Fraser keeps Jamaican flag flying; Bekele proves invincible
BERLIN: Ever more, the duel between Jamaica and the United States for sprint supremacy is starting to look like another rout.
Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser gave Jamaica its second sprint gold on Monday, leading a 1-2 Jamaican run which again left the Americans wondering how they will ever keep one of those sleek yellow jerseys behind them.
Bolt on course
Meanwhile, Olympic 200m champion and World record-holder Usain Bolt remained on course to claim a sprint double after coasting through to the semifinals (20.41s) of the event on Tuesday.
After an opening heat in the morning session, which he won, Bolt turned in a mighty impressive performance in the quarterfinal, and it is difficult to see him being beaten, injury and a shocking loss of form permitting.
Gay focuses on relay
American Tyson Gay, the defending triple world sprint champion, finished second to Bolt in the 100m in an American record time of 9.71sec but aggravated a nagging groin injury.
Gay then decided not to race in the 200m and defend his title, instead focusing on preparing for a possible appearance in the US 4x100m relay.
In Gay’s absence, the mantle in the much-hyped US v Jamaica sprint clash passed on to veteran Shawn Crawford, the US champion, and Wallace Spearmon, who won bronze in Osaka in 2007.
Crawford also progressed to the semifinals, winning his quarterfinal with ease in 20.37sec.
The Jamaican women had three of the top four spots in the 100m on Monday. Behind Fraser’s winning time of 10.73, Kerron Stewart ran 10.75, well ahead of Carmelita Jeter, the only American to keep the Jamaicans from sweeping by finishing in 10.90.
Defending champion Veronica Campbell-Brown was fourth in 10.95.
If the Jamaicans did the predictable again, there was one major upset at the championships late on Monday.
Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva lost her five-year stranglehold on the pole vault, failing to clear any height.
Isinbayeva had won all major titles since the 2004 Athens Games and saw a difficult year hit an unexpected low when the bar fell down on her at 4.80 metres.
As the Russian held her head in despair, Anna Rogowska of Poland, who beat her at a meet in London last month, celebrated unexpected gold. She had cleared 4.75 metres.
“I have no proper explanation,” Isinbayeva said. “Everything was perfect. I was confident. ... I did not expect it.”
In stark contrast, Kenenisa Bekele did as expected with all the flair of an invincible runner.
Unlike Isinbayeva, Bekele didn’t use 10 fingers to hide his face. He was holding up just one to show he remains the undisputed No. 1 when entering the final straight, having used his famed final kick to distance Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea by about 20 metres. Bekele, who is a two-time Olympic champion in the event, crossed the line in 26 minutes, 46.31 seconds. Tadese took silver in 26:50.12, and Moses Dniema Masai of Kenya the bronze in 26:57.39.
If Isinbayeva’s collapse was a surprise, so was the defeat of another Russian, Gulnara Galkina, in the steeplechase.
The Olympic champion fell back over the final lap, allowing Marta Dominguez of Spain to win gold.
Dominguez, the silver medallist at the 2001 and 2003 Worlds, raced past Yuliya Zarudneva of Russia in the last 100 metres and waved her orange head band in celebration. Milcah Chemos Cheywa of Kenya was third and Gulnara Galkina finished fourth.
The results: Men: 10,000m: 1. Kenenisa Bekele (Eth) 26:46.31, 2. Zersenay Tadese (Eri) 26:50.12, 3. Moses Ndiema Masai (Ken) 26:57.39.
Hammer throw: 1. Primoz Kozmus (Slo) 80.84m, 2. Szymon Ziolkowski (Pol) 79.30, 3. Aleksey Zagornyi (Rus) 78.09.
Women: 100m: 1. Shelly-Ann Fraser (Jam) 10.73, 2. Kerron Stewart (Jam) 10.75, 3. Carmelita Jeter (U.S.) 10.90.
Steeplechase: 1. Marta Dominguez (Esp) 9:07.32, 2. Yuliya Zarudneva (Rus) 9:08.39, 3. Milcah Chemos Cheywa (Ken) 9:08.57.
Pole vault: 1. Anna Rogowska (Pol) 4.75m, 2. Monika Pyrek (Pol) 4.65. (tie) & Chelsea Johnson (U.S.) 4.65.
Triple jump: 1. Yargeris Savigne (Cub) 14.95, 2. Mabel Gay (Cub) 14.61, 3. Anna Pyatykh (Rus) 14.58. — AP