World Athletics day six: Bolt completes sprint double, Felix fells Ohuruogu
Usain Bolt made it 10 World Athletic Championships Gold medals to complete yet another sprint double on day six of the 2015 edition, taking a fourth global men’s 200m title in 19.55 seconds, leaving Justin Gatlin to settle for Silver yet again in the Bird’s Nest in Beijing.
South Africa’s Anaso Jobodwana just edged Alonso Edward of Panama to bag Bronze, as both recorded the same time of 19.87 seconds. British youngster Zharnell Hughes was fifth behind them, with the Anguillan-born youngster running a personal best.
Bolt and Gatlin could go head-to-head again the men’s sprint relay to be held later this week, and Jamaica are 11/10 to pip the USA to Gold once more in that 4x100m contest
Allyson Felix dethroned Christine Ohuruogu as women’s world 400m champion with a dominant display to win in a world lead time of 49.26 from Caribbean couple Shauane Miller (Bahamas) and Shericka Jackson (Jamaica), who joined the American in running big personal bests after also dipping under 50 seconds.
USA sprinter Felix took an elusive Gold medal round one lap of the track, while this proved one race too many for Team GB’s Ohuruogu, whose knack of peaking in finals deserted her as she finished last.
A dominant display for Poland hammer thrower Anita Wlodarczyk saw her break the World Championships record twice en route to becoming a two-time winner of this competition. Her best effort of 80m 85cm was four-and-a-half metres further than anyone else.
Britain’s Sophie Hitchon launched a national record of 73m 86cm, but just came up short of snatching Bronze, because of a better effort from Alexandra Tavernier of France. Wenxiu Zhang scooped Silver for host nation China.
Christian Taylor put together the second-longest triple jump in history to deny Cuba’s Pedro Pablo Pichardo a world Gold medal and regain the global crown in the sand pit. Jonathan Edwards’ 18m 25cm world record was threatened, as the American went just 4cm short of it. Nelson Evora from Portugal was best of the rest and bagged Bronze.
Three Team GB long jumpers, including Heptathlon disappointment Katarina Johnson-Thompson (12/1 for Gold), have all reached the women’s final. Lorraine Ugen (8/1) went furthest in qualifying ahead of British record holder Shara Proctor (10/1).
American athlete Tianna Bartoletta, world champ way back in 2005, is 11/8 favourite to regain the crown a decade on, but watch out for Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic (5/2), who jumped a national record distance to make the final. Canada’s Christobel Nettey completes the medal contenders at 6/1.
In the high jump, Russian duo Anna Chicherova (odds-on 5/6 favourite to be champion) and Maria Kuchina (11/4) were among 13 ladies to make the final by clearing 1m 92cm. Piotr Malachowski remains in pole position to final win a world Gold in the men’s discus at 1/2, though Jamaica’s Fedrick Dacres (11/2) launched further in qualifying.
Another odds-on favourite it Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop (8/11), meanwhile, and the other top Africans made easy work of getting through the 1500m heats. Eunice Jepkoech Sum should also add another Gold in the women’s 800m. Ethiopian long-distance runner Genzebe Dibaba is on course to follow up her 1500m title with the 5k crown at 1/6.
British sprint hurdler Tiffany Porter has been cut to 9/1 for Gold after being second fastest over the obstacles in the heats. The USA is expected to dominate, however, with Sharika Nelvis (7/4) and Dawn Harper-Nelson (9/4) looking to dethrone reigning champion Brianna Rollins (7/2).
David Oliver is 5/4 to retain the men’s 110m hurdles title after coming through the semi-finals unscathed, as did American teammate Aries Merritt (slashed from 11/1 to 7/2 joint second favourite). The latter needs a kidney transplant once the Championships are over, but represent real Gold medal prospects for the USA.
Netherlands sprinter Dafne Schippers continues to dominate the women’s 200m, and is now 2/5 to better her 100m Silver on Friday, but Jamaica’s Elanie Thompson has shortened to 9/4 for top honours. Team GB’s Dina Asher-Smith ran another personal best in the semis, but is 14/1 to upset these two in the final.