Usain Bolt pulls up injured in final championship race
Usain Bolt’s final appearance on the track ended in agony on Saturday (August 12) as he pulled up injured running the final leg of the World Championships 4×100 metres relay asBritain beat the United States for a shock gold medal.
Bolt, who had to settle for bronze in the individual 100 metres, had been hoping to sign off from the sport by leading Jamaica to a fifth successive relay gold but they were already struggling in third when he collected the baton.
As he tried to gain ground, Bolt pulled up and fell to the floor with what looked like a hamstring injury.
A brilliantly executed race by Chijindu Ujah, Adam Gemili, Danny Talbot and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake gave Britain gold in 37.47 seconds, the best time in the world this year, pushing the United States, with individual gold and silver medallists Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman running the second and fourth legs, into silver in 37.52 with Japan third in 38.04.
Individual champion Tori Bowie anchored the United States to victory in the women’s 4×100 metres relay.
The Americans, Olympic gold medallists in Rio last year, were led off by Aaliyah Brown who flew out of the blocks to start the run that brought them the world title they last won in 2011.
Allyson Felix ran the second leg before passing on to Morolake Akinosun who handed the baton to Bowie, the 100m world champion.
The 26-year-old was shadowed down the final straight by Briton Daryll Neita who led her team to silver ahead of 2015 champions Jamaica.
Mo Farah’s aura of invincibility after six years of unrelenting success was finally cracked in his very last major track race as he lost his world 5,000 metres title to Ethiopia’s Muktar Edris.
Seeking a fitting end to his matchless long-distance racing career before moving to marathon running, the 34-year-old Briton’s bid for a fifth straight global 10,000/5,000m double was scuppered as he had to settle for the silver.
Yet even in defeat, Farah demonstrated his champion’s spirit as he fought back in the dying metres when it looked as if he would be shut out of the medals completely.
In a thrilling finale featuring four athletes careering towards the line, Farah snatched back second place behind Edris, who clocked 13 minutes 32.79 seconds after a searing final lap of 52.6 seconds.
Kenyan-born American Paul Chelimo claimed bronze in 13:33.30 while Farah’s late burst also consigned another Ethiopian Yomif Kejelcha to fourth place in 13:33.51.
Maria Lasitskene became the first Russian to win a gold medal at the World Championships in London after successfully defending her high jump title , and said that she still hopes to break the long-standing world record this season.
The 24-year-old, competing as an authorised neutral athlete, stretched her unbeaten streak to 25 competitions by clearing 2.03 metres to triumph in the London Stadium.
Yuliia Levchenko of Ukraine won her first major global medal by taking silver on Saturday after clearing a personal best height of 2.01m, while Kamila Licwinko of Poland, who jumped 1.99m, won bronze to pick up her maiden major outdoor medal.
Frenchman Kevin Mayer led throughout the day to win the world decathlon title and fill the void left by Ashton Eaton’s retirement.
Mayer won the penultimate event with a javelin throw of 66.10 and finished the final 1500m race
German pair Rico Freimuth and Kai Kazmirek took silver and bronze while twice former world champion Trey Hardee was one of more than a dozen of the original 35 starters who dropped out over the course of the notoriously tough contest.
Germany’s Johannes Vetter won the javelin as his great rival and Olympic champion Thomas Rohler missed out on the podium.
Vetter’s opening throw of 89.89 metres was enough to win the gold and the 24-year-old was overcome with emotion after clinching the title, mopping his tears on a German flag.
Czech Republic pair Jakub Vadlejch and Petr Frydrych threw personal bests of 89.73 and 88.32 respectively to take silver and bronze.
Rohler, who like Vetter has thrown over 90 metres this season, was beaten into fourth with 88.26