Justin Gatlin won his first title since returning from a four-year doping ban with victory in the 60m at the world indoor championships on Saturday as the red-hot Americans grabbed four gold medals and a world record in Istanbul.
Heptathlete Ashton Eaton bettered his world mark and further wins for high jumper Chaunte Lowe and 400m runner Sanya Ross-Richards took the US’s gold medal tally to five.
While not garnering golds like the US, host nation Turkey had something to cheer with their first ever world indoor medals, thanks to a second place for Kenyan-born Ilham Tanui Ozbilen in the men’s 1,500m, behind Morocco’s Abdalaati Iguider, and third for Asli Cakir Alptekin in the women’s race, which was won by Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia.
Gatlin, who tested positive for testosterone in 2006, kept low out of the blocks and had edged clear of the field by the time he looked up to win the 60m title in 6.46 seconds.
Nesta Carter took silver with a time of 6.54 seconds as once again Jamaica failed in their bid to win a first men’s 60m title at the championships and Britain’s Dwain Chambers, champion two years ago in Doha, happily settled for third in 6.6 seconds.
Eaton’s heptathlon world record was his third since breaking Dan O’Brien’s 17-year-old mark of 6,476 points in March 2010.
The American was in imperious form. He had a 165-point lead after Friday’s four events. With the gold medal in the bag by the fifth, the 60m hurdles, Eaton was free to concentrate on the world mark.
Needing to run 2 minutes, 39.63 seconds or faster in the final discipline, the 1,000m, the 24-year-old shot off from the gun and crossed the line well clear of the field in 2:32.77.
It feels good,” Eaton said. “Coming into the competition, I knew I could break the world record. The competition was solid, I didn’t have a bad event.”
Both multi-event records have been broken at this world indoor championships. Ukrainian Nataliya Dobrynska became the first woman to go over 5,000 points in the pentathlon on Friday, with a total of 5,013.
Australian Sally Pearson made her trip worthwhile with gold in the 60m hurdles in a world leading time of 7.73 seconds.
American-born Tiffany Porter, dubbed a “Plastic Brit” by some sections of the British media after switching nationalities by virtue of dual citizenship, was second.
Yamile Aldama, another foreign-born Briton, gave the country their first gold of the championships winning the triple jump at the age of 39, 15 years after making her first appearance at the world indoors when she was competing for her native Cuba.
Lowe became the first American to win the women’s high jump title, clearing 1.98m, but the silver was a three-way split between Russian Anna Chicherova, Antonietta Di Martino of Italy and Sweden’s Ebba Jungmark after they all jumped 1.95m with identical records.
Nery Brenes gave Costa Rica their maiden world indoors medal with a championship record of 45.11 seconds in the 400m and Brazil’s Mauro Da Silva won the men’s long jump on countback from Henry Frayne of Australia after both athletes leaped out to 8.23m.
New Zealand’s Olympic and world outdoor shot put champion Valerie Adams threw 20.54m to defeat arch-rival Nadezhda Ostapchuk of Belarus and add the indoor title to her tally. European champion Renaud Lavillenie of France won the men’s pole vault.