- Usain Bolt is adding to his legend. In London last year he became the first man to defend the 100 and 200 metres titles at the Olympics. He’s now become the first man to win a hat trick of 200 metres crowns at the world championships. And the first man to take the sprint double on two occasions.
It doesn’t have to be about speed. Bolt says that winning the race is more important than breaking world records. And indeed, why bother when the 100 and 200 metre records are yours anyway.
- Words were said to the Swedish athlete Emma Green-Tregaro. She pointedly painted her nails in the colours of the rainbow flag to show support for Russia’s gay community as she competed in the heats of the women’s high jump on day six. Gay rights are a touchy subject after laws were passed in Russia which make it illegal to publicise homosexuality to the under 18s. The Russian pole vault world champion Yelena Isinbayeva lambasted Green-Tregaro calling her stunt disrespectful to Russia and the Russian people. Organisers told the Swede that the rainbow colours on the nails were a breach of regulations. Anders Albertsson, the general secretary of the Swedish athletics federation, said Swedish athletes had been taken aside. He added: “The code of conduct clearly states the rules do not allow any commercial or political statements during the competition.” For the final on day eight, Green-Tregaro painted her nails red. Now who in Russia could possibly argue about that colour?
- Home crowds help. The Russian women’s 4x400 metres relay team was roared on as the runners battled with the United States for supremacy. The Russians claimed gold. Poster girl Anna Chicherova received huge cheers each time she went to clear the bar in high jump. Sadly the Olympic champion could only manage 1 metre 97 centimetres and came away with the bronze. But the partisans clearly aided Svetlana Shkolina. She claimed the high jump gold with a leap of 2 metres 03 centimetres.
- Stephen Kiprotich is a nationally sanctioned legend. Usain St Leo Bolt anointed himself a legend after achieving his ‘double double’ at the Olympics in London last year. Kiprotich went back to Uganda after those London games last year a national hero having furnished his people with their first Olympic gold medal since 1972. It was their first medal of any hue since 1996. The 24-year-old won the country’s first marathon gold and in the same event on day eight, he collected Uganda’s first world championship gold. “I’ve made another piece of history,” he gasped after completing the 42 kilometre course in 2 hours, nine minutes and 51 seconds. “I think I’m now a famous person. I’m very happy but it’s not just me. My team is happy too. We will go back home with one gold medal. It’s a fantastic moment for me, my team mates and my country.” They celebrated after the Olympics and they’ll surely be painting the town – rather than their fingernails – red.