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Campbell-Brown completes Olympic sprint sweep

Campbell-Brown completes Olympic sprint sweep

Veronica Campbell-Brown blew away the opposition with a devastating start to defend her 200-meter Olympic title Thursday and continue Jamaica's golden shutout of the United States in the sprint events at the Bird's Nest.
Starting just inside favorite Allyson Felix, she made up all ground in the first dozen meters and was clear coming into the final straight.
Adding to the great American sprint debacle, the U.S. relay botched its final handover in the 4x100 relay heat, finishing a disastrous Olympics for Tyson Gay in the process.
Unlike her freewheeling compatriot Usain Bolt, Campbell-Brown remained focused up to the finish line, but the result was the same _ another gold.
In all sprint events, it is Jamaica 4,United States 0 _ and the weekend relays promise more of the same.
It was not a world record, but with 21.74 seconds, Campbell-Brown clocked the fastest time in a decade to win her fifth Olympic medal overall.
Much like the American sprint team, Felix had an awful start and never got close to the surging Jamaican. Instead, she had to work hard to finish in 21.93 and beat Kerron Stewart by .07 seconds. After silver in the 100, it was bronze for Stewart in the 200.
It was the same 1-2 finish as in Athens.
"Deja vu, and not in a good way," Felix said, choking back tears.
Just after Campbell-Brown won, Bolt went on the victory stand to receive his second gold, which he set with a second world record in the 200 late Wednesday. It all added to the Jamaican party scene.
Campbell-Brown, though, is a study in contrast with the showboating Bolt. Calmly focusing ahead, she barely lifted her arms in recognition when she was announced as the defending champion.
The lack of smile belied her composure, and it showed with her low-flung bullet start, as she kicked her golden shoes past everyone else. When she crossed the line, she looked up in relief, then clasped her hands in a prayer as Felix leaned over to hug her.
It was more reggae again cascading down the capacity of 91,000 at the Bird's Nest.
With another title, Jamaica rejoined Russia at the top of the medal stands with five golds and nine overall. The United States was third with three golds, but 15 overall.
Earlier, Olga Kaniskina walked to gold in a driving rain that hampered even the best of Olympic athletes.
After a week of clear and warm conditions, a downpour over the Olympic Green cooled things down for the 20-kilometer walk and Kaniskina responded with an Olympic record.
A drizzle continued into the evening but was nothing compared to the downpour in the morning. Kaniskina dealt with it best, leading from start to finish for the first gold of a busy day in 1:26:31.
"It was better than a sunny and hot day," she said of the ideal walking temperature of 21 degrees C (70 degrees F). "I didn't feel it was very slippery."
The weather was supposed to clear for the evening 400 final when Jeremy Wariner goes against LaShawn Merritt, a U.S. duel which could well threaten another world record of Michael Johnson. Bolt beat Johnson's 200 mark late Wednesday.
IOC president Jacques Rogge may have loved the performance but not Bolt's celebrations.
"That's not the way we perceive being a champion," Rogge said. "He should show more respect for his competitors."
In the 110 hurdles, Dayron Robles is favored in the absence of China's 2004 Olympic champion Liu Xiang, who withdrew with injuries in the first round.
Bryan Clay of the United States got off to a strong start to take an early lead in the Olympic decathlon.
The 2005 world champion ran 100 meters through a deluge for Thursday's best time, 10.44 seconds, then had the best long jump at 7.78 meters.
He followed with a lifetime best 16.27 in the shot put, second-best of the competition.
That gave Clay 2,862 points through three of 10 events in the two-day competition, 155 points ahead of his nearest challenger, Oleksiy Kasyanov of Ukraine, who had 2,717. Trey Hardee of the United States was third with 2,657 points.
World record-holder Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic, the reigning Olympic and world champion, struggled in the shot, normally one of his strongest events, and was 10th with 2,570 _ 292 points behind Clay.
World bronze medalist Dmitriy Karpov of Kazakhstan withdrew after one event. Tom Pappas of the United States, the 2003 world champion, also withdrew.
The high jump and 400 meters close out the first day of the 10-discipline event.


Updated : 2020-12-05 03:02 GMT+08:00