Athletics: Bolt rocks and rolls

A TV cameraman on a Segway mows down Usain Bolt, who was celebrating his victory in the men's 200m. Fortunately, he was not injured. The Jamaican (far left) had beaten arch-rival Justin Gatlin (in red) with ease.
A TV cameraman on a Segway mows down Usain Bolt, who was celebrating his victory in the men's 200m. Fortunately, he was not injured. The Jamaican had beaten arch-rival Justin Gatlin with ease.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
A TV cameraman on a Segway mows down Usain Bolt, who was celebrating his victory in the men's 200m. Fortunately, he was not injured. The Jamaican (far left) had beaten arch-rival Justin Gatlin (in red) with ease.
A TV cameraman on a Segway mows down Usain Bolt, who was celebrating his victory in the men's 200m. Fortunately, he was not injured. The Jamaican (left) had beaten arch-rival Justin Gatlin (in red) with ease.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Jamaican wins 200m, sweeps sprint double at a major global meet for 5th time in career

BEIJING • The only thing that can stop Usain Bolt in his tracks, it seems, is a Segway.

The world's fastest man yesterday ran 19.55 seconds to win a record fourth straight world 200m title and sweep the individual sprints at a major global championships for a fifth time.

His only scare came on his lap of honour, where he was bizarrely run over by a Chinese cameraman trying to film while riding a Segway.

Justin Gatlin's wheels, however, once again could not get the better of Bolt. Five days after losing the 100m by 0.01sec, the in-form American had to settle for second again, finishing in 19.74sec.

"Well done, Usain," Bolt, who has endured an injury-disrupted season, told reporters. "I am just happy. I told you guys I would do it. There was no doubt. I was not really focused on time. I knew I was not in the shape for a world record."

CONSPIRACY THEORY

The rumour I'm trying to start right now is that Justin Gatlin paid him off. So, that's what I'm going with.

USAIN BOLT, the 100m-200m world champion jokingly blaming his American rival of 'hiring' the Chinese cameraman who ran him over with a Segway

Anaso Jobodwana took bronze in 19.87sec for South Africa ahead of Panama's Alonso Edward, who was awarded the same time but lost out on a medal by two 1,000ths of a second. Jobodwana's time was 19.861 and Edward's was 19.863.

Bolt, who had not gone under 20 seconds in this event this year before arriving at the Bird's Nest stadium, once again produced the goods when it really mattered.

The 29-year-old Olympic champion got out of the blocks quicker than Gatlin, the renowned fast starter on his inside.

The Jamaican took just 0.147sec to react to the gun compared to the American's 0.161sec, and was already in front at the bend.

There, Gatlin, who has served two doping bans, picked up speed and looked like he might threaten the champion.

Puffing his cheeks out and swinging his arms high, Bolt pounded down the home straight to victory, thumping his chest with his fist as he crossed the line.

It was his fastest time since he won gold at the 2012 London Olympics (19.32sec) and the fifth fastest time ever - behind his own 19.19sec world record. Not even Gatlin's personal best of 19.57sec would have been enough to win.

"I'm the oldest man in the field and still running, running pretty well," said the 33-year-old American, unbeaten since 2013 in both sprints coming into Beijing.

"It feels good to go against (Bolt). I'm just going to prepare myself for next year, for the Olympics and come out even stronger."

Bolt has now won 11 of the last 12 individual Olympic and world sprint titles dating back to Beijing 2008, his only blip coming after a false start in the 100m at the 2011 world championships in Daegu.

In total, he has won a record 10 world championship golds, one more than American Allyson Felix, who won her ninth gold - and first in the 400m - yesterday.

She clinched the title that had eluded her for so long in 49.26sec.

The 29-year-old arrived in the Chinese capital with four Olympic titles and eight world gold medals but all had come over either the 200m or the relays. Opting to concentrate solely on the 400m, however, she dominated from the gun.

Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas claimed silver in 49.67sec. The bronze medal was won by Jamaican Shericka Jackson (49.99sec).

Yesterday also saw the second-longest hammer throw and triple jump of all time.

Poland's Anita Wlodarczyk won the hammer throw gold with her fourth effort of 80.85m. The only throw better in the history of the event was the 81.08m she notched to improve her own world record at the start of this month.

China's Zhang Wenxiu delighted the home crowd by claiming silver (76.33m), while Frenchwoman Alexandra Tavernier took bronze with her best effort of 74.02m.

In the triple jump, Olympic gold medallist Christian Taylor left it late, producing an 18.21m effort on his sixth and final attempt to add to the gold he won in 2011. Only world record holder Jonathan Edwards has jumped further, 18.29m in 1995.

Cuban rival Pedro Pablo Pichardo claimed silver with a best of 17.73m as 2008 Olympic champion Nelson Evora took bronze with his last jump, 17.52m.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 28, 2015, with the headline 'BOLT ROCKS AND ROLLS'. Print Edition | Subscribe