Monday, September 5, 2011

J'can charm sweeps World Championships

Medal haul includes 4 gold, 4 silver, 1 bronze
Monday, September 05, 2011 | Jamaica Observer

DAEGU, South Korea — A blistering world record run for gold by the Jamaican male relay quartet, in the wake of a silver run by their female speed counterparts, brought the 13th IAAF World Championships to a dramatic climax in Daegu yesterday.
With nine medals including four gold, four silver and a bronze in the pocket, the Jamaicans stamped their magic and island charm on the closing day of the nine-day World Championships, ensuring that the IAAF's gamble to end the championships with the 4X100m relays had paid off in brilliant style.
The World Championships traditionally ended with the 4X400m relays.
Usain Bolt, the world's fastest man, powered the Jamaican team to a new world record of 37.04 seconds for the men's world 4x100m relay title, the final event of the highly eventful competition.
Bolt, who missed out on defending his world 100m title after a dramatic false start saw him disqualified a week ago, rebounded to retain his 200m crown Saturday in an electric 19.40sec.
And come the relay, it could not have been better scripted for Bolt and his Jamaican sprint teammates of Nesta Carter, Michael Frater and Yohan Blake, who won 100m gold.
Carter went off like a bullet from the blocks, and smooth handovers to the dependable Frater and Blake saw Bolt in prime position for a record home stretch sprint. He did not disappoint.
Teeth clenched and eyes stuck on the trackside clock by the finish line, the 25-year-old dipped in determination, his head pivoting to see if the record had been broken.
"For me it was just to go out there fast," said Bolt. "We did just that. I am proud of my team, I'm happy with myself. I enjoyed being the anchor," he said in reference to the fourth leg normally run by Asafa Powell, who missed these Worlds with a recurring groin injury.
"I had a little problem with my achilles, I can't run the bend. It was decided I would run the anchor.
"Yohan Blake ran a great bend — I'm happy with that," said Bolt.
New addition Blake added: "We were feeling wonderful. We got this and knew we could do it. When Usain got the baton I could see the record come tumbling."
The previous record of 37.10 sec was set in the final of the Beijing Olympics by Carter, Frater, Bolt and Powell (who ran a 8.70 sec for the anchor), and yesterday the Jamaican quartet were presented a cheque for $100,000 for their efforts by IAAF head Lamine Diack.
There was, however, disaster for Jamaica's main rivals, the United States.
Lying in second place coming into the final bend, Darvis Patton made contact with Briton Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, crashed to the track and failed to get the baton to Walter Dix.
"I felt a knee on my arm," the Englishman admitted. "I didn't come here for this...I am sorry to the nation and the whole team. I was in my lane but I still have to say sorry to the American guy."
France, with 200m bronze medallist Christophe Lemaitre running the second leg, took silver (38.20 sec) and Saint Kitts and Nevis bronze in 38.49.
"You never take anything for granted when you have these Caribbean guys running in the same race," said Lemaitre, the triple European sprint champion.
"It's a pity for the US team because after the Jamaicans they are usually the strongest. They will be back and we will be ready for them in 2012."
For St Kitts and Nevis veteran Kim Collins, it was a bronze to add to a similar medal he won in the individual 100m.
"Whenever I come to the championships, I want to bring home a medal," the 35-year-old said. "I'm very pleased we managed this today."
— AFP/Observer

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