Road To The Olympic Games

Bolt coasts into 200m final

Defending world champion Usain Bolt breezed into the 200-metre final at the world championships Friday, overcoming a slow start to win his semifinal heat in South Korea.

There was no false start and plenty of showboating this time as Usain Bolt breezed into the 200-metre final at the world championships Friday in South Korea.

After jumping the gun in the 100 final on Sunday, the Jamaican had the second-slowest start of the 22 semifinalists but used his acceleration through the bend and powered down the finishing straight to show he was ready to defend his title on Saturday.

Bolt glanced to his left and right and kept looking up at the giant stadium screen. When he saw he was on his own, he turned off the power and trotted across the line before thrilling the fans with the slowest of "Lightning Bolt" moves.

Not Oscar time

Double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius of South Africa was left out of the lineup in the 400 relay, although will still get a silver medal for running in the heats.

"Haven't Been included in the Final for the SA Mens 4x400m. Pretty Guttered," Pistorius wrote in a Twitter message.

After his teammates won a medal, he expressed his frustration.

"Was really hard watching knowing I deserved to be part of it," Pistorius wrote.

The South African team decided to go with Louis van Zyl, who won bronze in the 400m hurdles, in the relay race.

"It was a big surprise to us. It is a disappointment, needless to say, for Oscar," his manager, Peet van Zyl, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "He ran a good leg."

After making a breakthrough for Paralympic athletes by reaching the semifinals of the 400 early this week, the "Blade Runner" ran a strong opening leg on the tough inside lane Thursday to help South Africa to a third-place finish in its heat and a South African record.

"I'm feeling all right," Bolt said. "Expect always the best from me. I always go out there and do my best."

Overall, he was second to Christophe Lemaitre of France, and also saw rivals Walter Dix of the United States and Jamaican teammate Nickel Ashmeade advance.

Ahead of the semifinals, he rattled off his usual antics in quick succession, from the slicking of hair to the body shaking and pistol firing. Once the racers were ready to go, he put his finger to his lips to hush the shrieking crowd.

Another golden triple is out of his grasp, but defending his 200 title is important enough.

When it was all over, his relief was such that he even threw one shoe right up into the upper deck of Daegu Stadium, where hundreds of young fans screamed out for him.

Bolt can still get a double if he wins the 200 and Jamaica also wins the sprint relay on Sunday.

Canada's Armstrong gets silver in shot put

Canadian shot putter Dylan Armstrong captured Canada's first medal of these world championships, winning a silver in the 12-man final.

"It was awesome," the Kamloops, B.C., native said on a conference call. "It's a great feeling."

Armstrong had finished first in his heat on Thursday to easily qualify for the final.

Germany's David Storl won the gold medal with a toss of 21.78 metres. Armstrong took silver with a throw of 21.64, and Andrei Mikhnevich of Belarus was third with 21.40.

The top-ranked Armstrong launched the season's world leading throw of 22.21 metres and also tops the prestigious Diamond League standings.

The Canadian's ultimate goal is winning Olympic gold next summer in London. The six-foot-four, 310-pound Armstrong finished fourth three years ago at the Beijing Games, missing the podium by less than a centimetre.

He sat in second in the early rounds before eventually falling out of the medals when American Christian Cantwell passed him with his sixth and final throw.

Armstrong credits this season's rise in the ranks to a complex training program under renowned throws coach Anatoliy Bondarchuk, and the fact he's maturing in the sport.

VCB bests Jeter in women's 200

Two-time Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica won the women's 200 metres, beating 100m gold medallist Carmelita Jeter of the United States.

Three-time defending champion Allyson Felix of the United States had to settle for bronze.

Campbell-Brown had already won silver in the 100 and finished the 200 in a season's best of 22.22 seconds, 0.15 faster then Jeter, who fell just short of the first sprint double in two decades.

Felix was third in 22.42.

Felix earlier in the meet was just beaten in the 400 by Botswana's Amantle Montsho, setting for silver.

All the rounds finally caught up with her in the 200 final.

"I ran with a lot of heart because that was about all that was left for me," said Felix.

Going without gold in either final will make her think twice about a 200-400 double at the London Olympics.

"If I had to say right now, it wouldn't be high on my list of things to do," Felix said. "But things change."

Merritt anchors U.S. to 4x400 gold

The United States won its fourth straight men's 4x400-metre relay, finishing in two minutes 59.31 seconds.

Greg Nixon started off the race and handed to Bershawn Jackson. Angelo Taylor ran the third leg and LaShawn Merritt crossed the finish line first to give the United States its ninth gold medal of the championships.

The U.S. trailed for a good chunk of the race. But Merritt found another gear coming out of the final bend and blew past everyone.

"The race was closer than we thought, than we expected," Merritt said. "I got the baton and did my job, came home and added another gold for the U.S."

South Africa, without double amputee athlete Oscar Pistorius in the final, finished second for silver in 2:59.87.

Jamaica took bronze in 3:00.10.

Another South African, defending 800 champion Caster Semenya, put a troubled season behind her with a powerful last lap to become the top qualifier for Sunday's final, ahead of the year's best performer, Mariya Savinova of Russia.

A gender controversy caused her to miss last season, but Semenya came back strong in Daegu. She ran perhaps the best race of her season in 1:58.07 to make her a medal contender while many thought she would fail to make the final.

Phillips repeats in long jump

Dwight Phillips of the United States defended his title in the men's long jump.

The American, a three-time world champion and a former Olympic gold medallist, won with a leap of 8.45 metres on his second attempt.

Mitchell Watt of Australia took silver with a jump of 8.33 and Ngonidzashe Makusha of Zimbabwe was third with 8.29.

Phillips ran through the pit on his last jump, ripped off his bib number off and held it aloft.

"It was meant for me," said Phillips, who was sidelined earlier in the season with a left Achilles' tendon injury. "Nobody believed I could do this."

Kenya's Cheruiyot adds 5,000m title

Vivian Cheruiyot completed a long-distance double by winning the women's 5,000-metre race and giving Kenya its fifth gold medal.

Cheruiyot, who won the 10,000 on the first day of the championships, crossed the finish line in 14 minutes, 55.36 seconds to finish 0.85 seconds ahead of teammate Sylvia Jebiwott Kibet.

Meseret Defar of Ethiopia took the bronze in 14:56.94.

Abakumova wins javelin

Maria Abakumova of Russia flirted with the world record in the women's javelin but had to settle with a championship-record throw of 71.99 metres.

World-record holder Barbora Spotakova of the Czech Republic took silver with a toss of 71.58, and Sunette Viljoen of South Africa earned bronze with 68.38.

The previous record at the worlds was 71.70, set by Olisdeilys Menendez of Cuba at the 2005 competition in Helsinki, Finland.

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