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US Team Wins Golds, Finishes Atop World Athletics Championships


The United States has won three more gold medals and finished atop the medals standings at the World Athletics Championships in Osaka, Japan. VOA's David Byrd was trackside and reports on the final day of competition.

Before this championship, Bernard Lagat had not won a single world title, but now the Kenyan-born runner has two. Lagat won his second gold medal of the championships by outrunning Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge in the men's 5,000 meters race. Lagat's winning time was 13:45.87.

After the race, Lagat said he kept his discipline and did not let anyone get too far ahead of him.

"All I had to do was just run a smart race, follow the pace. If people were going to try to take out the last two kilometers I was ready to follow, not to let the gap develop. And if you saw the race I just maintained that gap I did not want the gap to develop. So it was a fantastic race today, not too fast and I really enjoyed it," he said.

Kipchoge won the silver medal 13-100ths of one second back while Uganda's Moses Ndiema Kipsiro won bronze (13:46.75).

The U.S. team won more gold in the relays when Dee Dee Trotter, Allyson Felix, Mary Wineberg and Sanya Richards won the four-by-400-meters relay in 3:18.55. After the race, Felix said she felt privileged to run with her teammates.

"I came into these worlds without running any relays before. And just to come out of it with two [relay] victories and two fast times, and I have always admired these women, and to be a part of it was great," she said.

For Felix, it is her third gold medal of the championships. She is the first woman since Marita Koch of the former East Germany in 1983 to win three golds in a single world championship.

Silver went to Jamaica's team while Great Britain won the bronze.

Shortly after Felix and her teammates won their race, American Jeremy Wariner and compatriots LaShawn Merrit, Angelo Taylor and Darold Williamson won the men's four-by-400 meters gold in two minutes 55.56 seconds. Wariner said his team missed the world record (2:54.20) but they are happy with the world title.

"Going in we knew we had a chance to get the world record with the team we had. The way we ran it tonight, we all were going for the world record, but our main goal was to get the gold," said Wariner.

The Bahamas won the silver (2:59.18) and Poland won the bronze (3:00.05). Bahrain's Maryam Yusuf Jamal won the women's 1,500 meters race (in 3:58.75).

Yelena Soboleva of Russia won silver (3:58.99) and Ukraine's Iryna Lishchynska took bronze (4:00.69).

Kenya gathered more gold when Alfred Kirwa Yego won the men's 800 (in 1:47.09).

Silver went to Canada's Gary Reed (1:47.10) and Yuriy Borzakovskiy of Russia won the bronze (1:47.39).

Earlier, Catherine Ndereba of Kenya won the women's marathon in 2:30:27.

Chunxiu Zhou of China won the silver (2:30:45). Japan's Reiko Tosa earned her country's only medal of the championships by taking bronze (2:30:55).

In the women's high jump, Croatia's Blanka Vlasic won her first major senior title by taking the gold with a height of 2.05 meters.

Antonietta Di Martino of Italy won the silver (2.03 meters) while bronze went to Russian Anna Chicherova (also 2.03 meters, but more attempts).

Finland's Tero Pitkamaki won the men's javelin gold with a final toss of 90 meters, 33 centimeters.

Norway's Andreas Thorkildsen won the silver (88.61 meters) and bronze went to Breaux Greer (86.21).

The United States ended the world championship with 26 total medals, including 14 gold. Kenya was second with 13 medals, including five golds. Russia finished third with 16 medals and four golds.

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