Bolt shines; Jeter clocks superb time

Sprint recordholder Usain Bolt shone at the full-to-capacity Kaftanzoglio Stadium in Thessaloniki on Sunday at the end of the two-day IAAF World Athletics Final. In front of 25,000 track and field fans, the Jamaican superstar won the 200-meter dash with a championship record of 19.68 seconds, while clearly slowing down in the last few meters. He did not compete in the 100 meters, which American Tyson Gay won in 9.88 seconds, just ahead of Jamaica’s Asafa Powell (9.90 seconds). In the women’s 100 meters, US sprinter Carmelita Jeter clocked the third-best time in history (10.67 seconds). Despite the efforts of Yelena Isinbayeva in the pole vault and Blanka Vlasic in the high jump to break world records, both failed. However, Ethiopia’s Meseret Defar recorded the world’s leading time in the 3,000-meter run this year with 8 minutes and 30.15 seconds. Jamaican Melanie Walker was impressive in the 400-meter hurdles, with a time of 53.36 seconds. Greek fans were happy to see 400-meter-hurdles champion Periklis Iakovakis finish third in the event’s final, with a time of 48.90 seconds. He is now short-listed for the voting to elect the best athlete in Europe for 2009.