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Bowie leans to 100 gold as Jamaica fails to medal

The Associated Press

Tori Bowie, right, falls in front of Murielle Ahoure after crossing the finish line as winner of the gold medal in the women’s 100 meters on Sunday in London.

The Associated Press LONDON (AP) — The American sprinter took a mighty tumble. Nobody, however, has fallen harder than Jamaica so far at this year’s world championships.

The evening after Usain Bolt’s improbable loss to a pair of U.S. runners, the world’s best sprint island watched the red, white and blue paraded around the track once again at its expense.

Tori Bowie leaned over the line for her 100-meter victory, then stumbled and crashed down to the track to put the exclamation point on the second straight sprint shock of the meet.

Her .01-second victory Sunday over Marie-Josee Ta Lou of Cote d’Ivoire was a photo-finish thriller. The fact that the defending Olympic champion and the most dominant female sprinter of 2017, Elaine Thompson of Jamaica, finished fifth was every bit as stunning.

“The past few years, Jamaica has dominated,” Bowie said. “We’ve had no harsh feelings toward them, no negative thoughts. We’ve been extremely focused on ourselves. Just trying to get where they’re at.”

In snapping a stretch of four straight Jamaican wins at the Olympics and worlds, Bowie became the first U.S. woman to win the world title at 100 meters since Carmelita Jeter in 2011.

Bowie’s time, 10.85 seconds, was nothing spectacular. Her race, though, was something to behold.

She trailed Ta Lou by two paces as they headed into the last 20 meters but just kept charging. She caught Ta Lou at the end, and Bowie’s lean at the line was textbook. The photo finish actually shows Ta Lou’s foot ahead of Bowie’s, but Bowie beats her where it counts — her torso is over the line a fraction ahead of Ta Lou’s.

Dafne Schippers, the 2015 world champion in the 200, took bronze in 10.96.

“It’s not like there’s a training session for a lean,” said Bowie’s coach, Lance Brauman. “She did what she had to do to get to the line first. She’s scraped up and won and that’s all that really matters.”

The lean was so extreme, it sent Bowie off balance and careening into Lane 8, where she landed on her left hip while the runner in that lane, Murielle Ahoure, had to slow down, then jump to avoid landing on her.

Like Bolt, Thompson won’t be running in the 200, raising the distinct possibility that the Jamaicans could get completely shut out of individual sprint gold at the worlds.

Thrilling finishes to marathons

Earlier, with some iconic London landmarks serving as a backdrop, the world championships produced a pair of stirring marathon races.

Both Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya and Rose Chelimo of Bahrain came from behind to win gold medals on Tower Bridge.

Kirui earned Kenya a record fifth men’s marathon title in the morning by beating Tamirat Tola of Ethiopia in a seesaw race. Then, the Kenyan-born Chelimo and Edna Kiplagat produced a similar back-and-forth contest in the afternoon to give the diminutive runner her first major international title.

Kirui won in 2 hours 8 minutes 27 seconds, creating such a gap over Tola that he had time to slap the outstretched hands of fans in the finishing straight before crossing the line. Tola weakened at the end and just held off bronze medalist Alphonce Simbu of Tanzania.

In the women’s race, Chelimo chased down Kiplagat over the final kilometers to win the biggest title of her career.

She kicked on the uphill stretch to the finish and Kiplagat could not respond. Chelimo finished in 2:27:11, seven seconds ahead of Kiplagat, who barely beat a hard-charging Amy Cragg of the United States for silver.

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