Sanchez shocks pundits


Felix Sanchez reacting after winning the 400m hurdles gold medal.

LONDON – Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic proved that age is no barrier to track success when he stormed to a second men’s Olympic 400 metres hurdles gold medal today, eight years after winning in Athens.

The 34-year-old, twice a world champion who was unbeaten in 43 successive races between 2001 and 2004, clocked 47.63 seconds to take victory.

Sanchez, running in reflective sunglasses from lane seven, made a strong start, ran a steady bend and had enough left in the tank in the home straight to hold off fast-closing American Michael Tinsley who secured silver in 47.91. Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson (48.10), the fastest man this year, took bronze.

Iran’s Omid Noroozi won gold in the 60kg Greco- Roman wrestling category, brushing aside Georgian outsider Revaz Lashkhi in the final to take a second wrestling gold for his country in as many days.

Iranian fans roared and waved their country’s red, white and green flag in a packed wrestling arena after Noroozi won the bout without dropping a point

Noroozi wrestled one of his coaching staff to the ground in a playful celebration before running around the mat waving the Iranian flag.

Waiter Giovanni Cernogoraz served up a gold for Croatia when he overcame tears and Italy’s Massimo Fabbrizi in a shootoff to win the men’s trap shooting event.

American Angelo Taylor, bidding for a third 400 hurdles gold after triumphs in Sydney and Beijing, was fifth, just behind world champion Dai Greene of Britain

On a tough night for defending Olympic champions, Valerie Adams of New Zealand was pushed into second place in the women’s shot put by Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus, the 2005 world champion.

American Jennifer Suhr also spoiled the script by winning gold in the women’s pole vault and denying Yelena Isinbayeva her third successive title. Suhr, silver medallist behind the Russian world record holder in Beijing four years ago, cleared 4.75 for victory. Cuba’s Yarisley Silva took the silver with the same height and Isinbayeva had to settle for bronze with a best of 4.70.

Isinbayeva lacked her usual authority in the event, failing the first attempt at her opening height of 4.55

Away from the athletics stadium, South Korea and Brazil celebrated their first ever gold medals in gymnastics.

Yang Hak-seon won the men’s vault with his spectacular triple-twisting front somersault. Brazil’s Arthur Zanetti flexed his bulging biceps to topple China’s 2008 Olympic champion Chen Yibing and secure victory in the men’s rings.

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