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Lemaitre takes 200m bronze behind stunning Bolt

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-09-03

European champion Christophe Lemaitre set a new French record Saturday as he took bronze in a 200m final dominated by Jamaica's Usain Bolt, who proved his doubters wrong by running the fourth fastest time in history.

AFP - Usain Bolt destroyed the field on Saturday to win world 200m gold, running the fourth fastest time in history and earning redemption in South Korea after his shock 100m disqualification.

Bolt was slowest out of the blocks but quickly opened up a commanding lead, casting a single look at silver medallist Walter Dix as he came out of the bend before he drove for home.

Teeth clenched and eyes on the clock, Bolt flew down the home stretch, desperate to prove his doubters wrong and underline his position as the greatest sprinter on the planet, clocking a world lead of 19.40sec.

Dix crossed the line in 19.70sec with European champion Christophe Lemaitre of France timing 19.80 as a fourth runner, Norway's Jaysuma Saidy Ndure, also went under 20sec.

The Jamaican Olympic champion and defending world champion was his usual playful self in the moments before he settled, smoothing down his eyebrows and putting his fingers to his lips, motioning for the crowd to be quiet.

But amid tangible tension in Daegu, the starter's gun signalled a dramatic change in mood as a determined Bolt sprinted for redemption.

"I feel great. I'm still the best," said Bolt, who wrapped himself in the Jamaican flag after his win, blowing kisses to the crowd.

"There wasn't really a point to prove," added the 25-year-old. "I came here and did what I had to do. There wasn't really big pressure at the start. I was a bit nervous but I always am. All I had to do was sit and wait at the start.

"I decided 'why not come out and run as hard as possible'? I ran a good corner and I could have run much faster. Without a doubt I can keep on delivering. I made a mistake in the 100m but I would have won it."

Dix said: "I wanted to bring the USA the gold but it wasn't to be and I had to console myself with silver. He was just too strong.

"He and Lemaitre both ran great races and I have a lot of work to do which I will do now when I go back home."

Lemaitre said: "I thought I had a chance. I saw Dix but I lost time on the bend. I said I have a chance of a medal and I said I must not let it slip. I said to myself I had the strength in my legs to run a good time."

Bolt, the unchallenged star of world sprinting in recent years and the biggest name in athletics, was disqualified from the 100m final on Sunday after a false start.

After storming to the 100m and 200m sprint double in then-world record times at the 2008 Olympics, he matched his feat the following year at the Berlin worlds, setting new marks of 9.58 and 19.19sec.
 

Date created : 2011-09-03

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