If men’s 100m final on Sunday brought the racing heartbeats, women’s 100m on Monday was no less thrilling. The pocket-sized Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran a dominant race and quite expectedly won the sprint. Just as she crossed the finish-line, Fraser-Pryce raised her finger to announce to the world that you can’t beat Jamaican athletes in the shortest official version of the international track event. While the Jamaican’s victory had been a nearly foregone conclusion, Netherlands’ Dafne Schippers surprisingly won the silver. She is really a heptathlon specialist and practice sessions in the 100m event in heptathlon have probably helped the Dutchwoman. Kenyan athletes achieved a 1-2-3-4 in men’s 3000m steeplechase, won by Ezekiel Kemboi, who surged past Conseslus Kipruto on the home stretch. Three-time world champion Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya won the gold in women’s 10000m ahead of Ethiopia’s Gelete Burka and three Americans. However, in men’s pole vault, there was disappointment for France’s Olympic champion and world record holder Renaud Lavillenie. This was the fourth successive bronze for the celebrated Frenchman in four world championships as he fell once again at 5.90m. Canada’s Shawn Barber won the pole-vault gold and Germany’s defending champion Raphael Holzdeppe took the silver. Meanwhile, Colombia’s Caterine Ibarguen was emphatic in retaining her triple-jump title, she won in Moscow World Championship in 2013. Ibarguen has not been beaten in the event since she lost the gold in 2012 London Olympic Games.
24 hours ago, Usain Bolt of Jamaica brought the house down with a command performance in men’s 100m by beating USA’s Justin Gatlin by one-hundredth of a second. On Monday, it was the turn of his compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who added another title to many she has already won in the event. Unlike Bolt, Fraser-Pryce didn’t face any real challenge with Netherlands’ Dafne Schippers winning the silver was actually a surprise. Again like Bolt, Fraser-Pryce also launched herself at the 2008 Beijing Olympics by winning 100m gold at the same Birds Nest stadium. Since then, she has largely remained in forefront in the event and despite her diminutive stature; the Jamaican has continued to defy her taller opponents in 100m in many competitions. Monday’s victory was Fraser-Pryce’s third consecutive title in 100m in the world championships and a record by itself. In addition, she has won two Olympic gold medals at Beijing and London. The 28-year-old Jamaican was quickly off the blocks and reached her top speed faster than all her rivals. By 30 meters, the Jamaican ‘Pocket Rocket’ had taken the lead from compatriot Veronica Campbell-Brown and US champion Tori Bowie. While Fraser-Pryce continued to maintain her advantage at halfway mark, Netherlands’ tall-legged European champion Dafne Schippers rallied to pose some challenge to the Jamaican. In the last 20 meters, Schippers closed on Fraser-Pryce with every stride. However, Fraser-Pryce’s lead was substantial and she crossed the finish line in 10.76 seconds to take the gold while Schippers bagged the silver in 10.81. USA’s Tori Bowie took the bronze in 10.86.
Men’s 3000m steeplechase was dominated by Kenya as they recorded a 1-2-3-4 sweep in the event. For most part of the race, Conseslus Kipruto led the field and just when it appeared that he would win hands down, compatriot Ezekiel Kemboi made a monstrous move with 200 meters left. The fragile Kenyan raced away to the gold medal in 8:11.28 while Conseslus Kipruto got the silver in 8:12.38 and Brimin Kipruto took bronze in 8:12.54. Jairus Birech was expected to win the title but he finished fourth in 8:12.62.
In women’s 10000m final, Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot won her fourth World Championships gold medal as she broke away from the pack of 10 athletes in the last lap. The event had a large pack until the halfway mark with Japanese and Portuguese women in front. But as the race progressed, it became a 3-way battle among the USA, Kenya and Ethiopia. USA’s Molly Huddle led with 1000m left but on the final circuit, Ethiopia’s Gelete Burka and Cheruiyot eased past the American in a late surge. With 200 meters remaining, Cheruiyot broke away from Burka and won the race in 31:41.31. Burka took the silver 31:41.77 and USA’s Emily Infeld won the bronze in 31:43.49.
In men’s pole vault, Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie of France met with a huge disappointment. Lavillenie made only five jumps. He qualified by clearing the mandatory jump and did 5.80m on Monday. But he failed miserably in three other attempts. In the end, Lavillenie had to remain content with sharing the bronze with two Poles; Pawel Wojciechowski and Piotr Lisek. Canada’s Shawn Barber cleared 5.90m in his first attempt to win the gold while Germany’s defending champion Raphael Holzdeppe took the silver by also vaulting 5.90 but he failed in the first attempt.
In women’s triple jump, Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia reigned supreme once again. After she settled for silver medal in 2012 London Olympics, Ibarguen hasn’t lost the first place. On Monday, the Colombian led from the second round and her fifth-round effort of 14.90 meters gave her the gold. Israel’s Hanna Knyazyeva-Minenko jumped 14.78 to take the silver while the bronze was won by Kazakhstan’s Olympic champion Olga Rypakova in 14.59m.
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