Alexa

Campbell-Brown extends Olympic sprint sweep

Campbell-Brown extends Olympic sprint sweep

Veronica Campbell-Brown extended Jamaica's golden shutout with a victory in the 200 meters Thursday before the United States finished off their great sprint debacle at the Olympics with two botched relays.
All U.S. favorites were wiped out on the wet track Thursday.
Jeremy Wariner had not lost a major championship race since he won the 400 at the 2004 Athens Games. But at the Bird's Nest, he was beaten on the final straightaway by LaShawn Merritt and even stopped trying over the final meters.
At least American favorite Allyson Felix gave her best in the 200, even if she came up short. Campbell-Brown made up all ground in the first dozen meters and was clear coming into the final straight, capping the first sweep of the four 100 and 200s since the United States did it in 1988.
Unlike her freewheeling compatriot Usain Bolt, Campbell-Brown remained focused up to the finish line, but the result was the same _ another gold way ahead of the struggling Americans.
"Bolt set it off. After that, I just think the Jamaican camp went crazy," said Kerron Stewart, who finished third to give Jamaica another medal.
In all sprint events, it is Jamaica 4, United States 0. Jamaica can still win the two relays, but the United States will stay stuck at zero for sure.
Within a half hour, the men's and women's teams both dropped the batons on the wet track at the Bird's Nest in heats they would have easily qualified from.
The anchor runners, Tyson Gay and Lauryn Williams, blindly held their hands out, hoping to feel that elusive baton. But inexplicably, the third-leg runners could not get it there.
"I went to grab it and there was nothing," said Gay, who came into the games as a double gold favorite but came away empty-handed. "It's kind of the way it's been happening to me this Olympics.
"I take full blame for it," Gay added. "I kind of feel I let them down."
Instead, Campbell-Brown came back to the track less than an hour after winning her 200 to anchor Jamaica to another easy victory for a place in Saturday's final.
No sweat, despite running the fastest time in a decade to win her fifth Olympic medal overall with a time of 21.74 seconds.
Much like the whole 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.
And the reggae came cascading down stands of the Bird's Nest again, with 91,000 fans celebrating another great evening.
With another title, the Caribbean island nation of 2.8 million 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.
It wasn't only the Jamaican sprinters that inspired the crowd.
Barbora Spotakova of the Czech Republic sank to her knees in disbelief, clasping her hands to her head, when her last attempt in the javelin produced the fourth farthest throw in history and gave her gold.
She threw a European record of 71.42 meters to pass Maria Abakumova of Russia, who had already improved the continental record to 70.78 meters.
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."
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.