Jamaica's Usain Bolt won gold in the 100 meters Sunday evening. His 9.63-second time was an Olympic record. South African double amputee Oscar Pistorius also raced in the third night of athletics at the London Olympics.
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt retained his title as "world's fastest man" Sunday, winning the men's 100 meter final in an Olympic-record 9.63 seconds. Bolt's compatrior, protege and rival Yohan Blake finished second, while American Justin Gatlin marked his Olympic return with bronze.
After a slow start, Bolt finished the race characteristically strong, visibly gaining ground on his opponents once he lifted his head and stretched his stride. He retook the lead in the latter stages and was visibly pulling clear at the finish. Blake, who was a strong favorite to upset Bolt before the race, equaled his personal best of 9.75 seconds.
Gatlin also set a personal best of 9.79 seconds. The 2004 gold medalist was racing in his first Olympics in eight years after serving a four-year doping ban.
The two victorious Jamaicans paraded around the track after the race with their country's flag across their backs. Fellow countryman Asafa Powell, who once held the world record in the 100 meters, appeared to pull up with an injury shortly before crossing the finish line. Every runner apart from the stricken Powell broke the 10-second barrier.
South African runner Oscar Pistorius, who became the first double amputee to compete on an Olympic track, has been eliminated from the men's 400-meter medal hunt. He finished last in his semifinal heat.
His 46.54 second time was more than a second slower than the 45.44 second season's best he ran in the first round.
Pistorius, who is known as the "blade runner," had both of his legs amputated below the knee before his first birthday due to a congenital condition. He runs on carbon fiber blades.
"He's an inspiration for all of us, it's an honour competing against that guy," said 19-year-old Kirani James of Grenada, who won the heat. "What he does takes a lot of courage. He's a great individual and it's time we see him like that and not anything else."
Ross-Richards wins the 400
Sanya Ross-Richards of the United States took home gold at the Sunday night final of the women's 400-meter race, finishing in 49.55 seconds. It is the first individual gold medal for the Jamaican-born 27-year-old. Britain's Christine Ohuruogu bested American DeeDee Trotter by just 0.02 seconds to win silver.
Ross-Richards has been an important part of the American 4x400-meter relay team that has won gold at the last two Olympics. She also won bronze in the 400-meter race four years ago in Beijing.
Kenyan runner Ezekiel Kemboi won gold in the Steeplechase after a strong final lap put him all alone out front. It was the 30-year-old's second gold, after winning the same event eight years ago in Athens.
Finishing second and third were France's Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad and Kenya's Abel Kiprop Mutai respectively. After the race the victorious Kemboi, who finished in 8 minutes, 18.56 seconds, swapped jerseys with Mekhissi-Benabbad and the two gleefully embraced.
Kenyan runners have won gold at every men's Steeplechase since 1984.
Germans finish fourth
The tennis pair of Sabine Lisicki and Christopher Kas lost to Mike Bryan and Lisa Raymond of the United States in the mixed doubles bronze medal match. The Americans bested the Germans 6-3, 4-6 and then 10-4 in the special first-to-ten tie-breaker used in lieu of a third set at Olympics mixed doubles.
Lisicki, who stunned the tennis world in 2011 when she became only the second person in Wimbledon history to reach the semifinals as a wildcard, left the court in tears after the final match point.
dr/msh (AFP, Reuters, dpa)