Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bolt earns sprint double, breaks world record

Bolt earns sprint double, breaks world record

2 sprinters disqualified for lane infractions

Usain Bolt of Jamaica reacts after breaking the world record with a time of 19.30 to win
the gold medal in the men's 200-metre final on Wednesday.
(Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Jamaica's Usain Bolt became the first man in 24 years to run to double sprint gold at the Olympics, breaking the world record in the 200 metres on Day 12 at the Beijing Games.

Bolt ran 19.30 seconds into a slight headwind to blow away the field in Wednesday's final, breaking Michael Johnson's 12-year-old record.

As promised, Bolt ran full steam through the finish line.

'I just came out here and just gave it my all, so I'm happy.'—Jamaica's Usain Bolt, double-gold-medal sprint champ

"After I finished running the 100 metre, I was saying, 'This is possible,'" Bolt told CBC Sports. "If I'm going to break it [anywhere], it's going to be here because the track is quick.

"I just came out here and just gave it my all, so I'm happy," he added.

Bolt collapsed on his back after seeing his record time. Later, he danced on the track for the thrilled crowd at Bird's Nest Stadium.

Defending Olympic champion Shawn Crawford took silver in 19.96 seconds, with Walter Dix earning his second bronze of the Games in 19.98 seconds. Dix, just out of Florida State University, finished third in the 100 final last week.

Crawford and Dix ascended to the podium after a pair of disqualifications.

Churandy Martina of Netherlands Antilles ran in 19.82 and celebrated an apparent silver-medal win. American Wallace Spearmon thought he had taken third ahead of his countrymen, as well as Zimbabwe's Brian Dzingai.

Spearmon, the bronze medallist at last year's worlds, was told while on the track that he was disqualified for stepping outside his Lane 9 line.

Martina didn't learn until much later that he, too, was disqualifed for the same offence after U.S. track officials filed a protest.

Celebrates birthday with record run

Bolt, on his 22nd birthday, became the first man since U.S. runner Carl Lewis at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics to win gold in both the 100 and 200. Bolt can go for another gold as part of Jamaica's 4x100 relay.

Earlier in Beijing, Bolt ran a world-record 9.69 to earn gold in the 100, even though he let up in the last several metres to celebrate, a move criticized by some track observers.

"Come on ... when you're running, if you see you're going to win, you're going to celebrate," Bolt told CBC Sports. "You're going to be Olympic champion, you're just happy. That's pretty much it.

"We're not worried about time here. When you get on the circuit, then you worry about breaking world records."

Lewis won four gold at the 1984 Games, winning in the long jump and as part of the 4x100 relay. The feat matched Jesse Owens in the 1936 Berlin Games.

Other sprinters who won both the 100 and 200 at the Olympics include Valery Borzov of Russia (1972), and Americans Bobby Morrow (1956) and Bobby Tolan (1932). Canada's Percy Williams is credited with the feat in 1928.

Bolt became the first man to break the world record in both events while taking both sprint titles. The last man to hold world records for both distances was Jamaica's Donald Quarrie in the 1970s.

Johnson's Olympic and world record in 1996 was 19.32.

"You're back there giving it everything you've got — it's brutal," said Kim Collins of St. Kitts and Nevis, the 2003 world champ who finished seventh. "He's [Bolt's] doing it and making it look so simple. Michael Johnson did it, and it didn't look that easy."

Robles breezes in 110m hurdles semis

In the 110-metre finals, Cuban Dayron Robles remains the man to beat after he advanced Wednesday.

Robles ran his semifinal heat in 13.11 seconds to easily defeat David Payne of the United States and 2005 world champion Ladji Doucoure of France. Richard Phillips of Jamaica also qualified for the final, which takes place on Thursday.

Robles served notice of his intention to win gold in June in Ostrava, Czech Republic, setting a new world record in 12.87 seconds.

China's Liu Xiang, the 2004 Olympic champion, held the previous record of 12.88. Liu walked off the Beijing track earlier this week after grimacing through a false start in his heat due to a hamstring injury.

David Oliver of the United States won his semifinal heat in 13.31 seconds. Oliver is the only man to be competing in the final who has beat Robles this year.

Artur Noga of Poland, Jamaica's Maurice Wignall, and Jackson Quinonez of Spain also qualified for the final.

The Bird's Nest Stadium crowd groaned as China's Shi Dongpeng was just beaten out by Wignall.

Jamaica's Maurice Wignall won the slowest heat, 13.36, to finish ahead of Ryan Brathwaite of Barbados and Colombia's Paulo Villar.

Two-time silver medallist Terrence Trammell is also out of contention. Trammell went down after the first hurdle in the first heat of qualifying due to a hamstring injury.

Liu holds the Olympic record in the event with a time of 12.91.

With files from the Associated Press

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