IAAF World Championship
This is the seventh in a countdown series for the 14th IAAF World Championship which is scheduled to begin in Moscow, Russia on Saturday (10).
The 11th IAAF World Championship was worked off in Osaka, Japan from August 24 to September 2, 2007, attracting 1,978 athletes from 200 countries taking part during nine days of competition at Nagai Stadium.
The Osaka 2007 was another memorable one for Sri Lanka with Susanthika Jayasinghe winning her second medal of the series after Athens 1997. She followed her silver with a bronze medal in Osaka in her per event of women's 200m, finishing behind American Allyson Felix and Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown.
The USA produced another champion sprinter to emulate the feats of Justin Gatlin in Helsinki 2005, this time Tyson Gay in Osaka 2007. Gay completed a grand sprint double clocking 9.85 seconds in men's 100m and 19.76 in 200m. The US track supremacy was evident right throughout the men's events with the Americans accounting for eight of the 15 gold medals on offer in track events.
Joining Gay in the US gold feast was Bernard Lagat with victories in men's 1,500m (3:34.77) and 5,000m (13:45.87). The USA made a clean sweep in men's 400m with LaShawn Merritt and Angelo Taylor following Jeremy Wariner (43.45 seconds) to stand in the same victory podium. Karron Clement of USA clocked 47.61 seconds to win men's 400m hurdles while his team mates won gold medals in both the men's 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m relays.
The Americans had total control in women's relays too and won gold in 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m, pushing Jamaican women to the second place in both the events.
The women's 100m was one of the closely fought sprint finals ever with Jamaican Veronica Campbell and American Lauryn Williams clocking an identical 11.01 seconds. Campbell was awarded the gold after a photo finish.
Pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva won her second IAAF World Championship gold following her triumph in Helsinki. She had a leap of 4.80m, less than her world record performance of 5.01 m in Helsinki 2005.
Her teammate Svetlana Feofanova won the bronze. Katerina Badurova of Czech Republic took the silver. Both of them had the identical mark of 4.75m but the Czech did so in her first attempt.
Russia made a clean sweep to win all three medals that were on offer in women's long jump - Tatyana Lebedeva (gold - 7.03m), Lyudmila Kolchanova (silver - 6.92m) and Tatyana Kotova (bronze - 6.90).
Germany won two gold medals in women's field events. Franka Dietzcsh's opening effort of 66.61m was good enough for her to win women's discus throw gold medal. German Betty Heidler won women's hammer throw gold with a performance of 74.76m.
For the second successive meet in the series, the USA had a convincing lead in heading the final medals standings with 14 gold medals.
Kenya was placed second with five gold medals, displacing Russia to the third spot with one gold medal less than the African nation. China, facing the last World Championship before they host the 2008 Olympic Games, could win only a solitary gold medal through 2004 Athens men's 110m hurdles gold medallist Liu Xiang (12.95 seconds).
Germany became only the second country to host the World Championship twice after Finland. But Helsinki's record of being the host city of the meet twice remained intact as the Germans opted for their capital instead of 1995 host city of Goteborg. The 12th IAAF World Championship was worked off in Berlin, Germany from August 15 to 23, 2009.
There were a record 2,101 athletes from 202 countries who competed at Berlin's Olympiastadion in 47 events. The marathon and race walking events started and ended at Brandenburg Gate.
The meet belonged to Jamaican sprint merchant Usain Bolt who not only completed that memorable sprint double but performed that in the best possible way with two back to back world records - a dream of any sprinter. He won the men's 100m gold with a new world mark of 9.58 seconds displacing USA's defending champion Tyson Gay (9.71) and compatriot Asafa Powell (9.84) to second and third places. Bolt had another bold performance in men's 200m dash - clocking a world record 19.19 seconds to take the gold medal. Beside Bolt, the only other athlete to shatter a world record in Berlin was Polish hammer thrower Anita Wlodarczyk.
Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele underlined his endurance skills with a grand double in long distance running, clocking 13:17.09 in men's 5,000m and 26:46.31 in men's 10,000m to win back to back gold medals.
The Americans won three god medals in men's field events - Dwight Phillips (long jump), Christian Cantwell (shot put) and Trey Hardee (decathlon).
Their teammates Allyson Felix (200m) and Sanya Richards (400m) won gold medals in women's sprint events but the USA could not produce the fastest woman of the Berlin 2009 World Championship.
It was Jamaica which produced the fastest man and the fastest woman of the 2009 meet. Following Bolt's blistering run was Shelly-Ann Fraser who clocked that year's world's leading timing of 10.73 seconds to win women's 100m. Fraser completed triple crowns by anchoring the Jamaican women's 4 x 100m relay team to victory in 42.06 seconds. Poland's Anna Rogowska (4.75m in pole vault) and Anita Wlodarczyk (a new world record mark of 77.96m in hammer throw) won gold medals in women's field events.
Jamaica emerged as the newest challenger to the US athletic supremacy though they were short of three gold medals. For the fourth successive time, the USA finished on top of the final medals standings with ten gold medals while Jamaica finished second with seven gold. Kenya and Russia won four gold medals each.