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Rediff.com  » Sports » Bolt, Farah steal the honours at the London Games

Bolt, Farah steal the honours at the London Games

Last updated on: August 12, 2012 12:49 IST

Bolt, Farah steal the honours at the London Games

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As in Beijing 2008 so now at the London 2012 Olympic Games, the final night of athletics at the Olympic Stadium belonged to Usain Bolt on Saturday.

The incomparable Jamaican ran the anchor leg on the 4x100m relay and his awesome display of power and speed contributed greatly to Jamaica reducing their own world record to 36.84 seconds for the fourth athletics world record at these Games.

But even Bolt got beaten in a contest of who could raise the roof further as the decibel counter went well into the red zone when Mo Farah of Great Britain got his second gold medal of the Games, in the men's 5000m.

The previous 4x100m record was 37.04 set by Jamaica at the 2011 world championships in Daegu, Korea, and it was the same quartet of Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Yohan Blake and Bolt that went into new territory at London 2012.


Image: Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, Michael Frater and Nesta Carter of Jamaica celebrate next to the clock after winning gold and setting a new world record of 36.84 during the Men's 4 x 100m Relay Final
Photographs: Stu Forster/Getty Images

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The 'Mo-bot'

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Handed the baton level with USA's anchor man Ryan Bailey, Bolt ran a brilliant final leg to win by two metres, stopping the clock under 37 seconds for the first time.

Trinidad and Tobago took the bronze in 38.12 after Canada, who had crossed the line third, were disqualified for running on the inside line at the final changeover.

Bolt celebrated by doing the 'Mo-bot' which brought the crowd to their feet as just over an hour before, their British hero added 5000m gold to the 10,000m title he won a week ago.

Bringing 80,000 screaming fans to their feet, Farah sprinted away from five of the best distance runners in the world on a blistering last lap after a painfully slow race, to cross the line two metres clear in 13 minutes, 41.66 seconds.

It was the slowest winning time since Mexico City 1968, but that was of no concern to Farah, whose name now sits alongside such all-time greats of distance running as Hannes Kolehmainen of Finland, Emil Zatopkek of Czechoslovakia, Vladimir Kuts Soviet Russia and Lasse Viren of Finland as one of only seven men to win the long distance double at an Olympic Games.


Image: Jamaica's Bolt celebrates with Britain's Farah on the podium after each receiving gold medals, Bolt for men's 4x100m relay and Farah for men's 5000m at the victory ceremony
Photographs: Eddie Keogh/Reuters

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US breaks 27-year-old record in women's 4x100

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Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia moved up from world bronze last year to claim the silver medal, more than three-tenths of a second back in 13:41.98, while Thomas Longosiwa of Kenya took bronze in 13:42.36.

USA extended its women's 4x400m winning streak to six Games after its quartet combined to run 3:16.87, the fastest time in the world for 19 years.

USA had a 5m lead over Great Britain at the first changeover but Russia quickly moved into second and stayed, coming home in 3:20.23.

Jamaica chased Russia on the final two legs but, in a repeat of the podium not only at Beijing 2008 but also Athens 2004, they got bronze in 3:20.95.


Image: Carmelita Jeter of the United States celebrates winning gold in the Women's 4 x100m Relay Final
Photographs: Stu Forster/Getty Images

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Savinova out guns Semenya

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Mariya Savinova of Russia added the Olympic women's 800m title to her world championships gold medal from 12 months ago with a run of 1:56.19, the fastest time in the world this year.

Alysia Johnson Montano of USA went straight into the lead, as expected, and the noted front-runner led the rest of the women through the bell in 56.31 seconds before eventually finishing fifth.

Beijing 2008 champion Pamela Jelimo of Kenya accelerated sharply with 250m to go but Savinova went round her with at the start of the home straight.

Caster Semenya of South Africa then charged down the home straight chasing Savinova and finished second in 1:57.23 while bronze medallist Ekaterina Poistogova of Russia also overtook the flagging Jelimo to finish third in 1:57.53.


Image: Mariya Savinova of Russia races to the finish line to win gold in the Women's 800m Final
Photographs: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

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Keshorn Walcott surprise winner of javlin

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In what is the biggest surprise of the London 2012 athletics programme, Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad won the men's javelin final, adding a massively unexpected Olympic gold medal to the world junior title he won in Barcelona a month ago.

The 19-year-old broke his national record for the fourth time this year to beat a field containing defending Olympic champion Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway, with a throw of 84.58m to claim his country's first gold medal in any event since Hasely Crawford won the 100m in Montreal 1976.

Walcott was the only man in the field to throw to his potential on a chilly and windy evening. He won by 7cm from Oleksandr Pyatnytsya of Ukraine while Antti Ruuskanen of Finland bagged bronze for Finland with a fifth-round 84.12m.

Anna Chicherova of Russia confirmed her status as the No.1 women's high jumper by clearing a 2012 world outdoor best of 2.05m for victory.

Brigetta Barrett of USA finished second after her second-time clearance and personal best at 2.03m. Svetlana Shkolina of Russia also set a personal best when going over 2.03m but needing three tries to clear the height and so picked up the bronze.


Image: Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago competes during the Men's Javelin Throw Final
Photographs: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

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Lashmanova becomes first woman to defend Olympic walk title

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Earlier on Sunday, on the roads of central London, Elena Lashmanova of Russia finished the women's 20km walk in a world record 1 hour 25 minutes and 7 seconds.

Lasmanova beat team-mate Olga Kaniskina of Russia by 7 seconds to stop her becoming the first woman to defend an Olympic walk title, but it was the first time two women from the same NOC had finished one-two in a walk event at the Games.

The result was a repeat of the 2012 world race walking cup in their home city Saransk when Lashmanova became the first woman to defeat Kaniskina in a major international race since 2006.

Lashmanova, 20, was 13 seconds in arrears of her regular training partner at the start of the final lap but threw in a final 2km circuit of 8:07 to pass the flagging KANISKINA 800m from the finish.

China's Qieyan Shenjie came through strongly in the final kilometres to finish in 1:25.16 for the bronze.

After failing to put a man on the podium of the 20km walk a week ago, Russia restored their pride when Sergey Kirdyapkin set an Olympic record to win the 50km event on Saturday morning, crossing the line at The Mall in 3 hours, 35 minutes and seconds.

Kirdyapkin pushed hard over the final third of the race, moving from eighth to first from 35km onwards.

Jared Tallent of Australia also produced an outstanding effort over the last 10km to repeat his silver-medal performance in Beijing, this time with a national record 3:36.53.

Si Tianfeng of China, leader for a few kilometres during the middle stages of the race, hung on to take the bronze in 3:37.16, the first Asian walker to get a medal in the event.


Image: Elena Lashmanova of Russia celebrates after winning the Women's 20km Walk
Photographs: Feng Li/Getty Images

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