Usain Bolt dominates Justin Gatlin to defend 200-meter world title
As if his 100-meter title did not erase enough doubt, Usain Bolt continued his dominance of the short sprints with a 19.55 victory in the men’s 200-meter dash over American Justin Gatlin’s 19.74 silver medal finish.
Coming into the final bend, it was the much anticipated Bolt vs. Gatlin match-up until the world record holder pulled away and commenced his celebration before the finish line – something he did when he first won gold medals in the same stadium at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.
Bolt won his 10th gold medal at the world championships as he posted his fastest 200-meter time since the 2012 Olympic final in London. Gatlin entered Thursday’s final as the world’s fastest man on the year with his season-best 19.57.
Bolt returned to the top of the list by recording the 10th fastest time in history.
Bolt will head into the 2016 Summer Olympic Games as the double Olympic and World champion. In 2012, Bolt became the first man to repeat as the 200-meter gold medalist. He looks to become the first to win three Olympic gold medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter, respectively.
Bolt was struck by a cameraman on a Segway after the race and fell to the ground. The Jamaican star appeared to be fine. Shortly afterwards, another fan attempted to hop the barricade to congratulate Bolt before being stopped by security.
Gatlin ran the former world leading time at the U.S.A. Track and Field Championships in June and was 0.17 seconds off his personal best on Thursday night.
“I didn’t expect him to be as strong as me on the turn, but he was there. He was there,” Gatlin said after the race.
Anaso Jobodwana set a national record for South Africa in 19.87 for the bronze medal to follow up James Van Niekerk’s gold medal run in the men’s 400-meter dash.
Gatlin and Bolt are expected to clash again in the men’s 4x100-meter final, which is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. ET.
Men’s triple jump final: Olympic champion Christian Taylor of the United States closed out the night’s action with the second longest jump in history as he set a new American record in 18.21-meters and inched closer to Jonathan Edwards’ world record of 18.29 set in 1995.
Taylor’s leap into the sandpit was well behind the line to only leave questions of how much closer he could have jumped. He will aim to break the world record at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
“It just makes you even hungrier for the next time you compete,” Taylor told Eurosport. “This is all just gearing up for Rio. Hopefully Teddy (Tamgho) get healthy again. With Teddy, (Pichardo) and myself, I think fireworks should go off.”
Edwards watched in the stadium from the broadcast area, and Taylor's jump left his mouth aghast before he offered his congratulations. Taylor also tied Edwards with his number of gold medals in the triple jump.
His gold medal was the second for the United States in the world championships.
Cuba’s Pedro Pablo Pichardo collected his second world championship silver medal by leaping 17.73 meters on his final jump of the night. Pichardo is the only other man besides Taylor to jump over the 18-meter mark on the year.
Women’s 400-meter final: Allyson Felix became the first woman to win a world championship gold medal in the 200-meter and 400-meter distances as she captured her ninth gold medal.
Jackson returned to the global championship stage after tearing her hamstring in the women’s 200 to capture her 11th medal, which makes her the winningest American in the history of the world championship.
Felix charged hard from the start of the race and never let up after getting nipped at the 2011 World Championship final, when she finished with a silver medal.
“I had to take advantage of my speed that I have and bring that to the 400 as I wanted to control the race,” Felix told Eurosport. “I think everyone struggles at the end of a 400. I wanted to just trust in my fitness because I knew that I had it.”
Felix has hopes that her performance will allow the International Olympic Committee to consider changing the time table for the 2016 Summer Olympic games, which currently do not allow for a women’s 200-meter and 400-meter double.
Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas set a personal best of 49.62 to capture bronze. Jamaica’s Sharika Jackson ran 49.99 for bronze.
Felix collected the United States’ third gold medal in the world championships.
Women’s 800-meter run: After winning a bronze medal in the women’s 1,500-meter run, Sifan Hassan failed to qualify.
2009 world champion Caster Semenya of South Africa and 2013 bronze medalist Brenda Martinez of the United States failed to advance out of the first round. Molly Beckwith-Ludlow ran 2:00.43 after leading her heat going into the bell lap, but would fade to seventh place. No American woman advanced to the final for the first time since 2009.
Women’s hammer throw final: World record holder Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland set a new championship record with a 80.85-meter throw on her fourth attempt of the night. Her three-meter victory is the largest margin of victory in the event.
Women’s 200-meter semifinal: The fastest time of the round was recorded in a personal best of 22.12 by 19-year-old Dina Asher-Smith of Great Britain. After taking silver in the women’s 100-meter dash, Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands advances to the final with her 22.36 mark. The United States’ Jeneba Tarmoh and Candyce McGrone also moved on to Friday’s final.
Men’s 110-meter hurdles: USA’s Aries Merritt recorded his fastest time in the 110-meter hurdles since setting the world record at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games as he clocked the fastest time of the semifinal in 13.08. The Olympic champion is scheduled for a kidney transplant on Sept. 1.
Merritt will be joined by defending champion David Oliver in Friday’s final.
Women’s 5,000-meter run: After winning 1,5000-meter gold, Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba returned to the track and took the lead with three laps to go in her respective section of the morning. She cruised to a 15:20.82 victory to punch her ticket to the final.
Ethiopians Almaz Ayana (15:09.40) and Senbere Teferi (15:14.57) recorded the two fastest times of the day.
The United States will be represented by national champion Nicole Tully, who finished just her third 5,000-meter race to qualify for the final.
Men’s 1,500-meter heats: The United States advances all three men in 2012 Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano, 2013 world championship silver medalist Matthew Centrowitz and former NCAA star Robby Andrews.
Women’s 100-meter hurdles: 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper-Nelson and American record holder Brianna Nelson safely advanced to the women’s 100-meter hurdles.
Women’s long jump final: Reigning Olympic and World champion Brittney Reese failed to qualify for the long jump final for the first time since 2005.