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Bolt is greatest of all time

August 18, 2013

Usain Bolt has taken gold in the 4x100 relay, becoming the most successful athlete in world championship history. Meanwhile, Christina Obergföll's javelin victory gave Germany their fourth field event gold.

Usain Bolt of Jamaica (center L) leads Justin Gatlin of the U.S. (center R) and other athletes in their men's 4x100 metres relay final during the IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow August 18, 2013. REUTERS/Phil Noble (RUSSIA - Tags: SPORT ATHLETICS)
Image: Reuters

On the last day of the World Athletic Championships in Moscow, Bolt followed up on wins in the 100- and 200-meter events with gold in the relay, taking his all-time tally to eight. That matches the US trio of Carl Lewis, Michael Johnson and Allyson Felix - but the Jamaican moved ahead of even that pack thanks to the two silvers he won in 2007.

Britain pipped Jamaica in heats, but the favorites drafted Bolt and Nickel Ashmeade for the final. Bolt streaked clear of the second-place Americans and the third-place Brits to complete victory in 37.36 seconds, the sixth-fastest ever, with the US in next at 37.66.

After crossing the finish line third, Britain received a disqualification for a late changeover. That promoted Canada on to the podium, the team that finished third in the 2012 Olympics only to find themselves disqualified before accepting the bronze.

Bolt's fellow Jamaican, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, also completed the world championships hat-trick, helping to win the women's 4x100 relay in the second-fastest time ever, giving the Caribbean island all six sprint golds in Moscow.

'More than satisfied'

Christina Obergföll's javelin win gave Germany a third throwing title in Moscow, following a third straight discus gold from Olympic champion Robert Harting and back-to-back shot put victories from David Storl. German athletes have won 33 gold medals at the worlds since reunification in 1990, 22 of those in the throws, five in jumps, four on the track and two in multievents.

"We're going home more than satisfied," German athletics federation president Clemens Prokop said. "Four golds are the icing on the cake."

Obergföll took her victory with a season-best 69.05 meters. Defending champion Maria Abakumova could only manage 65.09 behind the surprise Australian runner-up Kimberly Mickle (66.60), whose husband, Dmitri Tarabin, won bronze in the men's final.

German gold, glory

The 31-year-old Obergföll had come to Moscow with three silvers and three bronze medals from past Olympic, world and European championships. However, Sunday represented her biggest career moment and capped a strong German showing in Moscow with four golds - the highest total since 1999 - two silvers and one bronze, and four others just off the podium in fourth place.

"I made it, finally," Obergföll said. "At last I am complete. I have a full set of medals. No one needs to tell me anything anymore."

Her countryman Harting has become a crowd favorite over the years as he loves to rip his shirt to threads after big wins. He has ruled the men's discus, which has nine German golds from 14 editions, for years and has only lost two competitions since 2010. For his part, Storl needed a little bit of help from a photographer to prove his winning attempt of 21.73 meters legal.

The team effort looks good to Prokop: "The standard and potential can become even higher," he said. "This is the team of the future."

Russia won seven golds of a total of 17 medals, followed by the United States, which won just six golds of 25 medals - including a lot of near misses with 13 silvers. The combo of Bolt and Fraser-Pryce were responsible for all six of Jamaica's golds; the country took just nine medals in total.

On Sunday, the Kenyan Asbel Kiprop retained his title in the 1,500 meters, finishing in 3 minutes and 36.28 seconds, and his teammate Eunice Sum finished with 1:57.38 to score an upset in the 800 meters and bring their country's gold medal total to five, of 12 altogether, just enough to edge Germany, which rounded out the top five, with seven medals, four of them gold.

mkg/kms (Reuters, AFP, dpa, AP)