Bolt gets back on track

Usain Bolt eases into the 200 metre final at the World Championships in Daegu as Veronica Campbell-Brown takes gold.

    He's back: Usain Bolt rediscovers his mojo after a disappointing 100 metre disqualification earlier this week [AFP]

    Jamaican athletes took centre stage at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu on Friday.

    Veronica Campbell-Brown snatched Allyson Felix's 200 metres crown while fellow Jamaican and crowd favourite Usain Bolt powered his way through two heats of 200 metres to qualify for the final, making up for his disappointing 100 metres disqualification because of a false start.

    Elsewhere, double-amputee runner Oscar Pistorius of South Africa won a silver medal despite being excluded from the starting line-up in the 4x400-metre relay final

    Back to best

    "Back to my normal self,'' Bolt said.

    "It's my favourite event. If I get a good start and execute, nobody beats me."

    "Expect always the best from me. I am focused on getting everything done."

    While Bolt was whipping a capacity 45,000 crowd into a frenzy, another figurehead at these championships was forced to say his goodbyes early.

    Oscar Pistorius' history-making participation at the world championships ended with a silver medal after his teammates guided South Africa to second in the men's 4x400m relay.

    The controversial 'Blade Runner', who runs with carbon fibre prosthetic running blades and was the first amputee to compete at the worlds, finished last in his semi-final heat in the individual 400m.

    He was omitted from the relay team for the final, having run the first leg in qualifiers on Thursday, when South Africa finished third quickest.

    Making amends

    Having lost his 100 metres crown on Sunday to Jamaican understudy Yohan Blake, it was clear Bolt felt he had to make amends.

    "I know I am still the best," he said of the 100.

    "Of course I'm disappointed because I didn't give myself the chance to go out there and execute my best."

    He did well to mask that disappointment, however, and he was back to the good-natured showboating of old.

    The crowd treated him like a rock star, screaming and shrieking in response to his every theatrical salute.

    And while running for the finish line, the tall Jamaican had plenty of time to look up at the giant screen and see he was all alone. That was enough for him to slow down and coast into the final with a time of 20.31 seconds.

    "It's Bolt. You can do nothing,'' said Reto Schenkel of Switzerland, who finished last in Bolt's heat.

    "He's tall. He makes one step and I make five steps. It's crazy. It's Bolt.''

    After winning a sprint double at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in record-setting time, he broke his 100 and 200 world records at the 2009 worlds in Berlin.

    Daegu looked like it would be another stop along the way to a third straight 100-200 double, but then came the false start.


    Campbell-Brown upgrades from silver to gold [AFP]

    Not many had picked Campbell-Brown for the women's 200 metres title here, with Carmelita Jeter in sensational form having won the 100 metres and Felix more determined than ever having missed out on the 400 metres gold earlier in the week.

    But an eager 'VCB' was first out of the blocks and found an extra gear in the race to cross the line first, ahead of Jeter with Felix third.

    "I want to thank God for giving me the strength," Campbell-Brown said.

    "I have a world silver, so finally I got the gold medal. I knew I had to run a strong curve."

    Kenya's Vivian Cheruiyot took the women's 5,000, adding it to the 10,000 she won earlier in the championships.

    In the field, German David Storl took shot put gold with his final throw, hurling it 21.78 metres, a personal best, while in the women's javelin Russia's Maria Abakumova struck gold with a throw of 71.99 metres.

    American Dwight Phillips successfully defended his world long jump title, claiming a fourth world title to add to his 2009, 2005 and 2003 gold medals. 

    SOURCE: Agencies


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