Usain Bolt (JAM), the fastest man in history over 100m, has bowed out in his final global competition in the event with a bronze medal at the IAAF World Championships in London
A fairy-tale finish was not to be for the Jamaican who again struggled with his start as he did in the semi-final, unable to catch Christian Coleman from the United States or a hold of his compatriot Justin Gatlin.
Gatlin powered through the second half of the race to claim gold, twelve years on from his world title in Helsinki, while Coleman just held it together to finish ahead of Bolt.
The winner clocked a season’s best of 9.92 (-0.8) just after overtaking 21-year-old Coleman who crossed the line in 9.94 just a hundredth of a second in front of the crowd favourite.
Chants of ‘Usain Bolt’ followed shortly after the eight-time Olympic champion embraced the crowd's warm reception and started on his lap of honour as he made what is expected his last appearance at a major championships in an individual event.
Bolt's record surpasses all others, having a record 11 world championships gold medals to his name alongside two silvers and his bronze.
With the 4x100m relay still to come, Bolt will have one last shot at a glory when he takes to the track with his Jamaican teammates on Saturday, with the final being held at 6:50am AEST Sunday 13 August. Gatlin is expected to race alongside Coleman for the US team.
It was also a tough day for the Australians at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with Fabrice Lapierre finishing in 11th place in the final of the men’s long jump. A leap of 7.93m (w: +0.6) was the best that the Beijing 2015 silver medallist could produce in a competition that was won by South African Luvo Manyonga.
The first to jump in the twelve-man field, the Beijing 2015 silver medallist was unable to capture the form that saw him stand on the podium two years ago, with his three-jump series also including marks of 7.89m (w: +0.7) and 7.91m (w: +0.8).
On track, it was Zoe Buckman (Vic) who led the charge in the semi-final of the women’s 1500m, clocking 4:05.93 to place eighth in her heat and miss the final by an agonising 0.18 seconds.
A finalist at the Moscow 2013 IAAF World Championships, she will now shift her attention to closing out her season strongly before a tilt at success at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games next year.
“I’m still processing it. I’m obviously disappointed to be one of the fastest losers, but I was happy to finish the way I did. I was actually catching people, rather than being caught myself,” Buckman said.
“I have to process it and see what I can do better. It’s tough at this level. It makes me appreciate what I did in 2013. I just have to be tougher, and be stronger.
“I’ve got a few more races this year. I want to run a good 800m, I haven’t been able to do them that much this season. I need to get out of the season what I can before I start to get ready for the Commonwealth Games.”
The women’s 10,000m was a one-woman race with Olympic champion, Almaz Ayana (ETH), setting a world lead to take victory by more than a lap from the silver medallist in a time of 30:16.32. Australians Eloise Wellings (NSW) and Madeline Hills (NSW) placed 22nd (32:26.31) and 26th (32:48.57) respectively.
Wellings, who took to the start line after an ankle injury impeded her preparation, is proud of giving it her best despite a preparation that was less than perfect.
“It is always hard when the first kilometre is as slow as 3:30 because when they start to run fast you have to take it on. If you go to the front you could need to be there for what’s 20 or 21 laps and then you’re a sitting duck as the chase starts,” Wellings said.
“That was the best I could do today. The last six weeks of training have been good, but it would have been nice to have another month or two to ready myself. I am happy to be lining up, competing, though.
A finalist in the 5000m at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Wellings will start in the shorter distance later in the program with the support of her husband, parents and daughter, Indi, in the grandstand.
“I would love to make the final. Despite the training I have been able to do, the final remains the goal and if I could do that I would be stoked. Once you’re there, anything can happen, you just must be prepared to hurt live you never have before.
“I know that when I stand on the start line I have confident in my ability to feel pain and embrace it when it counts. That’s what I’ll be doing in the 5000m.”
In other results from day two at the 2017 IAAF World Championships:
- Damien Birkinhead (Vic) threw 19.90m, 19.79m and 19.50m with his three attempts in the men’s shot put qualifying round and did not progress to the final tomorrow. He placed 19th overall.
- Clocking 46.27, Steven Solomon (NSW) placed 7th in his heat of the 400m and will not progress to the semi-final. His start here marks his return to international competition for the first time since Glasgow 2014, and he now has Gold Coast 2018 in his sights.
- A disappointed, Peter Bol (Vic), stopped the clock at 1:49.65 in the heat of the men’s 800m and will not advance to the next round.
To view and download results from day two of the IAAF World Championships, please click here.
Sunday 6 August is the biggest day of the IAAF World Championships, with the men’s and women’s marathon to start and finish on Tower Bridge as, among others, Morgan Mitchell (Vic, 400m), Kurtis Marschall (SA, pole vault) compete the London Stadium for the first round of their events.
The evening session features Kelsey-Lee Roberts (ACT) and Kathryn Mitchell (Vic) in the qualifying round of the women’s javelin, with both boasting personal bests from 2017.
For more information on Team Australia, please click here to visit the hub at athletics.com.au.