Athletics / World Championships || Double delight for Bolt, Fraser-Pryce
Marathon runner Zohar Zemiro is Israel’s latest disappointment.
Usain Bolt achieved a fourth major championship double with the 200 metres world title on Saturday as Jamaica rules the sprint again.
Bolt's double — as at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and 2009 worlds — came two hours after Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce got her 200m gold medal from Friday's race for her first double.
Bolt was an obvious fan favorite through his superstar status, but Fraser-Pryce has been at least as popular among the Russian fans for her fast legs, winning smile and flashy pink hair.
Jamaica have won every sprint duel against the U.S. since 2008 and are 4-0 up in Moscow into the 4x100m relays today, in which Bolt and Fraser-Pryce will be aiming for trebles.
Both relays are hot gold contenders, although the team is missing the 2011 100m world champion Yohan Blake (injured), and the trio of Asafa Powell (former world record holder), Veronica Campbell-Browne (a two-times Olympic 200m champion and world champion over 100m in 2007 and 200m in 2011) and Sherone Simpson over doping offences.
Coming off the famous 100m false-start disqualification at the last worlds in 2011 and a modest season by his standard, Bolt kept his showboating to almost a bare minimum in Moscow.
His umbrella mime ahead of the wet 100m final was the highlight along with the bolt of lightning that lit the sky seconds after his win.
Bolt wasn't really the "Lightning Bolt" of past events who lowered the world records to 9.58 and 19.19, but 9.77 and 19.66 were good enough to raise his major event golden tally to 13.
"I felt tired coming out of the bend, so I decided to look around and didn't push hard," said Bolt, who won the 200m from countryman Warren Weir.
"I was injured for a while [earlier in the season]. It takes a toll on the body, I am not the youngest anymore ... I wanted to run faster but wasn't in the best shape."
If he wins again today, Bolt will also be the most successful athlete at world championships with an 8-2-0 haul, overhauling Americans Carl Lewis, Allyson Felix (8-1-1 each) and Michael Johnson (8-0-0). If not, he reaffirmed that he still aims to compete at the 2015 worlds — and the 2016 Olympics.
"I have two more championships to go. My focus is to continue to dominate," he said, with a special focus on the Rio Games for a unique Olympic treble-treble. "I want to defend my titles again, which no one has done before."
Bolt said "I am happy with myself" and so was Fraser-Pryce, who moved out of his imposing shadow for the first time in Moscow. She is the first Jamaican woman to achieve a sprint double at the worlds or Olympics, and the third overall at the worlds following Silke Gladisch of East Germany 1983 and Kathrin Krabbe of Germany in 1991. The 26-year-old fell just short of the double a year ago at the London Games when she was beaten by Felix, but this time around there was no one to stop Fraser-Pryce once Felix pulled up with a hamstring injury early in the final.
"I heard when she screamed out but I was really focused. I decided I was running that corner and I didn't care who you were, if you were Usain Bolt behind me, I couldn't care less. I was running like my life depended on it," Fraser-Pryce said.
Unlike Bolt, whose pet event is the 200m, Fraser-Pryce comes from the 100m where she has two world and Olympic titles each.
"Years ago I hated the 200m," she said. "This year I did a lot more 100m training. A lot of sacrifice and commitment and dedication ... Now I know that whatever I put my mind to I can accomplish it."
Israel’s Zohar Zemiro was far below his best on Saturday as he finished 40th in the World Championships marathon in Moscow in a time of 2 hours, 25 minutes and 23 seconds. This was far below his personal best time of 2:14:28, which he recorded in Rotterdam in April 2011, but an improvement on his performance in the 2012 Summer Olympics, where he finished 81st and had to be wheel-chaired off at the end due to exhaustion. Olympic champion Stephen Kiprotich beat Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa and Tadese Tola to win the gold medal. The Ugandan led with two kilometers remaining and entered the Luzhniki Stadium well ahead of his nearest rival to finish in a time of 2:09:51 — 21 seconds clear of Desisa in second and Tola in third. For the first time since 2005, no Kenyans finished in the top three.