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Gay Beats Powell at Osaka Athletics Championships


American sprinter Tyson Gay has won the gold medal in the men's 100-meters race at the World Athletics Championships in Osaka, Japan. VOA's David Byrd reports on that race and the rest of the action Sunday in Osaka.

Gay blasted out of the starting blocks and never looked back until the finish. The American took the gold medal with a time of 9:85. Gay said afterwards that he knew he could not rest until he had the gold.

"I just tried to react, that was the main thing, react," said Tyson Gay. "But I know Asafa has a great reaction. So I tried to react with him, and then once we got to about I think 70 meters or so, that's when I really knew I had a great chance of winning the race."

Derrick Atkins of the Bahamas was second, 00:06 second behind the winner. World record holder Asafa Powell of Jamaica took the bronze, 00:11 second off the pace.

Powell said he panicked midway through the sprint, and that cost him the gold medal.

"I did not execute the race, you know as I should," said Asafa Powell. "You know I ran pretty well until about 70 meters, and then I started to tighten up towards the end and Tyson ran past me."

In other events, Sweden's Carolina Kluft won her third straight heptathlon title with a total of 7,032 points. The 24-year-old Kluft said that she is enjoying the moment and not thinking about breaking American Jackie Joyner-Kersee's world record.

"Well it has been tough, and it has been a major pressure on me, just from myself and from the outside," said Carolina Kluft. "And I am just happy to put it all together and manage to get a good result here."

Lyudmila Blonska of Ukraine won the silver (with 6,832 points) while Kelly Sotherton of Britain won bronze (with 6,510 points).

In the women's shot put, New Zealand's Valerie Vili won the gold medal on her last throw and a distance of 20.54 meters. The Tongan-born Vili said she was thinking of her late father when she made the gold-medal winning toss.

"My coach said to me before I went on for my last throw to 'do this one for Dad,' " said Valerie Vili. "And I looked up to the sky, and all I could think about was to get to a medal. And to walk away with a world title, national record and Oceania record, you know you can't ask for more than that."

Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus won the silver medal (20.48 meters) and Nadine Kleinert of Germany won the bronze (19.77 meters).

Earlier, world record holder Jefferson Perez of Ecuador took his third world title in the men's 20-kilometer walk, finishing 1:22:20.

European Champion Francisco Javier Fernandez of Spain was disqualified for a technical violation, but was reinstated to the silver medal after an appeal. Tunisia's Hatem Ghoula won the bronze (in 1:22:40) to become the first African to win a medal in the event in a world championship or Olympics.

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