For the second time in four days, UsainBolt held off the challenge of Justin Gatlin of the United States in the Bird’sNest to complete his world 100/200m double in 19.55, the fastest 200m time run this year, and conclude a rare night of athletics that had already been punctuated with a historic triple jump of 18.21m by Christian Taylor, the second-best ever achieved.
The 25-year-old Olympic champion produced his almighty effort in the final round to see off his great rival Pedro Pablo, landing just eight centimeters shy of the 20-year-old world record held by Britain’s Jonathan Edwards. And Taylor’s foot was a good few centimeters back on the take-off board….
Pichardo took silver with 17.73 ahead of the man who won the Olympic title here seven years ago, Nelson Evora of Portugal, who claimed bronze with a last round 17.52.
Bolt’s season has been so undermined and delayed by a lingering joint problem that he had not even run a single 200m in competition before coming to Beijing. Here, against an opponent who headed the world lists with 19.57, he was – incredibly – close to his imperious best. As he crossed the line he pointed at his chest with both hands and nodded his head, just in case anyone should doubt that he, rather than the shorter figure in red who strained two lanes inside him, was The Man.
Gatlin looked almost relieved after taking silver in 19.74, with AnasoJobodwana of South Africa claiming bronze with a national record of 19.87.
The men’s 200m final rounded off an extraordinary evening of high achievement which had earlier seen Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk regain the world hammer throw title she last won in 2009 with the second and third best throws of all time – 80.27 and 80.85 – behind the world record of 81.08 she set on August 1. China’s Wenxiu Zhang claimed silver with a season-best of 76.33 and Zheng Wang was fifth with 73.83.
And in the track final preceding the men’s200m, Allyson Felix, three times a world 200m champion, earned her first global title at 400m in the fastest time run this year, 49.26. The three women behind her set personal bests – Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas, silver medallist in49.67, Shericka Jackson of Jamaica, who earned bronze in 49.99, and fellow Jamaican Christine Day, fourth in 50.14.
Britain’s defending champion Christine Ohuruogu finished an exhausted last in 50.63.