Bromell fires Rio warning with world sprint goldArchive
PORTLAND: American Trayvon Bromell blazed to gold in the men’s 60 metres at the world indoor athletics championships on Friday, firing a warning to Usain Bolt and other Olympic challengers that he will be a real threat at the Rio Games.
With most of sprinting’s biggest names, including double Olympic champion Bolt and Americans Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay, deciding to bypass the worlds the 20-year-old Bromell clocked a winning time of 6.47 seconds ahead of Jamaican Asafa Powell.
Bromell was reluctant to cast himself as the next American sprint king but clearly he will not be overawed on the biggest stage in Rio.
“I have always had confidence,” said Bromell, who announced his arrival on the sprint scene last year tying for the 100m bronze at the outdoor worlds in Beijing.
“At the end of the day if you cut our skin, we all bleed red. Nobody is Superman, nobody is superhuman. At the end of the day anybody can win.”
In a race that was so close that it took several minutes to determine the rest of the medallists, when everything was sorted out, Powell was moved up to second and Ramon Gittens of Barbados third, just ahead of China’s Xie Zhenye and Su Bingtian.
A nearly 40-year-old Kim Collins of Saint Kitts and Nevis was originally announced as the runner-up before slipping to eighth.
He still became the oldest male to make a final at the world indoors, taking over the honour from American Bernard Lagat, who was a few months over 39 when he made the final of the 3,000 meters in 2014, according to the IAAF.
Bromell’s victory was the final act of a thrilling first full day of competition at the Oregon Convention Center.
Earlier the home crowd had witnessed a nerve-jangling finish to the women’s pentathlon, where Canada’s Brianne Theisen-Eaton snatched gold with victory in the final event, the 800m.
Theisen-Eaton, silver medallist at the 2014 worlds, had a winning total of 4,881 points, 34 ahead of Ukraine’s Anastasiya Mokhnyuk.
She opened with a personal best of 8.04 seconds in the hurdles and led after the high jump but going into the final event, she found herself trailing by 150 points after the Ukrainian recorded personal bests in four straight events.
However, with her husband — Olympic and world decathlon champion Ashton Eaton — urging her on trackside, Theisen-Eaton came home in a time of 2 minutes, 9.99 seconds, crossing 13 seconds clear of Mokhnyuk to finally take gold after three consecutive world championship silvers.
“Being able to celebrate this with him is really awesome and the cherry on top,” said Theisen-Eaton.
Eaton meanwhile remained well-placed to secure an unprecedented hat-trick of indoor gold medals when the heptathlon concludes on Saturday.
He leads the heptathlon after four events with 3,564 points, ahead of Germany’s Kurt Felix (3,501) and Oleksiy Kasyanov of Ukraine with 3,420.
In other finals, Nia Ali of the US defended her title in the 60m hurdles by holding off team-mate Brianna Rollins, while Brittney Reese of the US, the 2012 Olympic long jump champion, claimed a sixth world title with a leap of 7.22.
Tomas Walsh of New Zealand won the shot put with a heave of 21.78m.
Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2016