the nation's first world title at that distance -- another Briton was losing his crown with Phillips Idowu having to settle for triple jump silver.

He produced his season's best jump of 17.77m but it was nowhere near good enough to prevent American Christian Taylor from taking gold with a massive leap of 17.96m.

"It wasn't my day," said Idowu. "I felt I had that distance in my legs but it never came."

There was to be no happy ending for Caster Semenya, but she did not seem unduly concerned. The South African who was subject to an indelicate gender challenge after winning in 2009, lost her 800 metres title to Mariya Savinova.

Fifth after one lap, Semenya moved to the front and appeared strong and set for gold in a fast race. Her Russian rival from somewhere found another gear to reel her in, though, and overtook just before the line to take the title in 1:55.87, the quickest time this year.

"The race was pretty good. Even though I got a silver, I really enjoyed it, better than two years ago," a sanguine Semenya told reporters. "I know I won gold in Berlin, but I am feeling much better today."

Cool night

Russia also won the women's hammer, Tatyana Lysenko triumphing with a season-best 77.13 metres.

The United States women finished on a high, racing to 4x100 metres victory over Jamaica.

The team of Bianca Knight, Allyson Felix, Marshevet Myers and Carmelita Jeter won in the year's fastest time of 41.56 seconds.

Jeter, the individual 100 metres champion, said: "It's been great, I'm very excited going into London 2012, it gives me a lot of motivation to go training for next year.

"I'm excited to run with these ladies tonight, they ran exceptional legs, they did the job."

Favourite for the 10,000m earlier in the championships, Farah had to settle for silver on that occasion.

Briefly, it had looked as though he may miss out again when, with only three laps of the race gone, he moved to the side of the track grabbed a cup of water and splashed it over his head.

On a cool night so early in a race, that had not looked a good omen, but Farah sprinted to rejoin the pack and settled back into his rhythm.

US dominance

Where his tactics had been called into question in the 10,000, he got it right over the shorter distance, moving on to the shoulders of the leaders with two laps to go and kicking hard.

Eyes wide, he held off an accelerating Bernard Lagat and kissed his fingers and spread his arms wide as he crossed the line in 13 minutes 23.36 to give Britain their second gold medal in Daegu after Dai Greene had won the 400m hurdles.

"I'm very proud, I can't believe it," he said.

"It hasn't quite sunk in. I came so close in the 10. I just had to try and dig in. I just had to try and relax and get it right."

His victory came as a huge fillip to the British camp with less than a year to go before the London Games. Britain finished with two golds, four silvers and a bronze.

The US topped the medal table with 12 golds, three ahead of Russia with Kenya third on seven.

Earlier on Sunday, Abel Kirui won Kenya's seventh gold by defending his marathon title in two hours, seven minutes and 38 seconds.

Kirui had not even been included on Kenya's provisional list for Daegu. However, selectors gave him the opportunity to defend his title in South Korea after several other athletes opted not to run.

"They made a wise choice to recognise me," Kirui said with a smile.

Crossing the line with fingers pointing to the sky Kirui still had the energy to hop around in a victory dance, then respectfully moved to the side to await the arrival of his compatriot and silver medallist Vincent Kipruto.

"I was so glad," he said. "It was emotional, I found myself dancing and rejoicing."

First Published: Sep 04, 2011 19:27 IST