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Felix wins 200; Clay out of Decathlon; Lebedeva misses jumping double

Felix wins 200; Clay out of Decathlon; Lebedeva misses jumping double

Allyson Felix proved Friday that, at least for her, less is more.
Days after skipping the 100 to concentrate on the 200 meters, she had all the power her competitors lacked to surge away on the home stretch and win a second successive world championships gold over the distance.
Her face intense with concentration, she let go of a big "yes" and broke into an immediate smile once she streaked across the line in a season's best of 21.81 seconds.
She was .53 seconds clear Veronica Campbell, who had to settle for silver after winning gold in the 100.
Jamaica's Campbell had the best start and kept ahead until halfway. But then, the toil of 8 races in six days started weighing heavily. Felix swept away and, keeping her lithe body and elegant stride under control, won the United States' seventh gold medal of the meet.
Susanthika Jayasinghe of Sri Lanka won bronze in 22.63. Americans filled fourth and fifth places with Torri Edwards in 22.65 and Sanya Richards in 22.70.
Not all was well for the United States though.
Bryan Clay's defense of the decathlon world title was over by the end of the first day.
Defending champion Clay hurt his right leg when he planted his foot for his second attempt in the high jump at 2.00 meters, and slumped under the bar onto the mat. He limped away and never came back.
"He heard something pop," his agent Paul Doyle said, adding he injured his right quadriceps muscle, making it impossible to start the 400, the last of 5 events Friday.
After 4 of 10 events, Jamaican Maurice Smith had 3,591 points for a 28-point edge over Czech Olympic champion Roman Sebrle. Clay had faded to third with 3,558.
After failing to defend his 1,500 title and finishing with silver, Bahrain's Rachid Ramzi could not even make the final of the 800 on Friday. In his semifinal, he faltered badly and finished last of his race. Favorite Yuri Borzakovsky easily won his semifinal to advance to Sunday's final.
While Clay and Ramzi had trouble in the stadium, for Russia, it was a walk in the park earlier Friday.
Olga Kaniskina led a 1-2 finish in the women's 20-kilometer through the muggy parkland outside the Nagai stadium, keeping Russia in close contention with the United States in the medal standings.
And Russia had to do it without defending champion Olimpiada Ivanova, who walked out early when the pain of an old skiing accident became too much.
Instead of 37-year-old Ivanova, a new generation took over. Kaniskina, 22, who walked away from the pack early, was never troubled again. Behind her, 19-year-old Tatyana Shemyakina got silver.
"To be world champion after 2 1/2 years of serious walking training is great," said Kaniskina.
Her and Lebedeva's results improved Russia to 13 medals, including 4 gold. The Russians were second to the United States, which had seven gold and 14 medals overall.
In the high jump, season's leader Blanka Vlasic of Croatia was among 16 who reached the qualifying mark of 1.94. Defending champion Kajsa Bergqvist of Sweden, Olympic champion Yelena Slesarenko and European titlist Tia Hellebaut also advanced.
In the javelin, defending champion Andrus Varnik of Estonia failed to qualify for the final.
Vadims Vasilevskis of Latvia had the top throw of 87.37 meters. Season's leader Breaux Greer of the United States, Olympic champion Andreas Thorkildsen and Finland's Tero Pitkamaki also advanced.
Later Friday, Liu Xiang was favorite to give China its first gold of the championships in the 110-meter hurdles.
And if anyone is expected to have an easy run toward gold, it is Jeremy Wariner in the 400, an event the defending champion has dominated for years.


Updated : 2021-03-07 07:42 GMT+08:00