Allyson Felix third time lucky
Sprinter Allyson Felix put the icing on the cake in a memorable day's
action for the USA when she fulfilled a 12-year dream to win the women's
200m at the 2012 Olympic Games worked off at Olympic Stadium last
night.USA made a strong comeback to reduce the deficit with China in the
final medals table to a solitary gold medal by day 12 of the 204-nation
Games now in progress here in the British capital.
US Allyson Felix. AFP
After the early setbacks with Jamaica accounting for both the men's
and women's 100m champions, the USA made a stunning return last night
winning three of the four athletic gold medals that were on offer.
Besides women's 100m gold, the mighty Americans won men's 110m hurdles
and women's long jump final. However, Russia prevented the USA making a
clean sweep last night when Natalya Antyukh won the gold medal in
women's 400m hurdles final.
American Felix was third time lucky after finishing second in
successive Olympic Games. But a determined American lass made sure that
she finally gets her hands on that much awaited gold medal with a
brilliant run in the women's 200m final. “I am a big believer in
visualization. I run through my races mentally so that I feel even more
prepared,” she said.
“Everyone just expected me to give up this spot, because I think lots
of people ... know me and they know that I'm seen as this very nice
girl,”Felix said. She won the IAAF World Championship women's 200m gold
medals inHelsinki 2005 and Osaka 2007 but lost to Campbell in 2009.
However, Felix won most wanted medal that was missing from her ever
growing collection of medals.
Twenty-six-year-old Felix, runner-up in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008
Olympic Games to Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown, overcame a sluggish
start to lead coming off the bend and was never going to be caught,
clocking 21.88 seconds to finish 0.21 ahead of 100m champion Shelly-Ann
Fraser-Pryce - a personal best 22.09. It was only in the last 25m that
Felix took the lead to go pass the finish line like a rocket.
USA's Carmelita Jeter, silver medallist over 100m - took bronze in
22.14.Campbell-Brown's dream of becoming the first woman to win a track
event for three Olympics in succession was finally shattered as she
could finish only fourth in 22.38. Almost an hour before Felix’ dream
run, Brittney Reese won the gold in women's long jump final. She managed
just two legal jumps from six attempts, but the first of those permitted
efforts was 7.12m in the second round and proved good enough to win the
title after Russian Elena Sokolova was unable to improve on her best of
7.07m, also achieved in the second round. Janay DeLoach claimed bronze
by just one centimetre from Latvia's Ineta Radevica, who jumped 6.88m
twice but saw DeLoach manage 6.89m in round five.
Aries Merritt was the first of the three American gold medallists in
athletics last night as USA enjoyed a one-two in the 110m hurdles as
Merritt, in the absence of China's hot favourite Li Xiang, secured
victory in 12.92 seconds, the fastest time in the world this year.
Team-mate Jason Richardson took silver in 13.04, with Jamaica's Hansle
Parchment taking bronze in a new national record of 13.12. Great
Britain's Lawrence Clarke was fourth in 13.39, while defending champion
and world record-holder Dayron Robles of Cuba pulled up injured midway
through the race.The only exception, if otherwise would have turned out
to be a complete whitewash by the Americans Russian ya Antyukh claimed
the first gold medal
of the evening at the Olympic Stadium in the women's 400m hurdles.
There was tremendous interest on this event in Sri Lanka as Sonali
Christian Merril competed in first round heats on Sunday.
Antyukh recorded a personal best of 52.70 seconds to finish just 0.06
outside the Olympic record held by 2008 champion Melaine Walker, with
USA's Lashinda Demus setting a season's best of 52.77 to take silver.
Czech Zuzana Hejnova claimed the bronze medal just ahead of Jamaica's
Kaliese Spencer.Sarah Attar today became the first Saudi Arabian woman
to compete in
Athletics at the Olympic Games - and she hopes her participation at
London 2012 will ‘make a difference'. Wojdan Shaherkani, the other
female memberof the Saudi team, competed in the Judo last week with
Attar having to wait until today to make her appearance. Eventhough she
came last in the final heat of the 800m, the 19-year-old is aware that
was the least important aspect of a historic day.Meanwhile, Brittney
Reese completed a good night for the USA by claimingvictory in the
women's long jump.'It is a historic moment. I hope it will make a
difference. It is a huge step forward. It's a really incredible
experience,” he said after clocking a time of 2:44.95.