Report from day eight of the IAAF World Championships which saw Usain Bolt claim his third 200m world title and refer to Adam Gemili’s performance as ‘outstanding’
Usain Bolt won the 200m world title in Moscow on Saturday to again do the sprint double, claiming his fifth individual world title and seventh overall in the process.
The Jamaican, who won 100m gold just six days earlier, cruised to cross the line in a world-leading 19.66 as his compatriot Warren Weir soared to silver with a 19.79 personal best and Curtis Mitchell of the US prevented a Jamaican clean sweep with his 20.04 for bronze ahead of Nickel Ashmeade with 20.05 for fourth.
Another athlete just outside the medals was Great Britain’s Adam Gemili, the 19-year-old who became only the second ever Brit to run sub-20 seconds with his 19.98 clocking in the semi-finals on Friday. Although he couldn’t manage a second consecutive sub-20 clocking, his 20.08 was enough for a fine fifth-place finish and proves incredible promise.
Experience was what Gemili had gone for and what an experience he got. Just four hundredths of a second separated him from the medals as Bolt later referred to what the British teenager had achieved as “outstanding” – high praise indeed from a sprint superstar who had just taken his global gold medal count to 13.
“I’m still in shock that he (Gemili) made the finals,” admitted Bolt. “I’ve never seen him run a 200m ever.
“I only really know him for the 100m. So the fact he came out and made the finals, he did great. In his first final, that’s outstanding and to run sub-20 that’s also great. To me it’s what he want to focus on now – he has options with 100m and 200m.”
Rollins holds off Pearson as Porter bags bronze
The much anticipated head-to-head between Olympic and defending world champion Sally Pearson and American record holder Brianna Rollins didn’t disappoint, the pair battling to the line to see Rollins recover from a poor start to clock 12.44 and take the title ahead of Pearson who secured silver with a season’s best 12.50.
There was a brilliant bronze for Tiffany Porter, the world indoor silver medallist claiming Britain’s first ever World Championships medal in the event with her 12.55 personal best time just 0.01 off the UK record held by Jess Ennis-Hill.
With a Moscow crowd that was the most vocal so far, Rollins’ start was affected but she overcame the slowest reaction time of the whole field (0.263) to come through and prove more of the same sort of form that saw her clock 12.26 – the fastest 100m hurdles time for 20 years – at her national championships in June. Pearson’s silver-winning time was a season’s best, the Australian having struggled with injury in 2013, something she later blamed for not being able to go one better and retain her title.
Russia and USA battle for gold as GB add to medal tally
The hosts went into the competition specifically targeting the relay and their efforts were rewarded as Russia took on Olympic and defending world champions USA in the 4x400m and won.
Following a bit of chaos for the American team at the end of the penultimate leg when Ashley Spencer had to weave across lanes in order to hand over to anchor Francena McCorory, Russia gained the lead with Antonina Krivoshapka making the most of the home support to bring home her team – which also included Yulia Gushchina, Tatyana Firova and Kseniya Ryzhova – in a world-leading 3:20.19.
The American team, also including Jessica Beard and Natasha Hastings, clocked 3:20.41, while Christine Ohuruogu, winner of the individual 400m title in Moscow, claimed her second medal of the championships in bringing home the GB team in 3:22.61 for bronze.
With Perri Shakes-Drayton out injured, Eilidh Child, Shana Cox, Margaret Adeoye and Ohuruogu again stepped it up a notch to record respective splits of 51.7, 50.3, 51.1 and 49.6 – Ohuruogu’s first-ever sub-50 in a relay.
Another gold for Russia as Skholina soars to high jump victory
Over in the high jump there was another battle between Russia and USA and again the host nation came out on top.
Russia’s Olympic and reigning world champion Anna Chicherova was understandably one of the strong favourites heading into the final but it was her team-mate Svetlana Skholina who really got the crowds roaring.
The Olympic bronze medallist equalled her personal best set in London last summer to claim victory, her first-time clearance of 2.03m enough to take the title ahead of world No.1 Brigetta Barrett of the US.
The American had cleared all other heights on her first try at each, while earlier Skholina had needed two attempts to get over 1.93m. But in the end that earlier blip did not matter as the Russian champion soared over her winning height before a couple of attempts at 2.05m to close the competition.
The bronze medal was shared between Chicherova and Spain’s Ruth Beitia, the pair both enjoying a smooth run until eventually failing to clear 2.00m.
Defar dominant to reclaim world 5000m title
Ethiopian Meserat Defar reclaimed the world 5000m title she first won six years ago as she proved her dominance to clock 14:50.19 and claim a record fifth medal in the event.
Her winning time, the quickest at the World Championships since 2005, was enough to see her ahead of Kenyan Mercy Cherono, who secured silver with 14:51.22, and Defar’s Ethiopian team-mate Almaz Ayana, who claimed bronze with 14:51.33.
It was back in 2005 that the two-time Olympic champion claimed her first world medal in the event – silver behind compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba. Defar has since gone on to claim gold in 2007 and bronzes in 2009 and 2011.
The event in Moscow had initially been billed as a possible head-to-head between Defar and Dibaba, who, like her compatriot, had been entered into both the 5000m and 10,000m. But it was decided the pair would only contest one event each, with Dibaba victorious over double the distance.
With Defar comfortably ticking off the laps, the battle at the bell was between the three eventual medallists. Defar kicked and her rivals followed but could never catch up, the winner crossing the line with arms held high.
Veselý takes title as Yego just misses medals
Julius Yego had already made history by becoming the first Kenyan to make a javelin final at the World Championships. He was close to going one better and becoming the first from his nation to claim a medal in the event, too, had it not been for a bronze medal-winning final round throw from Russia’s Dmitriy Tarabin.
One throw was all it took for Czech thrower Vítězslav Veselý to take the title. With his best of 87.17m in the first round he set the standard to which former world champion Tero Pitkämäki of Finland was just 10 centimetres short. Pitkämäki’s 87.07m was enough for silver, ahead of Tarabin’s 86.23m for bronze. Though it didn’t get him a medal, Yego unsurprisingly set a national record with his best of 85.40m in the fifth round.
Kiprotich adds world marathon victory to Olympic glory
Stephen Kiprotich became only the second man in history to claim world and Olympic marathon titles back-to-back.
The Ugandan joins Gezahegne Abera in his feat, the Ethiopian having followed up Olympic victory at the Sydney 2000 Games with a win at the World Champs in Edmonton a year later.
Having picked up the pace over the final couple of kilometres, Kiprotich managed to shake off his biggest challenger Lelisa Desisa to enter the Luzhniki Stadium clear. Waving to the crowd as he took to the track, the 24-year-old crossed the line in 2:09:51 ahead of Desisa who clocked 2:10:12 to lead home his Ethiopian team-mates Tadese Tola, who claimed bronze with 2:10:23, and Tsegay Kebede who finished fourth with 2:10:47.
With his victory Kiprotich is only the second ever Ugandan to win Worlds gold, following in the footsteps of 2005 women’s steeplechase winner Dorcus Inzikuru. A little further down the field and Japan’s Kentaro Nakamoto went one better than his sixth place finish at the London Olympics to cross the line ahead of the likes of Brazilians Solonei da Silva and Paulo Roberto Paula (sixth and seventh respectively), Ethiopian Yemane Tsegay (eighth), Kenyan Peter Kimeli Some (ninth) and Kiprotich’s compatriot Jackson Kiprop (tenth).
» Full results from Moscow can be found here