Usain Bolt produced his killer-instinct for vaporising rivals by regaining his world 100 metres crown in the Moscow rain on Sunday,restoring some credibility to a sport tarnished by a plethora of doping scandals. His victory in 9.77s,holding off American Justin Gatlin (9.85) and fellow Jamaican Nesta Carter (9.95),banished memories of his Daegu false-start and disqualification when he was forced to slope away from a 2011 final he did not get to contest.
Two years on it was less Usain Bolt the showman of Olympic and world record acclaim,more Usain Bolt the serious. I wanted to do a better time but was not able to because of the weather, Usain Bolt said. Not singing in the rain,but running in the rain tonight. Im feeling good,just a little bit tired. I need some rest.
With his world record of 9.58 set at the 2009 Berlin Worlds seemingly now a distant memory,Usain Bolt still hammered home the message with each muscle-extending stride that he remains sprint king of the track at 27. It was not revenge for Daegu,I just came here to win this title, Usain Bolt added. I cannot forget Daegu because all you guys keep reminding me on my false start.
Usain Bolt has been far from his best this season,but his best on the night the second fastest time of the year after Tyson Gays 9.75 in June was good enough.
As rain fell and thunder clapped around the Luzhniki Stadium,a pensive-looking Usain Bolt mimed taking out an umbrella before the start. Unlike Daegu,Usain Bolt this time made no mistake and although trailing Gatlin,to his left,at halfway,he surged to the front at 60m.
Gatlin,former world and Olympic champion and twice banned for doping,stayed on his shoulder all the way to the line,followed by Carter and two more Jamaicans Kemar Bailey-Cole and Nickel Ashmeade. Injured Jamaican Yohan Blake did not defend his title from Daegu while Gay and former world record holder Asafa Powell were not in Moscow after testing positive for a banned substance.
Those failures and positive tests from two-time Olympic 200m champion Veronica Campbell-Brown,fellow Jamaican sprinter Sherone Simpson and a host of athletes from Turkey and Russia,have dragged down the reputation of the sport. Usain Bolt,however,is doing all he can to repair.
20km Cakewalk for Ivanov
Aleksandr Ivanov brought a sparse Luzhniki stadium to its feet and claimed a third successive mens 20-kilometre race walk gold for Russia on Sunday,becoming the youngest walk winner at a world championships. Ivanov,20,was greeted by a loud roar of approval as he clocked a personal best 1:20:58 to finish 11 seconds ahead of Chinas Olympic champion Chen Ding. Spains Miguel Angel Lopez took bronze in 1:21:21.
Ivanov,continuing Russias illustrious history in race walking,had been set to battle it out for gold with Olympic silver medallist Erick Barrondo. But the Guatemalans hopes were crushed when he was shown a third yellow card and disqualified around two-km from the finish.
Indias Irfan DisQualified
It was a disappointed event for India,however,with K T Irfan being disqualified after raising hopes of a creditable finish till the halfway mark. National record holder Irfan,who had finished 10th in the 2012 London Olympics,was in the sixth position after the halfway mark. But he stopped by the race officials before the three-fourth mark for race rule violations. His two compatriots Gurmeet Singh and Chandan Singh finished 33rd and 34th with timings of 1 hour 26 minutes and 47 seconds and 1:26:51 respectively.
Gardner turns on the heat
The long-running,high-octane battle between Jamaica and the United States in the womens 100 metres shows no sign of easing after the two sprint superpowers dominated the first round of qualifying at the world championships on Sunday.
The US took first blood with an explosive performance by English Gardner. The 21-year-old flew out of her blocks to open a two-metre lead in an instant and,unlike most of her more experienced rivals,kept the power on to drive through the line in 10.94 seconds despite a slight headwind. Team mates Alexandria Anderson and Octavious Freeman also looked sharp. Jamaican quartet Kerron Stewart,Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price,Sheri-Ann Brooks and Schilonie Calvert all progressed safely,Stewart the fastest in 11.02.