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Felix wins 200; Wariner leads U.S. sweep in 400; Liu claims first world title

Felix wins 200; Wariner leads U.S. sweep in 400; Liu claims first world title

Jeremy Wariner proved again how dominating he can be. Allyson Felix was just awesome.
When Wariner won the 400 meters in a personal best of 43.45 seconds and a margin of .51 over LaShawn Merritt to lead a U.S. sweep, it was almost a given.
For Felix there was still the thrill of the new. With the biggest margin of victory in a major international competition since the 1948 Olympics in the women's 200, Felix surged away from Veronica Campbell to win by a massive .53 margin. Her 21.81 was the fastest time in eight years.
"I have been waiting for so long to run such a time, to run under 22 seconds," Felix said.
It wasn't all America's day at the championships though. Running in the outside lane 9, Liu Xiang proved why he is the Olympic champion and world record holder and won China's first gold at the championships.
In an event where discipline is everything, he even took time to look to his left twice and see that competition was out of sight before crossing in 12.95 seconds. Terrence Trammell, a silver-medal specialist at major events, finished second in 12.99 ahead of U.S. teammate David Payne in third place.
Days after skipping the 100 to concentrate on the 200 meters, Felix had all the power her competitors lacked in the straightaway and win a second successive world championships gold at 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.
Campbell had to settle for silver after winning gold in the 100, the toil of 8 races in six days started weighing heavily on her after the bend. 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.
Then came the 1-2-3 U.S. finish in the 400. Wariner held lane 6 with the two other U.S. runners focusing on him as an ideal target. None could get close though.
Impassive as ever behind the shiny glasses, Wariner moved mechanically like a cyber runner around the Nagai stadium, steadily building up his lead and closing in further on the 43.18 world record of his mentor Michael Johnson.
"It means a lot. I knew it was going to be a fast time. That's one thing I want to do, was get my personal best," Wariner said. "I got it, and I got the victory."
With a triple, the U.S team proved that barring a dropped baton, it will be as good as gold in the 1,600 relay on Sunday, giving Wariner a second double in a row.
At the end of the seventh day, the United States had twice as many titles as any other nation. It led with 8 gold and 19 medals overall. Russia was second with 4 gold and 13 medals.
Not all was well for the U.S. team though.
Bryan Clay's defense of the decathlon world title was over after four of 10 disciplines.
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 did not come back.
"He heard something pop," his agent Paul Doyle said, adding he injured his right quadriceps, making it impossible to start the 400, the last of Friday's five events.
With five events to go, Jamaican Maurice Smith led with 4,525 points. Dmitriy Karpov of Kazakhstan was next at 4,439 and Czech Olympic champion Roman Sebrle had 4,434.
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.
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.
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.


Updated : 2021-02-26 13:06 GMT+08:00