Now Reading:

World Athletics: Bolt and Farah farewells end in failure


World Athletics: Bolt and Farah farewells end in failure

Usain Bolt’s final appearance on the track ended in agony on Saturday as he pulled up injured running the final leg of the World Championships 4/100 metres relay as Great Britain beat the United States for a shock gold medal.

Bolt, who had to settle for bronze in the individual 100 metres, had been hoping to sign off from the sport by leading Jamaica to a fifth successive relay gold but there were already struggling in third when he collected the baton.

Runners blamed pre-race delays that kept them waiting too long.

“Inside (the stadium) it was cool. We keep on warming up we get in there. That’s our true friend, that’s Usain, that’s our training partner. I felt it. To see the legend on the ground, struggling; our champion must come out, must finish like that,” said Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake.

“We were in the stadium a little bit too along with our clothes off, you know. I understand that it’s TV time, it’s TV magic but I think that we could have took our clothes off a little later and I think that’s where it came from, the cramp,” added Justin Gatlin from the US team which took the silver medal.

The 60,000 in the stadium who had come to mark the farewell of sport’s greatest showman had only a split second to absorb what was happening as the host nation made history.

The US had been expected to push Jamaica for gold but it was the slick Britons – with brilliantly executed exchanges by Chijindu Ujah, Adam Gemili, Danny Talbot and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake who broke an 18-year old national record and European record to secure the world title for the first time, winning gold in 37.47 seconds.

Mo Farah’s aura of invincibility after six years of unrelenting success was finally cracked in his very last major track race as he lost his world 5,000 metres title to Ethiopia’s Muktar Edris.

Seeking a fitting end to his matchless long-distance racing career before moving to marathon running, the 34-year-old Briton’s bid for a fifth straight global 10,000/5,000 metre double was scuppered as he had to settle for the silver. He was philosophical about the outcome.

“It’s been an amazing night. It’s been an incredible support, the home crowd has been amazing. I’m sad. I’m disappointed not to win to come out… it would have been nice to win. But in athletics everything, anything is possible. And today a better man won on the day and there’s nothing I could have done. I did my best. I tried my best. The Ethiopians had a game plan and they figured out a way to beat me and it worked.”

Britain also took silver in the women’s sprint relay, as individual champion Tori Bowie anchored the United States to victory in the women’s 4×100 metres relay.

Australia’s Sally Pearson completed one of the great sporting comebacks when she overcame two years of injury to win the world 100 metres hurdles title at the age of 30. Previously a world and Olympic gold medallist, she held off Dawn Harper Nelson, one of four Americans in the field, for an emotional triumph.

Maria Lasitskene became the first Russian to win a gold medal at the World Championships after successfully defending her high jump title. The 24-year-old, competing as an authorized neutral athlete, stretched her unbeaten streak to 25 competitions by clearing 2.03 metres to triumph in the London Stadium.

Frenchman Kevin Mayer led throughout the day to win the men’s decathlon title, despite surviving a scare in the pole vault. The Olympic silver medallist successfully came through the javelin and 1,500 metres to see himself safely home after two exhausting days.

with Reuters