With Usain Bolt no longer running on the final day of the championships, the US finally took over.
With gold medals from the men’s and women’s 4x400m relay teams and another from Brittney Reese in the women’s long jump, the US edged Jamaica to become the most dominant nation of the IAAF World Athletics Championships.
A second gold medal for relay runners LaShawn Merritt, Kerron Clement, Allyson Felix and Sanya Richards finally broke the tie with Jamaica, which only added one silver on Sunday.
The breakthrough came in the women’s relay, where Richards and Felix were too good for an out-of-breath Jamaican team.
Merritt followed it up by anchoring the US men’s team to victory.
“Championships are all about getting the medal,” said the men’s 400m champion, who won the same two golds as at the Beijing Olympics last year.
In the final medal standings, the US had 10 golds and 22 overall, with Jamaica second with seven gold and 13 overall.
“We did an awesome job,” Jamaican relay runner Novlene Williams-Mills said after collecting silver in the women’s 4x400m. “It’s nice to bring Jamaica the last medal of the championships.”
Bolt won three gold medals in Berlin, cementing him as by far the biggest star of the championships after he set stunning world records to claim the 100m and 200m titles and also won the 4x100m relay. He had an explanation of why an island nation of 2.8 million could challenge the US team in the medal standings.
“We’re determined, that’s why we’re so good,” Bolt said. “And Jamaica is wonderful.”
The US also got a surprise individual gold from Reese in the woman’s long jump. She beat defending champion Tatyana Lebedeva of Russia with a jump of 7.10m. Reese’s victory came one day after American teammate Dwight Phillips won the men’s long jump.
Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia also got his double, edging defending champ Bernard Lagat in a tight 5,000m decided by the Olympic champion’s famed finishing kick.
He won both 5,000m and 10,000m races at the Beijing Olympics and extended his reign after first containing a Kenyan challenge in mid-race before withstanding a desperate sprint finish of Lagat.
Rarely has Bekele been so obviously elated, slapping his chest with an open hand and showing a beaming smile.
“It was a very hard race,” Bekele said after becoming the first Ethiopian man to win a 5,000m world championship gold. “I’ll never forget this race.”
The last year has been incredibly successful for him, Bekele said.
“I never made a double in the Olympics and world championships,” he said. “I’m so happy.”
KEY GOAL: Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei is now free to focus on taking her fourth doubles title of the year with Barbora Strycova; they are due to face Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei on Monday returned to the court for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the WTA Tour, falling to a 6-3, 6-1 defeat to US Open quarter-finalist Elise Mertens, who made a solid transition from the hard courts in New York to the clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. “I’m not sure how well I adapted, to be honest,” Mertens told the WTA Web site. “I just feel like I might still be struggling a little. It was also [Hsieh’s] first match of the week, so that was a bit of an
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.