Frenchman Teddy Tamgho soars beyond the magic 18m-barrier for triple jump gold
Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt anchored Jamaica to the 4x100 metres World title on Sunday and by completing a sprint title treble became the best decorated athlete in Worlds history.
Nesta Carter, Kemar Bailey-Cole, Nickel Ashmeade and Bolt powered to victory in 37.36 seconds ahead of rivals United States and Britain and then delighted the crowd with quite a skilful performance of the Russian kazachok dance on the lap of honour.
Bolt’s haul of eight golds and two silvers made him the most successful athlete in the 30-year history of the championships, moving ahead of Americans Carl Lewis, Allyson Felix (8-1-1 each) and Michael Johnson (8-0-0). Jamaica’s Merlene Ottey has the most medals with 14, but only three of them gold.
Not to be outdone, compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce also got a sprint treble on the women’s side with the relay win ahead of France and the US as the Jamaicans swept the six sprint golds in a rout against their rivals United States.
Frenchman Teddy Tamgho soared beyond the magic 18m barrier for triple jump gold, Olympic champion Asbel Kiprop of Kenya lived up to his top billing with 1,500m gold, compatriot Eunice Sum topped the women’s 800m and German Christina Obergfoell got javelin gold at last after several previous near misses.
Host Russia managed no more gold on the last but topped the medal table for the first time since Paris 1993 with a 7-4-6 haul, dethroning the winners of the past four worlds, the US (6-13-6). Bolt and Fraser Pryce steered Jamaica to third with 6-2-1.
Bolt was not at his very best in Moscow, but underlined his ongoing dominance with a fourth major treble, the others from the 2009 worlds, and 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
The US team matched the Jamaicans on the first three legs but a messy final baton exchange between Rakieem Salaam and 100m silver medallist Justlin Gatlin did not help their cause as Bolt stormed away for victory ahead of the Americans and Britain.
On the women’s side, Carrie Russell, Kerron Steward, Schillonie Calvert and Fraser-Pryce clocked a championship record 41.29 seconds to win by almost a second and a half from France. The US had to settle for bronze after a terrible second exchange.
Lamine Diack, president of the ruling body IAAF, praised the quality of the field events including the jumps, and if to prove him right Tamgho became only the third man beyond 18m with 18.04m for gold ahead of Cuba’s Pedro Pichardo and Will Clay of the US.
The only other men who have gone beyond 18m in legal conditions are Jonathan Edwards in 1995 (18.29m) and Kenny Harrison in 1996 (18.09m).
“I don’t know what to say. Jonathan Edwards congratulated me and said that one of my fouls was even beyond his world record,” Tamgho said.
Sum of Kenya had the best 800m finish on the home stretch as the chasing pack caught long-time American leader Alysia Montano, and won in a personal best 1:57.38.
Holder and Olympic champion Mariya Savinova of Russia took silver and Brenda Martinez stole bronze from the tiring compatriot Montano by four hundredth of a second.
Kiprop ran away from his rivals on the home stretch for victory in 3:36.38 seconds ahead of American Matthew Centrowitz and Johan Cronje of South Africa.
Obergfoell struck gold at last after three silvers and three bronze medals each at previous Olympics, world and European championships with 69.05m.
Kimberley Mickle of Australia took silver while Russian holder Maria Abakumova had to settle for bronze.
“I cannot describe my feelings. I have been waiting for this for eight years,” Obergfoell said.
The next worlds, meanwhile, are just two years away and will take place in Beijing’s Bird’s Nest — the stadium were Bolt rose to stardom at the 2008 Olympics.