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Jamaican sprinters rub salt in US wounds

By unknown | Aug 19, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

BERLIN - Ever more, the duel between Jamaica and the United States for sprint supremacy is starting to look like another rout.

BERLIN - Ever more, the duel between Jamaica and the United States for sprint supremacy is starting to look like another rout.

Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser gave Jamaica its second sprint gold in the 100 on Monday, leading a 1-2 Jamaican run that again left the Americans wondering how they will ever keep one of those sleek yellow jerseys behind them.

It became even more difficult yesterday, because defending champion Tyson Gay was forced to pull out of the 200 with a groin injury. If there was one man Bolt feared over the distance, it was the lightning fast but injury-prone American.

Looking sullen at Monday's ceremony next to the beaming and showboating Bolt, Gay already knew part two of "Das Duell" was not going to happen.

"Rather than risk further injury, I've decided that I will not compete in tomorrow's first round of the 200," Gay said.

If anything he wants to be fit to lead the US relay team at the weekend, at which stage another whitewash might be looming.

"I want to help our relay as best I can," Gay said.

It needs all the help it can get.

The domination is likely to be as strong on the women's side after Jamaican women clinched three of the top four spots in the 100 on Monday. Behind Fraser's winning time of 10,73 sec, Kerron Stewart ran 10,75, well ahead of Carmelita Jeter, the only American to keep the Jamaicans from sweeping by finishing in 10,90. Defending champion Veronica Campbell-Brown was fourth in 10,95.

With her Jamaican record, Fraser joined Christine Arron of France as the third-best runner in history, behind the late Florence Griffith-Joyner and the disgraced Marion Jones.

Jamaica leads the United States 2-0 in sprinting events with four to come. Every day, it looks more like a repeat of Beijing when the end result was 5-0, relays included. Unlike Bolt, Fraser is not going for a sprint double.

"I came second at the trials, and I wanted to do the double here," Fraser said. "But my coach said that because of the rough season I had, it wouldn't make any sense to do the 200."

There was one major upset at the championships late on Monday.

Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva lost her five-year stranglehold on the pole vault, failing to clear any height. Isinbayeva had won all major titles since the 2004 Athens Games and saw a difficult year hit an unexpected low when the bar fell down on her at 4,80m. As the Russian held her head in despair, Anna Rogowska of Poland, who beat her at a meet in London last month, celebrated unexpected gold. She had cleared 4,75m.

In stark contrast, Kenenisa Bekele did as expected with all the flair of an invincible runner in the 10000m. - Sapa-AP


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