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US Wins More Gold at World Athletics Championships


The United States has gathered more gold medals at the World Athletics Championships in Osaka, Japan. VOA's David Byrd was trackside Friday and reports on the action.

Defending champion Allyson Felix won the women's 200 meters in 21.81 seconds, the fastest time by a woman at a world championship since American Inger Miller in 1999.

World 100-meters champion Veronica Campbell of Jamaica finished second, .53 of one second back with Sri Lanka's Susanthika Jayasinghe taking bronze (22.63). After the race, Felix said that winning and breaking the 22-second barrier were doubly satisfying.

"This one was really special," she said. "I mean I have been at 22 seconds for as long as I can remember. And to finally work so hard this year after a not-so-great last year and to win the title at the same time, it was definitely special."

Another American runner, world and Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner, led a U.S. sweep of the men's 400-meters race. Wariner's time of 43.45 seconds was .51 of one second faster than silver medal winning teammate LaShawn Merrit (43.96). Angelo Taylor of the United States took the bronze (44.32).

Wariner says the sweep shows that the United States could repeat its gold medal success from the Athens games.

"You know it means a lot. We did it back in 2004 in the Olympics and you saw what we did in the four-by-four. So hopefully we can do the same thing here," he said.

In other events, Barbora Spotakova of the Czech Republic won the women's Javelin gold medal with a national record throw of 67.7 meters. German Christina Obergfoell won silver (66.46) and teammate Steffi Nerius took bronze (64.42).

Cuba's Yargelis Savigne won the gold medal in the women's triple jump with distance of 15.28 meters. Two-time champion Tatyana Lebedeva of Russia took silver (15.07) while Hrysopiyi Devetzi of Greece won the bronze (15.04).

China's Xiang Liu edged American Terrence Trammell by .04 of one second to win the men's 110-meter hurdles gold. Xiang, the world record holder, finished in 12.95 seconds. American David Payne won the bronze medal (13.02).

In one event completed Friday morning, Olga Kaniskina led a Russian 1-2 finish in the women's 20-kilometer walk. Kaniskina finished in one hour, 30:09. Compatriot Tatyana Shemyakina won the silver, 33 seconds back (1:30:42) Spain's Maria Vasco earned the bronze (1:30:47).

U.S. hopes in the decathlon suffered a blow when defending world champion and Olympic silver medalist Brian Clay injured his right leg and had to withdraw from the event. U.S team representative Paul Doyle says Clay felt his leg muscle pop while competing in the high jump.

"When he planted, his leg gave way. That is when he collapsed on the pit. But he said he felt like something popped in his quad. The doctors looked at him and there definitely is a tender spot that indicates a slight tear in the muscle or a slight pull in the muscle," he explained.

Jamaica's Maurice Smith leads after five of 10 events with 4,525 points. Dmitriy Karpov of Kazakhstan is in second place (4,439 points) with world record holder Roman Seberle of the Czech Republic in third (4,434).

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