2009 World Championships In Athletics: Day 2 Recap

Usain Bolt set a new world record in the 100m. Photo: PhotoRun.net

Usain Bolt does it again. The men’s 100m world record is now an unbelievable 9.58 seconds.

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Imagine smashing the American record for 100 meters, running 9.71, and losing the race by more than a tenth of a second. That is the situation Tyson Gay found himself in at the World Track and Field Championships in Berlin Sunday night. Despite his usual slow start, Bolt took the lead at 30 meters and continued to accelerate from there. Unlike in the Beijing Olympics, where Bolt eased up and showboated in the final 30 meters, breaking the world record anyway, in Berlin Bolt ran hard all the way to the line, knocking a full ,10 second off his standard. He is only 22 years old. Could he run even faster?

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Before that question is answered, another will be addressed: Can Tyson Gay, as brilliant as he is, even compete against Usain Bolt any more? That question will presumably be taken up Tuesday, when Bolt and Gay are likely to square off again, in the final of the men’s 200 meters.

Three Americans Advance In 800m

American Maggie Vessey advanced in the 800m. Photo: PhotoRun.net

Americans fared well in other Sunday action in Berlin. Gina Gall, Hazel Clark and Maggie Vessey finished second, third, and second respectively in the qualifying round of the women’s 800m and passed on to the semifinals. Carmelita Jeter and Lauryn Williams won their respective quarterfinal heats of the women’s 100m to progress to the semfinal, and fellow American Muna Lee squeezed through as well.

In the women’s 400m semi’s, Debbie Dunn ran a personal best of 49.95 to finish third in a very fast quarterfinal heat and earned a lane in the final. Sanya Richards won her heat while Jessica Beard finished fifth in hers and failed to advance.

The big disappointment of the day for the American team was the semifinal round of the men’s 3000m steeplechase. Kyle Alcorn failed to finish the first heat followed by Josh McAdams and Dan Huling finishing last in their respective sections.

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