READY: Roland Schoeman will be in action in Port Elizabeth.
UNSTOPPABLE: Usain Bolt of Jamaica wins the men’s 100m at the 14th IAAF World Athletics Championships in Moscow last night Photo: Getty Images
The veteran Olympian stunned the favourite, Vladimir Morozov of Russia, with another blistering start to steal the gold medal in the men’s 50m freestyle and clock an amazing 20.86 seconds.
Morozov was unable to close Schoeman down and ended second on 21.00 with German Steffen Deibler taking the bronze in 21.04.
Schoeman was unbeaten on Saturday in the 50m breaststroke (25.65) and 50m butterfly (22.05).
“This is amazing. To get almost everything right from the start was important to beat a field like this,” said Schoeman.
“Three gold medals from three starts – that has not happened in a long time.”
Chad le Clos had to be content with two silver medals as American Thomas Shields provided an outstanding performance in the men’s 100m butterfly, winning his first gold in 49.01. He was close with a 49.48 swim with Deibler earning another bronze in 49.72.
Le Clos came close again in the men’s 200m individual medley just three events later. Kenneth To of Australia was the favourite and led from the start to win in 1 minute 52.01 seconds – but the final 50m freestyle leg from Le Clos saw him finish within 0.1 sec in a 1.52.11, with Japan’s Daiya Seto taking third in 1.52.62.
David Isaacson reports from Russia that Usain Bolt glided through the Moscow rain like lightning to reclaim his world 100m crown in 9.77sec, his best time of the season.
Not the weather, that seemed to wait specifically for the 100m final, nor the less-than-full Luzhniki Stadium could put a damper on Bolt’s celebration after taking back the title he had lost by disqualification two years ago.
American Justin Gatlin was second in 9.77s and Bolt’s compatriot, Nesta Carter, took bronze in 9.95s.
There was no South African in the field after Anaso Jobodwana failed to get past the semifinals or to break the SA 100m record. Compatriot Willem Coertzen, on the other hand, was over the moon after sinking the African record in the men’s decathlon. He bagged 8343 points from the 10 events to finish ninth overall.
“If you consider I scored 200 points more this year and I still finished ninth, this was a quality field,” said Coertzen, who is aiming to improve for the 2016 Olympics and next year’s Commonwealth Games, where he will be a medal contender.
His biggest problem is upping his pole vault, where he is losing out on 150-odd points to his rivals.
Closing that gap could get him close to the top three in the world; Olympic champion Ashton Easton of the US won with 8809 points, but bronze medallist Damian Warner of Canada amassed 8512.
Jobodwana was down-hearted as he trudged off the track after finishing fourth in his semifinal in 10.17sec, well short of the 10.06s SA mark.
“I wanted to run fast,” lamented the World Student Games double sprint champion.
Jobodwana, who went through the inconvenience of a false start the previous night, had to endure another one yesterday evening, this time courtesy of China’s Bintian Su. “It [my start] felt better that first time,” he admitted, but insisted there were no excuses.
The longer event, which starts on Friday, is his favourite race; that’s where he made the final at the London Olympics.
Earlier, Wayde van Niekerk crashed out of the 400m heats, fading badly to end fifth in 46.37.
Lebogang Shange failed to finish the men’s 20km walk. – Additional reporting by Sapa