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Gold for Jeter and Richardson

Daegu: American training partners Carmelita Jeter and Jason Richardson were two unlikely gold medallists at the Athletics World Championships Monday.

Jeter because, well, nobody beats the Jamaicans in the 100 metres at major meets these days. And Richardson because he was an afterthought in the highly anticipated 110 hurdles matchup. He originally captured silver but was stunningly bumped up to champion when Cuban world-record holder Dayron Robles was disqualified for smacking hands not once but twice with Liu Xiang of China over the final few hurdles.

This was definitely a strange day at the track.

It was supposed to be Allyson Felix’s stage as she finished off the first leg of her difficult double, an accomplishment that would have firmly established her as America’s biggest track star heading into next year’s London Olympics. But Felix couldn’t catch Amantle Montsho of Botswana in the 400 final, nudged out at the line.

There went the shot at the double.

Now, an exhausted Felix turns her attention toward capturing a fourth straight 200 title later in the week.

Jeter’s chances at a 100-200 sweep have never looked better, besides the fact she’s competing in Felix’s signature event and has the Jamaicans riled up.

“We’ll see her again,” said Jamaican Olympic gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who finished fourth to end her run as 100 champion.

Long known as the sprinter who couldn’t win on the big stage, the 31-year-old Jeter ended that perception by winning in 10.90 seconds, .07 faster than Veronica Campbell-Brown. She jumped out to an early lead and said she felt as if she had held off the field.

Carmelita Jeter after winning the 100m gold, on Monday. (Reuters)

After crossing the finish line, Jeter gazed all around the stadium looking for some kind of tangible proof of what her heart was already telling her that she did indeed win her first world title.

Then, the camera began trailing Jeter, her image appearing on the big screen. Her name popped up first.

She began screaming, “I did it!” and then fell to the track, bursting into tears.

“It’s good not to have that jinx, that I can only win bronze medals,” said Jeter, who finished third at the worlds in 2007 and ‘09. “I was just ready. This was just a different night.”

Jillian Camarena-Williams captured the first-ever medal for the US in the women’s shot put by capturing bronze in an event won by defending champion Valerie Adams of New Zealand.

The race of the night, and possibly even the most compelling of the championships, was the 110 hurdles. It had the three fastest hurdlers in history in the field with Robles, Liu and David Oliver of the United States. Yet it was the unknown Richardson who crashed the party by jumping out fast and beating all but Robles.

India’s Vikas Gowda qualified for his maiden finals with a creditable 63.99m effort in the discus throw qualification round, on Monday. Mayookha Johny qualified for the finals, but finished ninth with a below-par 6.37m, on Sunday. (agencies)

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