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All eyes on Bolt’s second step

Four finals of the 12th IAAF World Championships are to be worked off at the Olympiastadion here in the German capital on Thursday tonight.

But the cynosure of all eyes will be the glamour final of the men’s 200m scheduled for 8.35 p.m. local time.

On either side of the men’s 200m in the competition proper will be women’s 400m hurdles final at 8.15 p.m. and men’s 110m hurdles final at 8.55 p.m. The first final scheduled for tomorrow (20) will be the women’s high jump, starting at 7.10 p.m.

The focus would undoubtedly on the fastest man on earth Usain Bolt who is aiming to complete hat-trick of gold medals here.

His thirst for gold has not ended even after establishing a new world record timing of 9.58 seconds to win the men’s 100m.

He is focused on the 200m to complete that elusive sprint double which is a dream of any short distance runner.

It was the Cuban dominance that was evident in the women’s triple jump final at the Olympiastadion last night with Yargelis Savigne having a close call before she won the gold.

She has hardly been more nervous than when she stepped on the track. She had destroyed the opposition two years ago with her opening round personal best 15.28m in Osaka and she had to deliver her best when it mattered the most.

“I was extremely anxious and nervous. I couldn’t put my jumps together at first. I lacked co-ordination, I was too nervous,” she said. Her mental imbalance resulted in the Cuban jumping a below par 14.45 and 14.14 in the first two rounds.

But Savigne put it together in the third round - 14.95m which was good enough for gold. “I am super satisfied. I mean you know how many World champs I competed in? This is the sweetest. I dedicate this victory to all my family and in particular my grand mother who just passed away and my husband.

I dedicate this to all the people of Cuba and all the people of Guantanamo,” the jubilant Cuban lass said.

The victory was all the sweetest as Savigne was able to share it with her new training partner former World Junior Champion Mabel Gay whose silver medal completed the first ever Cuban one-two in the history of the women’s Triple Jump at the IAAF World Championships. This is the first time that two Cubans are first and second in the Triple Jump.

Savigne, too, benefited from Gay joining the Havana-based training group under legendary coach Milan Matos who took Ivan Pedroso to winning four consecutive World Long Jump titles.

Meanwhile, the organizers are maintaining strict anti-doping regulations to make the Berlin World Championships the cleanest ever in the history of track and field. More than the dope testing both before and during competition, the IAAF has taken several meaningful steps to educate the competitors on the negative aspects of using performance enhancing drugs.

As the competition entered its fifth day today, the worldwide attention for the world athletic extravaganza has reached its peak.

“We have had great TV viewing and from the first figures received we can confirm that in Germany there was a peak of 10 million TV viewers with an average of 5.8 million,” the IAAF General Secretary Pierre Weiss told newsmen.

“In Finland, the World Championships (on Sunday) took a 47.3% share of the TV audience, in Norway it was 39.8% and in France it was a high 21.8%.

BERLIN, Wednesday.



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