London: Usain Bolt’s final track appearance ended with pain and frustration on Saturday as he pulled up injured running the final leg of the World Championships 4×100 metres relay as Britain stunned the United States to win 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 world relay title but they were struggling in a distant third place when he collected the baton.
Meanwhile, Maria Lasitskene became the first Russian to win a gold medal at the World Championships in London after successfully defending her high jump title on Saturday.
The 24-year-old, competing as an authorised neutral athlete, stretched her unbeaten streak to 25 competitions by clearing 2.03 metres to triumph in the London Stadium.
Another athlete who couldn’t close out his career on a high was Mo Farah, whose aura of invincibility after six years of unrelenting success was finally cracked in his very last major track race on Saturday 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 10,000/5,000m double was scuppered as he had to settle for the silver.
Yet even in defeat, Farah demonstrated his champion’s spirit as he fought back in the dying metres when it looked as if he would be shut out of the medals completely.
In a thrilling finale featuring four athletes careering towards the line, Farah snatched back second place behind Edris, who clocked 13 minutes 32.79 seconds after a searing final lap of 52.6 seconds.
“I gave it all but I had nothing left at the end,” a crestfallen and emotional Farah said.
In 4×100 metres women’s relay, Tori Bowie anchored the United States to victory in the women’s 4×100 metres relay at the World Championships on Saturday.
It was the sixth time the US have won the event and the gold was a record 15th World Championship medal for Allyson Felix, who ran the second leg.
We are on top of the world,” Bowie said. “I am grateful to be able to run and bring these ladies home to the gold. It has been a mixed week but two gold medals is amazing for me.”
Bowie was shadowed all the way to the line by Briton Daryll Neita who led her team to silver, in 42.12, ahead of 2015 champions Jamaica who were missing their usual anchor runner in Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
In men’s javelin, Johannes Vetter made up for just missing out on an Olympic medal last year when the he won the javelin at the World Athletics Championships on Saturday as his great rival and Olympic champion Thomas Roehler finished off the podium.
Czech Republic pair Jakub Vadlejch, coached by world record holder Jan Zelezny, and Petr Frydrych threw personal bests of 89.73 and 88.32 metres respectively to take silver and bronze.
Vetter’s opening throw of 89.89 was enough to win the gold and the 24-year-old was overcome with emotion after clinching the title which was confirmed after Vadlejch’s last throw.
Here is the IAAF World Athletics Championships 2017 medal tally after Day 9.
|4||Great Britain & N.I||2||2||0||4|
|8||Authorised Neutral Athlete||1||3||0||4|
|10||Pr Of China||1||2||1||4|
|31||Trinidad And Tobago||0||0||1||1|
Catch Firstpost’s live blog of Day 10 of IAAF World Athletics Championships 207 here
With inputs from Reuters