x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Olympics: Usain Bolt anchors Jamaica to a world record

Usain Bolt anchors Jamaica to another gold in men's relay, as Mo Farah makes it double gold after victory in the 5,000m in another thrilling performance on the track.

Sanya Richards-Ross of the US, left, takes over from Francena McCorory on the way to a three-second win in  the women's 4x400m relay final.
Sanya Richards-Ross of the US, left, takes over from Francena McCorory on the way to a three-second win in the women's 4x400m relay final.

Usain Bolt completed a dream London Olympics on Saturday night as he anchored the Jamaican 4x100m relay team to victory in a world record time of 36.84 seconds to secure his third gold medal of the Games.

It was the same Jamaican quartet - Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Yohan Blake and Bolt- that set the previous mark of 37.04 at the world championships in Daegu last year.

The United States team of Trell Kimmons, individual bronze medallist Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay and Ryan Bailey won silver in 37.04 to equal the old record.

Canada finished third but were disqualified, leaving the athletes in tears on the track as Trinidad and Tobago were awarded the bronze.

Bolt had already won the 100m and 200m gold medals to become the first person to go back-to-back in both Olympic sprints.

His part in the podium-topping relay team means he has now replicated his treble gold showing in the Beijing Games in 2008.

Bolt told the BBC: "It is always a beautiful thing to end on this note. It is a wonderful feeling.

"It was a great Olympics and I am happy. I wish we could have gone faster but I guess we leave room for improvement."

The US had started strongly with Gatlin on the second leg in an attempt to put pressure on the Jamaicans in the race.

Gatlin had given them a slight lead when he handed on to Gay, but a superb run from Blake, the silver medallist in both the 100m and 200m behind Bolt, got the Jamaicans back on an even keel.

The race was pretty much even when Bolt and Bailey received the baton for the homestretch, but Bolt pulled away to help Jamaica set the relay record for the third time since 2008.

Elsewhere Saturday night, Britain's Mo Farah timed his trademark kick from 600 metres to perfection to win the 5,000m and clinch a popular Olympic double after having already triumphed in the 10,000m.

Farah won in a time of 13 mins 41.66 secs, with Ethiopian Dejen Gebremeskel taking silver in 13:41.98 and Kenya's Thomas Longosiwa claiming bronze (13:42.36).

The victory allowed the 29-year-old Farah to add his name to an illustrious list of runners who have already achieved the double, including Czech Emil Zatopek, Finland's Lasse Viren, Ethiopian Miruts Yifter and, most recently, Kenenisa Bekele, also of Ethiopia, at the 2008 Beijing Games.

"I'm just amazed - two gold medals, who would have thought that?" said Farah, who moved to Britain at the age of eight after being born in Somalia and spending some years in Djibouti.

"I got great support from the crowd. It means a lot to me and those two medals are obviously for my two girls who are coming," he said of the twins his wife is expecting.

As for his short-term future on the track, Farah said: "I don't know what's going on. I'm taking one race at a time.

"The Olympics doesn't come around often. It's all worked out well.

Farah's American training partner Galen Rupp, who took silver in the 10,000m but finished seventh, said: "Everybody's gunning for him and looking for ways to beat him, and I think to be able to have such a great two races in front of your home fans, it's huge. There's obviously a lot of pressure on him and he did a great job of handling it and just executed better than anybody else."

Trinidad & Tobago's Keshorn Walcott completed a remarkable double by taking a surprise Olympic javelin gold, less than a month after becoming world junior champion.

The 19 year old, crowned global junior champion in Barcelona on July 13, won gold with an 84.58 metres throw, a personal best. He is the youngest winner of an Olympic javelin title.

Ukraine's Oleksandr Pyatnytsya won silver with a 84.51 effort and Antti Ruuskanen of Finland took bronze with 84.12.

Walcott had such low expectations in London that he said he was "surprised I even made the final".

"I just went out there to relax and enjoy it and it worked for me," said Walcott, whose second-round effort was good enough for gold.

"It means everything to me. I just train my hardest and try to enjoy every time I come out."

Norwegian Andreas Thorkildsen, bidding for a third successive Olympic gold, was sixth.

Thorkildsen has struggled with injury and technical problems all season and registered just two throws in the final. His best of 82.63 was way short of the Olympic record of 90.57 that he set in Beijing.

 

Savinova holds off Semenya to retain her title

World champion Mariya Savinova held off a fast-finishing Caster Semenya of South Africa to win the 800 metres Olympic title.

The Russian, 26, made the decisive break coming around the final bend and while Semenya came from fifth to second she had given herself too much to do.

Savinova timed 1 minute, 56.19 seconds ahead of Semenya’s 1:57.23 while another Russian, Ekaterina Poistogova, took bronze.

“It’s just amazing. Right now I can’t feel anything, but I’m amazed,” said Savinova.

Kenya’s defending champion Pamela Jelimo had taken the pace up 300m out but was overwhelmed by Savinova’s burst and the 22 year old was passed by Semenya and edged out on the line by Poistogova.

“I knew the Russians were very strong,” said Jelimo.“What can you do? You have to accept that sometimes you are at the top and sometimes you are not.

“My body did not stick to the task, but for me it’s the best I can do.”

For Semenya, 21, it was a second successive silver medal at a major championships – she was second in last year’s world championship – after being cleared to return after a traumatic time following her world championship win in 2009.

Semenya had to undergo drug tests followed by gender tests following that magnificent victory in Berlin.

She was barred from the track for almost a year before being cleared to run again and her comeback was hampered by a lower back injury and a growing belief that coach Michael Seme had taken her as far as he could.

“I’ve been waiting all year for this,” said Semenaya. “The last four years have not been easy. I’m already thinking about Rio [2016 Olympic Games] and I hope I’ll be there.”

Elsewhere, the American quartet of Deedee Trotter, Allyson Felix, Francena McCorory, Sanya Richards-Ross dominated the 4x400m relay to win by more than three seconds from Russia and Jamaica.

It was a third gold medal for Felix, who had earlier triumphed in the 200m and been part of the winning women’s 4x100m relay team.

Anna Chicherova soared over 2.05 metres to win the high jump.

Sixth in Athens and a bronze medallist in Beijing, the 30-year-old Russian cleared the first five heights at the first time of asking before becoming the only woman to get over the bar at 2.05m on her second attempt.

Yelena Lashmanova overhauled compatriot Olga Kaniskina in a thrilling final few metres to win the Olympic women’s 20km walk in a world record time of 1 hour, 25 minutes, 2 seconds.

Kaniskina, who had held the lead from the start, took the silver and China’s Qieyang Shenjie was third.

Lashmanova said: “During most of the race, I was at such a distance from the lead that I was losing heart but at each lap my trainer told me to keep calm, to keep quiet, to press on and not give up.”

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