Sunday, August 28, 2011

Usain Bolts cruises into 100-meter final at worlds

Slow out of the blocks this time, Usain Bolt relied on his devastating acceleration Sunday to wipe away the field halfway through and sweep into the 100-meter final at the world championships.
The defending champion momentarily saw Jamaican teammate Michael Frater ahead of him after the gun but stayed calm to let his powerful long legs do the work on his way to a 10.05 second time. The final is set for later Sunday.
Bolt was looking around with 20 meters to go and was soon stroking his hair after crossing the line as the South Korean crowd of about 35,000 cheered in awe. During Saturday's heat, he had a perfect start and slowed down, but this time he was forced to practice his midway speed. In a word — awesome.
World indoor sprint champion Dwain Chambers was disqualified for a false start and former Olympic champion Justin Gatlin finished only fourth in his race and was eliminated.
The fastest time went to Bolt's teammate, Yohan Blake, who crossed in 9.95 seconds. Nesta Carter also went through to let Jamaica claim almost half the lanes in the final.
Walter Dix was the lone American through, as even France won two places with Christophe Lemaitre and Jimmy Vicaut in the final.
With unstoppable showmanship, Bolt was dancing on the track to the stadium's theme tune, two hours before the final. Beyond seeking a third gold in the marquee event of a major championship, Bolt is also looking for gold in the 200 and 4x100 relay next week.
In contrast, the ambitions of double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius do not reach beyond getting into the final of the 400, but his achievement Sunday was also outstanding.
With a strong finishing kick on his carbon-fiber blades, the South African ran past several able-bodied runners to qualify for the semifinals.
It also claimed another historic breakthrough for Paralympic athletes.
Pistorius recovered from his traditional slow start to pounce with power through the final bend and finishing straight to take third place in the final heat of the event. His time of 45.39 seconds was the 14th best of all competitors.
"I have worked extremely hard to be here," Pistorius said. "And it has been phenomenal to run."
Despite his fame, the South African was never destined to win his heat — just getting through had been a cliffhanger in itself.
Running in the tough outside lane, he had to count on a big move in the second half of the race and with 50 meters to go, five runners were still in it for the four automatic semifinal places.
Pistorius, though, was not to be denied. He dipped at the tape for his third-place finish behind Bahamian winner Chris Brown.
"It has been a lot of pressure in the race, and there is a lot of work for tomorrow," Pistorius said of Monday's semifinals.
He immediately slapped hands with runner-up Martyn Rooney, embraced several others and then formally bowed to the South Korean crowd of about 10,000 for their cheers and support.
"He ran the time to get here," said Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt, who also advanced. "A great heart. I wish all the best to him."
Others suddenly see him as the direct rival he has become and the competitive threat he has become.
"With him being inside the race, automatically everybody steps up," Brown said. "No one wants to get beat by him. Me, definitely, I don't want to get beat him.
"Everybody is going to come out and run their A-plus game."
The International Association of Athletics Federations had banned the multiple Paralympic gold medalist from able-bodied competition, saying the blades he wears gave him an unfair advantage.
But in 2008, Pistorius was cleared to compete by the Court of Arbitration for Sport — even though he failed to qualify for that year's Beijing Olympics and the 2009 worlds in Berlin. He did win three gold medals at the Beijing Paralympic Games.
This year, he qualified for the worlds on his last attempt and followed up with an inspiring race in Daegu.
Before Pistorius' thrilling run, Liu Xiang, Dayron Robles and David Oliver made sure the most compelling final was still on track when all three qualified for the semifinals of the 110-meter hurdles.
Liu proved he is finally getting back to the form which earned the 2004 Olympic and 2007 world titles by having plenty of time to ease up at the line and still win his heat. Oliver kept his powerful shoulders in perfect balance over the hurdles as he dashed through a winner, too.
Only the easygoing Olympic champion from Cuba, who flaunted his form with his graceful strides over the 10 hurdles, let American rival Aries Merritt nip him at the line.
"Everybody is looking good," Robles said. "It's very good for the final."
The final is set for Sunday and should bring the three fastest performers in history together for one of the highlights of the nine-day championships.More...

0 commentaires:

Post a Comment