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Gay completes sprint double, has eyes on third gold medal

Gay completes sprint double, has eyes on third gold medal

First the 100. Now the 200. And, if his legs hold up, he can join Carl Lewis and Maurice Greene in a class of their own.
Gay caught up with Jamaica's Usain Bolt halfway through the 200 meters late Thursday and let his legs power through the rest of the way to win in a championship record of 19.76 seconds.
Bolt was .15 seconds behind and Gay's U.S. teammate Wallace Spearmon took bronze in 20.05. A third American, Rodney Martin finished fourth in 20.06.
"I got beaten by the No. 1 man in the world," Bolt said. "For the moment, he is unbeatable."
This time there was no over-the-top breastbeating and shouting that followed his victory over world record holder Asafa Powell in the 100. It was only evident after he crossed the line what eight races in six days had taken out of him.
He crouched down in contemplation and stuck one finger in the air.
"Oh, it feels so great but I am still tired," he said.
And he still has Sunday's 400-meter relays to come. He could get a third gold if he can keep the Jamaicans at bay. "I have two golds and I want the third."
Only two men have achieved it at the world championships. Lewis won three in 1983 and 1987 and Greene in 1999. "Maurice Greene is one of my idols," Gay said.
Gay's second title gave the United States its sixth gold 13th medal overall. Russia was next on the standings with 3 gold and 10 overall. Kenya is third with 3 gold and 8 medals.
Thursday's other golds were won by Panama's Irving Saladino in the long jump, Germany's Betty Heidler in the hammer throw and Jana Rawlinson of Australia in the 400 hurdles.
However good Gay was, the most thrilling moment at the Nagai stadium came in the long-jump. Against the odds, Los Angeles-born Italian Andrew Howe jumped a national record 8.47 meters on his last attempt to overtake Saladino. Taking off his shirt, he started hot-dogging as if he had won.
Saladino, however, knew better. With the last jump of the competition he surpassed the Italian by 10 centimeters to give his Panama its first medal at a world championship.
"It is something out of this world," he said.
Defending champion Dwight Phillips took bronze.
Rawlinson proved that titles and records mean little _ and that motherhood can strengthen a runner, not break her.
Facing Russian defending champion and 400-meter hurdles world record holder Yuliya Pechonkina, the Australian took over the race midway through and held on over a tense finishing stretch to reclaim the title she first took in 2003.
Just over eight months after giving birth to Cornelis, the 24-year-old came back as strong as ever.
"The last 18 months have been truly incredible. Getting married, having a baby and then coming and winning a world title. I don't think you can beat that," Rawlinson said.
She won her 2003 world title and competed as Jana Pittman until she married her British coach, Chris Rawlinson, last year.
Pechenkina had a perfect season until the last stretch but held no grudge, the pair hugging immediately at the finish.
"I'm really hoping that Yuliya and I can dominate the sport and bring a bit more love into the women's 400 hurdles because it's a great event," Rawlinson said.
Pechenkina said it would be love up to a point: "The revenge could come at the Olympics."
Rawlinson finished in 53.31 seconds. Pechenkina was next in 53.50 and Anna Jesien of Poland was third in 53.92.
China won its first medal of the championships when Zhang Wenxiu took bronze in the hammer throw behind Heidler and Cuba's Yipsi Moreno.
Heidler threw 74.76 on her second attempt, 2 centimeters better than Moreno, who was seeking her third title. Instead, she won her second silver in a row. Zhang threw 74.39.
After Zhang put China on the medal table, Olympic champion Liu Xiang followed it up by easily qualifying for the final in the 110 hurdles. Easing up at the line, Liu let Cuba's Dayron Robles take the semifinal in 13.21 seconds to his 13.25.
David Payne had the top time of 13.19, with fellow-American Terrence Trammell having the overall third quickest time. Defending champion Ladji Doucoure of France was eliminated for Friday's final.
In the 800, defending champion Rachid Ramzi of Bahrain finished second to South Africa's Mbulaeni Mulaudzi in his opening heat but still went through as runner-up. Ramzi was the double middle distance champion from Helsinki two years ago, but lost to Bernard Lagat in the 1,500 final late Wednesday.
Ramzi came to Osaka after a season of injury and it already was a huge surprise he took silver on Wednesday.
Instead of Ramzi, Kenyan-born Youssef Saad Kamel set the top time of 1 minute 45.25 seconds to keep Bahrain on top.
Yuri Borzakovsky of Russia, the Olympic champion, moved up with the pack early, seeking to avoid being bunched in. He qualified second from his group.


Updated : 2021-06-25 21:44 GMT+08:00