Day six of the world track and field championships in Berlin, Germany featured the men’s decathlon final, which would prove to be another victory for the US. Along with gold in the decathlon, the US picked up four additional medals, bringing the nations total to thirteen. However, the man of the hour continues to be Usain Bolt, who, in winning the men’s 200m, set his second world record of the championships.
After the withdrawal of American Tyson Gay, it was a foregone conclusion that Usain Bolt would pick up his second championships of the week. The question weighing on the minds of track fans was not if he would win, but how fast could he run without Gay next to him. In fact we found that the answer is very fast, as Bolt took the win in a new world record time of 19.19, smashing his own record of 19.30. The accomplishment of running 9.58 and 19.19 in the same week is simply unprecedented, and will be the new standard for comparison. Although Bolt looked amazing, it was probably the first time we have ever seen him truly pushing himself through the line, as the rounds of 100m and 200m are finally setting in. Finishing in a distant second was Panamanian Alonso Edward who set a new national record of 19.81. American Wallace Spearmon set a season best 19.85 to take the bronze medal, as former Olympic champion Shawn Crawford, of the US, finished just out of the medals in 19.89.
American decathlete Trey Hardee proved that he is not afraid of stepping in to the limelight of one of the most storied events of all time. With American Olympic gold medalist Bryan Clay out of the competition due to injury, it was Hardee’s time to step up and take the title for the US. Hardee found himself in the lead after day one and refused to let it slip through day two. Hardee used a personal bets throw of 68.00m in the javelin to build a nearly insurmountable lead heading in to the final event, the 1500m. Hardee ran a conservative race off the back of the pack to insure his first world title, finishing the final event in 4:48.91. Hardee is the third American in history to win the world title and his score of 8,790, a world leader, makes him #3 all-time behind Dan O’Brien and Bryan Clay on the American performance list. Leonel Suarez of Cuba finished in a distant second with a score of 8,640 and Aleksandr Pogorelov of Russia took the bronze with a personal best 8,528.
In the men’s 110m hurdles there was a big upset as the world record holder and Olympic champion, Dayron Robles of Cuba, pulled up lame in the semi-finals, leaving the race open for a new world champion. Ryan Brathwaite of Barbados was able to out-lean Americans Terrence Trammell and David Payne to take the victory, the first in his nations history. Brathwaite’s time of 13.14 was a national record, the second national record he set that day. Trammell picked up his fifth world silver medal in 13.15 and Payne earned his second consecutive world bronze in 13.15.
The women’s 400m hurdles saw a repeat winner from last year’s Olympic games as Jamaican Melaine Walker turned in the second fastest time in history to take the gold. Walker’s time of 52.42 is a new championships record and is second only to Russian Yuliya Pechenkina’s world record of 42.34 from 2003. Race day favorite Lashinda Demus of the US was unable to keep pace with Walker over the final 150m, finishing in a distant second in 52.96. Josanne Lucas of Trinidad and Tobago finished off the podium with her third place finish and new national record of 53.20.
The other final of the day was in the women’s high jump, where hometown favorite Ariane Friedrich was looking to take her first world title. Defending world champion Blanka Vlasic of Croatia was looking for her second world title. Although she looked good early on, Friedrich had trouble at 2.04m forcing her to move to 2.06m to stay in the competition. The German was unable to clear the height and was forced to settle for third place behind Anna Chicherova of Russia, both oh whom had top marks of 2.02m. Vlasic took the opportunity as the only athlete to clear 2.04m, securing her second consecutive world title.
American men had great success in the heats of the 5000m as three athletes qualified for the finals. In heat one teammates Matt Tegenkamp and Chris Solinsky ran 13:19.87 and 13:20.64 respectively to qualify on. In heat number two Bernard Lagat looked smooth qualifying with a time of 13:23.73. In the men’s 800m Americans Nick Symmonds, 1:47.12, and Khadevis Robinson, 1:46.79, both qualified for tomorrow’s semi-finals.