Gold rush

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce completed the sprint double in Moscow today.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce completed the sprint double in Moscow today.

MOSCOW — Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce completed a remarkable sprint double today on the seventh day of action at the Luzhniki Stadium as she added the 200 metres IAAF World Championship gold medal to the 100 she won earlier in the week.

However, her eagerly-awaited showdown with Allyson Felix failed to materialise as the American, seeking a record ninth world championship gold, pulled up with a hamstring injury early in the race while trailing and fell to the floor in tears. She is unlikely to feature in the American team for the final of the women’s 4x100m.

Fraser-Pryce, dubbed the ‘Pocket Rocket’ on account of her small stature, ran a brilliant bend and was always in command, coming home in 22.17 seconds. Murielle Ahoure of the Ivory Coast, also second in the 100 metres, pipped Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare by sixth thousandths of a second for silver. Fraser-Pryce, 26, won the 100 metres gold medal at last year’s Olympics and took silver in the 200 behind Felix. She joins East Germans Silke Gladisch (1987) and Katrin Krabbe (1991) in completing a World Championships sprint double.

“I think it’s the hand of God that has huge part to play in this victory,” Fraser-Pryce said. “If you want something and you believe in yourself, you can achieve anything. And I wanted this, I trained really hard and I’m so excited that it actually paid off.”

Jamaica’s Javon Francis ran a scintillating anchor leg to secure a silver medal for the team in the men’s 4X400m final.

Francis collected the baton in fifth position after weak first, second and third legs and ran a brilliant race to end in a season best 2:59.88 behind America. David Verburg, Tony McQuay, Arman Hall and LaShawn Merritt won the race in a world-leading time of two minutes, 58.71 seconds.

Russia’s Aleksandr Menkov won the men’s long jump with a leap of 8.56m on his fifth attempt, a personal best and the longest in the world this year. Ignisious Gaisah of the Netherlands set a new national record of 8.29 to finish second, ahead of Mexico’s Luis

Rivera (8.27) in third. “It’s all great, it’s all ideal, I’m very happy that it worked out well for me,” the 22-year- old Menkov said. “I haven’t realised all this yet. I even forgot that my back hurt.”

Defending world and Olympic champion Tatyana Lysenko also delighted the home fans by winning the women’s hammer with a championship record of 78.80m. Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk, the 2009 champion, finished second with a throw of 78.46, while China’s Zhang Wenxiu threw 75.58 to finish third.

David Storl of Germany retained his men’s shot put title. His winning throw of 21.73m was initially flagged for a foul but later reinstated.

Ryan Whiting of the United States took silver with a throw of 21.57 and Dylan Armstrong of Canada earned bronze with 21.34.

Mo Farah’s career reached incredible new heights as he became only the second man in history to complete an Olympic and world ‘double-double’ in the distance events. He held on in a thrilling finish to add the 5,000m title to the 10,000m gold he won

on Saturday. It was a battle between Farah and Kenyan Isiah Kiplangat Koech down the home straight, with the Londoner easing away in the last 40m.

Farah crossed the line in 13 minutes and 26.99 seconds to claim his fifth global outdoor title.

“I never thought in my career I would achieve something like this,” said Farah. “This was very tough – it was all left to the last two laps. I had a lot of pressure but at the same time I enjoy it. I am very proud to represent my country and hold the Union Jack. To all the people who give me great support I can’t thank you enough. Thank you to all the people back home – I am very proud,” he said.

The historic feat in Moscow concludes an incredible 12 months for Britain’s greatest distance runner who has now matched the feats of Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele. Multiple world record holder Bekele claimed double gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and repeated his exploits at the Berlin World Championships a year later to join his compatriot Haile Gebrselassie on the list of history’s distance running greats.

Meanwhile sprint ace Usain Bolt has promised that he will be going all out in the final of the men’s 200m set for tomorrow at 12:05 p.m. (Barbados time).

“I am definitely going to run hard in that final. I am a little tired but that is normal for me at this stage,” Bolt said.

Earlier today, Bolt running in semi- final two, clocked 20.12 to win his heat. In semi-final one, fellow Jamaican Warren Weir clocked 20.20 to place second behind Curtis Mitchell of the United States. Nickele Ashmeade in semi-final three ran a season best 20.00 to place third and also qualify for the final.

Tomorrow is the penultimate day of action, with medals on offer in the men’s marathon, the women’s high jump, the men’s javelin, the women’s 5,000 metres, the women’s 100 metre hurdles, the women’s 4×400 metre relay and the men’s 200 metre sprint.

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