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Regional might


BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

Regional might

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Caribbean?athletes continue to dominate the shorter track races at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Grenada’s world champion Kirani James joined Jamaicans Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Usain Bolt as gold medal winners when he emphatically stormed in the men’s 400 metres on Monday.
James, 19, won with a time of 43.94 seconds, ahead of the Dominican Republic’s world junior champion Luguelin Santos and Lalonde Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago, who took silver and bronze respectively.
The United States, winners of the last seven Olympic men’s 400 metres titles, did not have a representative in the final for the first time.
Also on Monday, Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic recaptured the Olympic title he won in 2004 by holding off Michael Tinsley of the United States in the 400-metre hurdles final.
On another great night for Caribbean runners in the Olympic Stadium, Javier Culson took bronze to become the first Puerto Rican to win an Olympic medal.
There were huge cheers and an explosion of flashbulbs around the 80 000-capacity Olympic Stadium when Bolt leapt onto the victory podium to receive his gold medal for winning Sunday night’s 100 metres final.
That put him on course for a unique double-double in 100 metres and 200 metres races at successive Games and kept Jamaica in the hunt for a second sweep of individual sprint medals after Fraser-Pryce retained her women’s and 100 metres crown, clocking 10.75 second on Saturday.
Her compatriot Veronica Campbell-Brown got the bronze medal with American Carmelita Jeter taking the silver.
Bolt also has his eye on more medals, saying: “I’m never going to say that I’m the greatest until I’ve run my 200 metres.”
Some had doubted that Bolt had it in him to win a repeat gold in the 100 metres after suffering back problems, getting himself disqualified for a false start in last year’s World Championships and losing to Yohan Blake in the Jamaican trials.
Despite a cautious start, he blitzed his way down the track to win in 9.63 seconds, an Olympic record and the second fastest time ever behind his own world best of 9.58.
Hundreds of Bolt fans back in Jamaica had braved the wind and heavy rain of Tropical Storm Ernesto to watch outdoor screenings of the 100 metres final, some stopping their cars in traffic to do so.
“I can’t drive off now, man,” one motorist told a policeman trying to get traffic to move. “Give me a ticket if you want, but I am going to watch that race on that big screen.” (EZS/Reuters)

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