Bolt wins in the fastest race ever

2009-08-17 00:00

BERLIN — Olympic champion Usain Bolt redefined human speed again when he improved the 100 metres world record to 9,58 seconds for the world title yesterday.

Bolt (22), took 0,11 seconds off his previous mark of 9,69 seconds from exactly 12 months ago in the Olympic final, the biggest world record improvement in the history of the race.

American rival Tyson Gay took silver 9,71 seconds to become the second fastest man over the distance. Jamaican Asafa Powell took the bronze in 9,84 seconds in the fastest race ever.

The hyped race fully lived up to its top billing under the eyes of a big 50 000 crowd in the Olympic Stadium where Jesse Owens had famously won four golds at the 1936 Olympics — and million more in front of their televisions around the world.

Jessica Ennis led from start to finish to give Britain its first ever heptathlon world title in a stunning return from foot stress fractures which kept her out of the Olympics.

Olympic champion Olga Kaniskina of Russia won a second 20 km walk world title and New Zealand’s Valerie Vili achieved the same feat in the women’s shot put.

Bolt came out of the blocks slowly but caught up with his rivals quickly and never looked back. Unlike in Beijing, he didn’t ease up and crossed the line to set a stunning new mark.

Gay did not disappoint in his first meeting with Bolt this year as he took sixth hundredths off his personal best despite a groin scare. The former world record holder Powell failed again to get a big event gold.

Ennis (23) lived up to her top billing as heptathlon season-leader as she became the successor of three-time champ Carolina Kluft, who has moved on to the long jump (and currently injured).

Ennis led the gruelling two-day event from start to finish to capture gold with a personal best 6,731 points ahead of German Jennifer Oeser (6,493) and Poland’s Kamila Chudzik (6,471).

Ennis had to sit out the Beijing Olympics last year due to three stress fractures in her right foot and only returned to training in January.

Vili won the shot put with 20,44 metres in a fierce duel with Nadine Kleinert, who raised her personal best to 20,20 m for silver in front of a home crowd, her fifth minor medal at a big event. Lijiao Gong of China was third with 19,89.

Kaniskina moved ahead early to defend her walk world title in 1:28:09 hours at the famous Brandenburg Gate in downtown Berlin in front of another big crowd.

Olive Loughnane claimed silver for Ireland in 1:28:58 hours, six years after Gillian O’Sullivan achieved the equivalent feat in the same event. Hong Liu of China was third in 1:29:10 in the mid-day heat.

In the second round of the women’s 100 m, Kerron Stewart led the way with 10,92 seconds.    

Fellow-Jamaican title holder Veronica Campbell-Brown had 10,99, Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser 11,02 and Aleen Bailey 11,12, while for the Americans Carmelita Jeter ran 10,94 seconds, the 2005 champion Lauryn Williams 11,06 and Muna Lee 11,13.

“This is all I can do: You either give everything or nothing at all. I am here at the world championships and I have to compete,” said Stewart, who is the season leader with 10,75 seconds.

Earlier, Olympic champion Pamela Jelimo made the 800 m semis, while fellow-Kenyan title holder Janeth Jepkosgei required a successful protest to advance after tangling with South African season leader Caster Semenya and falling. — DPA.

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