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Bolt completes second Olympic sprint sweep

Aug. 9, 2012 at 5:30 PM   |   Comments

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LONDON, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Usain Bolt completed a second straight Olympic sprinting sweep Thursday, coasting to a victory in the 200-meter dash during a Jamaican domination of the event.

David Rudisha of Kenya set a world record in the 800-meter run and the United States collected two more gold medals but focus of the evening of track and field was again on the fastest man on the planet.

Last Sunday Bolt became the second man to win the 100-meter dash in back-to-back Olympics, joining American Carl Lewis. Now he has become the first man to win the 200 twice in a row, doing so Thursday in the time of a season's best 19.32.

He also was part of the gold medal winning 400-meter relay team in Beijing and Jamaica will be the overwhelming favorite to win that event again Saturday.

Bolt was beaten twice by rising star Yohan Blake during the Jamaican Olympic trials but Blake had to be satisfied with runner-up finishes to Bolt in both the sprints in London.

Warren Weir completed a sweep of the 200 medals for Jamaica when he held off American Wallace Spearmon for third place.

As sensational as Bolt's performance was Thursday, Rudisha's was just as impressive.

He dashed from the starting line in the 800-meter event, shot to the lead and ran the entire distance in something very close to a sprint. From the start it appeared a world record was likely and he got it with a time of 1:40.91 -- a tenth of a second below the old mark.

A pair of teens, Nijel Amos of Botswana and Timothy Kitum of Kenya, finished second and third. No American has won a medal over 800 meters since the Barcelona Olympics of 1992, but U.S. runners Duane Solomon and Nick Symmonds put up excellent efforts Thursday while finishing fourth and fifth.

The United States, which won three gold medals in track and field Wednesday, added to its total Thursday with wins by Christian Taylor in the triple jump and Ashton Eaton in the decathlon.

Americans finished 1-2 in both events.

Taylor got off a jump of 58-5 1/4, thus adding the Olympic gold medal to the world championship he won last year. Will Claye of the United States was second with a jump of 57-9.

Eaton and fellow-American Trey Hardee were the class of the field in the decathlon, the two-day, 10-event ordeal that crowns the mythical "best athlete in the world."

Eaton compiled 8,869 points after finishing second at the world championships a year ago. Hardee was a distant second with 8,671 points and Leonel Suarez of Cuba was third with 8,523.

The U.S. women's sprint relay team made it safely through the semifinals with the evening's best time of 41.65.

South Africa also made it to the men's 1,600-meter relay finals, successfully protesting after a bumping incident in the semifinals had knocked its team out of the race.

That means Oscar Pistorius, who runs on legs made of carbon fiber, will appear for South Africa in the finals Friday.

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