The first three gold medals of the 12th IAAF World Athletics Championships have been handed out in Berlin.  Medals were awarded in the men's 20-kilometer race walk, and shot put and the women's 10,000 meters.

Valeriy Borchin of Russia won the first gold medal of the Championships, the men's 20-kilometer race walk, in a time of one hour, 18 minutes and 41 seconds.  Wang Hao of China was the runner-up, 25 seconds back, while Eder Sanchez of Mexico finished third (1:19:22). 

Qualifying heats were held in the women's heptathlon, 3000-meter steeplechase, triple-jump, pole vault and 400-meters.  American Sanya Richards won her qualifying heat in that event with a time of 51.06 seconds. "I'm trying not to make it be pressure, I'm trying to make it be fun because this is what I love to do.  So I just want to go out and keep doing what I've done.  I've won all my races this season and run really well.  So I don't feel too much pressure this season," she said.

The battle for the title of world's fastest man got under way as 100-meters world record holder Usain Bolt of Jamaica and defending world champion Tyson Gay of the United States both won their opening heats.

But it was Jamaica's Asafa Powell with the fastest time in the quarterfinals, breaking the tape in 9.95 seconds.  Gay finished in 9.98, the second best time, just ahead of American Michael Rodgers at 10.01.  The men also competed in preliminary rounds of the hammer-throw, shot put, 400-meter hurdles and 1500-meters.

In the evening session, it was an African sweep in the women's 10-thousand meters. Kenyan teenager Linet Masai won the first women's gold at these championships with a season-best time of 30 minutes and 51.24 seconds.  She edged Ethiopia's Meselech Melkamu by a 10th of a second, while another Ethiopian, Wude  Ayalew, took the bronze (30:51.95).

Christian Cantwell of the United States took gold in the men's shot put with a toss of 22.03 meters.  Poland's Tomasz Majewski earned silver (21.91) while the bronze went to Germany's Ralf Bartels (21.37).