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Poland’s Anita throws hammer to a world record

Bolt takes third gold in 4 X 100m relay:

Jamaica extended their track supremacy to win both the men’s and women’s 100m relays with Usain Bolt bagging his third gold medal but those feats were overshadowed by Polish Anita Wlodarczyk’s new world record in women’s hammer throw on the penultimate day of the 12th IAAF World Championships at the Olympiastadion here last night.

The world’s fastest man Bolt, who established two world records in men’s 100m and 200m events in a dream sprint double, anchored Jamaican men’s 4 x 100m relay team to victory with another continental record. So did the Jamaican sprint queen Shelly-Anne Fraser who piloted her country’s women’s 4 x 100m team to another gold medal.

But the day belonged to the 24-year-old Polish lass as she powered her way to a new world mark. In one of the most thrilling hammer throw finals ever, Wlodarczyk cleared a brilliant 77.96m in her second attempt, to erase the previous world record of 77.80m set by Russian Tatyana Lysenko in 2006.

Despite finishing the sixth at the Olympic Games in Beijing last year, Wlodarczyk stormed to the limelight this season as the most consistent thrower in the world, with wins in 11 of her 13 competitions and eight of the season’s 14 farthest throws, all above 75m. She had a super lead up to the world meet throwing 77.20m in Cottbus exactly two weeks ago to break the national record held by the late Kamila Skolimowska.

As it turned out, she needed little short of another national record - her last moved her to No. 4 all-time - to dethrone the energised defending champion, Betty Heidler. The popular German’s appearance here turned this evening into the Championships’ first advance sold out session.

Throwing first, Wlodarczyk set the tone for the evening with a solid 74.86m effort, to take immediate control. Two throwers later in was Heidler’s turn, and the 25-year-old responded admirably with a 75.10m throw to take the lead.

Wlodarczyk’s record breaking feat came in the second round, which ironically, would also end her evening prematurely. Jumping across the track towards her coach to celebrate her record, Wlodarczyk twisted her ankle badly, and was forced to watch the rest of the competition with her ankle wrapped and heavily iced.

Wlodarczyk did make one more appearance in the ring, but her final effort was hardly a throw, more so simply a quick return to the scene of her finest hour, one that would offer her a purse of USD 160,000.

In the third round Heidler’s teammate Kathrin Klaas unexpectedly put herself in bronze medal position with a 74.23m throw in the third round, the first in her career beyond 74 metres.

The 25-year-old kept the crowd’s hopes high until she was overtaken in the fifth round by Slovak Martina Hrasnova who threw 74.79m to steal the bronze. For each it was their best finish at a World championship.

Menwhile, Jamaica bagged both the 100m relay gold medals. First, it was

their women who emerged 4 x 100m champions clocking 42.06 seconds, ahead of second placed Bahamas - 42.29. The champion Jamaican team comprised Simone

Facey, Shelly-Ann Fraser, Aleen Bailey and Kerron Stewart.

Minutes later in the final event for the night, Bolt piloted Jamaica’s men’s 4 x 100m relay team to victory with a new continental record of 37.31 seconds. Steve Mullings did the first lap, followed by the second and third by Michael Frater and Bolt while former world champion Asafa Powell doing the anchor lap.

Dwight Phillips was crowned the new world long jump champion after back to back titles in 2003 and 2005.

Marlene Dortch, granddaughter of Jesse Owens, the African American who won four gold medals in this same stadium 73 years ago at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, passed the gold medal around Phillips’ neck.

In this historical ceremony which originates from a joint IAAF and BOC initiative, Dortch was accompanied by President Lamine Diack and Julia Long, grand daughter of Lutz Long, the German favorite of the Games, the man Adolf Hitler had chosen as the representative of the superiority of the Aryan race and yet the man who defied all logics by “helping” Owens in his attempt to win the Long Jump gold medal in 1936.

Hardly anyone could have been a more appropriate winner in tonight’s final than 31-year-old Phillips who has come back from “an extremely low point in my life.

To go to the US Olympic Trials last year and come fourth...I had been injured seven weeks prior to the Trials and I knew it was going to be pretty hard but I still thought I was a superman,” Phillips explained. “I didn’t think three people would beat me.

Phillips opened with a massive jump which was measured at 8.40, that’s with him taking off a full 23 centi metres from the board. He backed that up with a second-round 8.54m which would eventually be the winning mark.

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