Thu | May 25, 2017

Bolt scolds Gatlin

Published:Friday | August 28, 2015 | 8:00 AMAndre Lowe
Jamaica's Usain Bolt (second left) winning the men's 200 metres final in a world leading 19.55 seconds at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China yesterday. American Justin Gatlin (right) was second while third went to South Africa's Anaso Jobodwana (left). Zharnel Hughes (second right) placed fifth.

BEIJING, China:

He didn't need to be at his best to be the best after all.

Usain Bolt's reign as the 'King of Sprints' continued where it started, at the Birds Nest, as the sprinting superstar retained his 200 metres title, putting the stamp on a night when Jamaica added two medals to its tally at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China.

There's more on offer today with fast-rising sprinter Elaine Thompson leading Jamaica's trio in the women's 200m final with a head-on clash with Dutch power-block Dafne Schippers worth going miles to see.

All six hurdlers are also still in contention for spots in the sprint hurdles finals, with the semi-finals and finals of the women's 100m hurdles and the final of the men's 110m hurdles set to face the starter today.

The Jamaicans will enter today's seventh day of competition in the number-three spot on the table with five medals to their credit - three gold and two bronze after quarter-miler Shericka Jackson added a 400m bronze medal to the tally as well.

Freshly confirmed, Emperor Bolt, who claimed an unmatched fourth 200m world title, wasted little time in laying down the law, scolding American Justin Gatlin, who followed him to the line in second place after making statements with which Bolt took issue.

opened daylight

Bolt came off the curve just ahead of Gatlin but opened daylight between himself and the American, easing down, smiling, and even celebrating some 10 metres from the line, stopping the clock at a world-leading 9.55 seconds, with Gatlin next best at 19.75, and Anaso Jobodwana (South Africa), 19.87.

"Why I really celebrated is because Justin Gatlin said earlier in the week that he was going to bring out something special in the 200m, so I was like, 'You don't talk about my 200m like that,' so I had to prove to him that I was still number one," said Bolt.

"There were never any doubts to me. Maybe there was doubt for a lot of people, but there were never any doubts for me that I would win my 200m. I was feeling better throughout the rounds, running myself into shape," said Bolt. "I told you guys at the start of the championship that the only worry I have is that I wasn't race sharp. So the more I got through the rounds, the better I felt, so I got better, the more I ran.

Bolt is now one more 200m medal away from being the athlete with the most medals in the event at the World Championships level.

Nickel Ashmeade's struggles continued as he finished eighth in the final in a time of 20.88 seconds.

Twenty-one-year-old Shericka Jackson - the youngest in the women's 400m field by a few months over The Bahamas' Shaunae Miller - was one of four Jamaican participants in the final. This was the first time that any country was able to field four athletes at a World Championships.

personal best times

Jackson, a member of the University of Technology/MVP set-up, kept as close as she could to American Allyson Felix in the first 200m, coming off the curve in second place before Miller stormed back, Felix winning in a world-leading 49.26 seconds ahead of Miller, 49.67, and Jackson, 49.99, with the two Caribbean ladies posting personal best times.

"I've worked really hard for the last few months, but it's honestly a shocker," exclaimed Jackson. "My coach (Stephen Francis) always believed I could do it."

The other Jamaicans, Christine Day, 50.14 (PB), Stephenie-Ann McPherson, 50.42, and Novlene Williams-Mills, 50.47, finished fourth to sixth in what was a hugely entertaining contest.

National champion Elaine Thompson is the second-fastest qualifier heading into today's 200m final after a comfortable 22.13 win in her semi-final yesterday. Thompson, who said she is eager to push for a medal, will be joined in the final by the experienced pair of Veronica Campbell-Brown, who clocked 22.47 for third in her semi-final, and Sherone Simpson.

In the men's 110m hurdles, neither Omar McLeod, 13.14, or Hansle Parchment, 13.2, have been particularly smooth, but they both have lanes in today's final while the trio of Danielle Williams, her sister, Shermaine Williams, and Kimberly Laing will be hunting spots in the final in today's semis on the schedule.

Earlier, Fedrick Dacres impressed in producing the best throw - 65.77m, after only his first attempt in discus qualifying to book his spot in the final, while Chad Wright 61.53m, and Jason Morgan, 60.85m, failed to progress.