Jamaicans sprinting well clear of the pack

BERLIN - Usain Bolt made it three out of three as he helped Jamaica claim gold in the 4x100m relay at the world championships on Saturday in the second-fastest time ever.

BERLIN - Usain Bolt made it three out of three as he helped Jamaica claim gold in the 4x100m relay at the world championships on Saturday in the second-fastest time ever.

Their victory in 37,31sec was bettered only by their winning time of 37,10 at last year's Beijing Olympics.

It completed another great night for the Jamaican sprinters after the women won the 4x100 gold and both 4x400 teams qualified for yesterday's final.

A full house at the Olympic Stadium also had a world record to cheer as Poland's Anita Wlodarczyk hurled the hammer 77,96m to break Russian Tatyana Lysenko's three-year-old mark of 77,80.

It might not have attracted the same publicity as Bolt's heroics in the 100 and 200 but it earned a gold medal and the same $100000 (R786000) cheque.

There were Kenyan one-twos in the men's marathon and women's 5000m. Abel Kirui won the morning marathon in a championship record 2hrs:06min:54sec with Emmanuel Mutai taking silver and Ethiopia's Tsegay Kebede claiming bronze.

Vivian Cheruiyot, silver medallist in 2007, won a tactical 5000 by storming down the final straight to finish in 14:57,97 with Sylvia Kibet snatching second from Ethiopian favourite Meseret Defar. Injured Australian Olympic champion Steve Hooker claimed the pole vault gold with just one successful attempt at 5,90m.

With the United States disqualified from the 4x100 relay after Friday's semifinals, Jamaica merely had to get the baton round safely to secure gold.

Time-served doper Steve Mullings led them off, Michael Frater ran a solid back straight and Bolt took command on the bend. He ensured a safe handover to Asafa Powell and the individual bronze medallist roared home.

Trinidad and Tobago took silver in 37,62, a time only ever bettered by Jamaica and the US, while Britain won bronze in 38,02.

It was a similar story in the women's event after the US went out in the semifinals when they dropped the baton. World and Olympic 100 champion Shelly-Ann Fraser took Jamaica clear after the second leg and 100m silver medallist here Kerron Stewart brought them home in 42,06. Bahamas took silver and Germany a crowd-pleasing bronze. . - Reuters

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