Sad endings for Bolt and Farah as London worlds continue to surprise

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-13 08:17:33|Editor: Song Lifang
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LONDON, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- The London World Championships just can't stop producing surprises, which could hardly be pleasant memories for Jamaican great Usain Bolt and home hero Mohamed Farah who both bid farewell to their careers.

In his last race of his career, Bolt limped off the track while hosts Britain took a stunning 4x100m victory to the ecstacy of the capacity London Stadium spectators, a never better redemption for a disappointing silver in the men's 5,000m.

Bolt, running the anchor leg, staggered halfway down the straight, dropping the baton before falling face down. Dreaming of hanging up his running spikes as "unbeatable", the 11-time world champion and 8-time Olympic titlist limped across the finish line.

"Everybody was jelly. Everybody was pumped. It just happened (Usain's injury). Usain Bolt's name will always live on," said Jamaica's first leg Omar McLeod.

The Chinese team also paid tribute to Bolt who took a bronze in the 100m.

"I can never imagine such an ending for Bolt. But no matter what ending he had today, he has created so many legends on the track and stays a legend in my heart," said Su Bingtian.

British anchor runner Nethaneel Michell-Blake also dropped onto the ground, in blissful disbelief as his team took the important victory in a world lead time of 37.47 seconds, beating the American squad, consisting of new 100m winner Justin Gatlin and runner-up Christian Coleman, to second place in 37.52.

Japan took bronze in 38.04. Beijing worlds silver medalists China finished fourth with second-leg runner Xie Zhenye just coming back from injury.

"We've had a good foundation to build off. After DQs in recent years we knew we had to get the baton round and to finish the night smoothly is a fantastic achievement and we'll enjoy our moment on the podium," said Gatlin. The U.S. was disqualified at Beijing 2015 for mishandling of the baton.

"I trust these guys. Every single one of them puts all the hard work in and they do their business. I mean, the best men won today so credit to GB. They ran a hell of a relay but I think this makes us hungrier. We know what we can do and we'll be ready in 2019," he added.

It was a rollercoaster night for the celebrating home fans when a couple of hours ago their emotion could only be described as disappointed.

Farah failed in his quest for a fourth 5,000m world title in his farewell race just like Bolt as Ethiopian young gun Muktar Edris, 23, seized the glory from the 34-year-old.

The 2012 world youth champion produced a strong charge on the final stretch as Farah had to struggle out of a siege by three Ethiopians including Yomif Kejelcha, 21, and 17-year-old Selemon Barega, to put on a desperate final sprint but failed to catch up with the leader.

"I was highly prepared for this race and I knew I was going to beat Mo Farah," said Edris.

Edris lifted his first ever major senior world title in 13:32.79, leaving two-time Olympic 5,000 titlist and newly crowned 10,000m winner Farah to second place in 13:33.22. Paul Kipkemoi Chelimo of the United States took bronze in 13:33.30.

"I gave it everything," said Farah who initially curled up on the track in defeat and was pulled up by Edris.

"It takes so much out of me. Tactically I was trying to cover every move. They had the game plan; one of them was going to sacrifice themselves... and the better man won on the day," Farah said.

"I got boxed in early on - it doesn't normally happen but I got boxed in early and couldn't get out," he added.

Like Bolt, Farah would finish his career with an usual feeling of defeat -- he had won this event in the past three world championships and two Olympic Games, together with three world titles and two Olympic gold medals in 10,000m. However, he remains a hero of Britain, bagging one gold and one silver in London.

While Farah handed out his long distance crown, the Ethiopians announced their coming.

Although missing a podium finish, Kejelcha and this year's U18 3,000m winner Selemon Barega, who placed fourth and fifth respectively, have showed their potential.

Surprises also happened in the field event as Johannes Vetter of Germany grabbed his first ever medal at a major global competition, a gold with his first attempt of 89.89 meters, while defending champion Julius Yego and Olympic champion Thomas Rohler failed to deliver.

Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic finished second in 89.73m, ahead of fellow countryman Petr Frydrych on 88.32m.

Rohler, from Germany, made a 88.26m throw in his second attempt and finished fourth while Beijing worlds winner Yego was eliminated after the first three rounds.

In other events, Russia's Maria Lasitskene, competing as an authorized neutral athlete, retained the women's high jump title as the 24-year-old cleared 2.03 meters for the gold medal. Ukraine's Yuliia Levchenko took silver in 2.01 and Poland's Kamila Licwinko was third in 1.99.

Lasitskene, who missed last year's Rio Olympics because of Russia's suspension, failed at 1.99 twice but regained form thereafter.

"My two failed attempts at 1.99m woke me up," she said. "A gold medal here was my main goal for this season but certainly I would like to raise the bar a bit higher. I didn't like any one of my attempts at 2.08m." She challenged 2.08 three times but all failed.

Rio Olympic champions U.S. team regained the women's 4x100m world crown which they last won at the 2011 Daegu worlds, as they sailed to victory in 41.82 seconds. Britain gladly bagged a silver in 42.12, and defending champions Jamaica clocked 42.19 for the bronze.

In the women's 100m hurdles, Sally Pearson, who clinched the world title in 2011 and Olympic gold five years ago, clocked 12.59 seconds to win the first gold - and the only medal for Australia at the world championships by far. American Dawn Harper Nelson, who won the Olympic gold in Beijing and silver in London behind Pearson, took silver in 12.63. Germany's Pamela Dutkiewicz finished third in 12.72.

"It's been a long journey back from injury, but to get this moment and go and celebrate in front of my family is unreal," said Pearson, 30. "This is just so incredible to be a world champion again."

Rio Olympic silver medalist Kevin Mayer claimed France's second gold from the men's decathlon with a total of 8,768 points. Germany's Rico Freimuth, bronze winner two years ago in the Beijing worlds, took silver in 8,564 points and his compatriot Kai Kazmirek won bronze in 8,488.