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Jamaicans clear big hurdle

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Associated Press
August 20, 2009
— First the sprints, now the hurdles.

The Jamaicans are taking over that, too, from the Americans.


Brigitte Foster-Hylton captured the 100-meter hurdles title Wednesday, giving the island nation its first gold in the event at the world championships. Delloreen Ennis-London also won the bronze for Jamaica.


“We’re doing very good and we’re happy,” Ennis-London said.


The Americans, who’ve already lost two sprint races to Jamaica, were counting on gold. Instead, they ran into obstacles.


Ginnie Powell smashed a middle hurdle and finished sixth, and Olympic champion Dawn Harper clipped the second hurdle and took seventh.


Jamaic’as Usain Bolt will try for his second world record today in the final of the 200.


He obliterated his world-record mark in the 100 on Sunday, blazing through the line in 9.58 seconds.


Bolt looked invulnerable in his semifinal heat of the 200, ambling down the track in 20.08 seconds.


And that was in easy mode.


In the final, he’ll crank it up to serious mode.


Unlike at the Beijing Olympics, Bernard Lagat’s trademark kick was there at the end.


He was just too far behind for it to be completely effective, settling for the bronze in the 1,500-meter run.


Lagat, who entered the race as the defending world champion, was bottled up and fading toward the back of the pack. Searching for an opening, he found a crack by going to the outside and made a mad dash for the front as the runners headed down the home stretch.


He tracked down everyone but gold medalist Yusuf Saad Kamel of Bahrain and Deresse Mekonnen of Ethiopia, who took silver.


In the women’s 800, South African teenager Caster Semenya ignored a gender-test controversy to win the event.


The world track and field federation requested the gender test on the 18-year-old Semenya about three weeks ago amid speculation she does not meet the requirements to compete as a woman.


Semenya’s stunning improvement in times, along with her muscular build and deep voice, sparked speculation about her gender.



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