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Olympic Games 2008: Usain Bolt moves into semis with 20.29; Isinbayeva does it again

18 August 2008

Jamaica's Usain Bolt took another step closer to completing his sprint double feat when he eased into the semi-final round of the men's 200-metres dash at the Olympics in Beijing, Monday night.

It was a night of celebration for Russian Pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva, who stamped her class in the event when she heightened her own world record with a clearance of 5.05m. She improved her previous mark of 5.04m.

American Jennifer Stuczynski with 4.80m was no challenge for second, with another Russian and former Svetlana Feofanova taking third in 4.75m

Meanwhile, Pamela Jelimo posted a new world junior record of 1:54.87 to win the women's 800m ahead of her fellow countrywoman Janeth Jepkosgei, a distant second in1:56.07.

Morocco's Hasna Benhassi clocked 1:56.73 for the bronze, while Jamaica's Kenia Sinclair finished outside of the medals in seasonal best of 1:58.24 for sixth.

Bolt, crowned 100m champion and world and Olympic record holder on the day on Saturday ran a swift curve and then shut things down on the straightaway to finish first in 20.29seconds.

American defending champion Shawn Crawford hustled home for second in 20.42, while Kim Collins of St Kitts and Nevis took third 20.43 and booked his spot in the semis.

Brendan Christian ran a solid 20.26 to win his quarter-finals over Dutch Antilles' Churandy Martina, who posted 20.42 for second.

Jamaican veteran Christopher Williams, a former world silver medallist clocked 20.28 to also take his spot in the semis after running a smart curve against a strong headed by Zimbabwe's spirited runner Brian Dzingai, who won 20.23.

In the longer version of the event, world leader and favourite Melaine Walker of Jamaica was dominant in her 400m hurdles semi-final coasting him some five to six metres clear of the entire field to win in 54.20.

Her teammate Nickiesha Wilson, who was taunted for a medal in the event could only managed a 54.67 fifth place performance that knock her out of contention for a slot in the deciding race.

American Sheena Tosta was the fastest qualifier in the two heats with her winning time of 54.07.

In the women's Discus Throw finals, Cuba's world championships bronze medallist Yarelis Barrios adds an Olympics silver to her global championships collection following a 63.64m best attempt to take second behind American 64.74m.

USA swept the men's 400m hurdles finals with Angelo Taylor clocking a personal best of 47.25secs to beat Trinidadian-born fellow countryman Kerron Clement, second in 47.98. Former world champion Bershawn Jackson finished third in 48.06.

The best Caribbean finisher was former silver medallist Danny McFarlane, whose mighty effort saw him finishing fourth in a seasonal best of 48.30. His Jamaican teammate Markino Buckley was seventh in 48.60.

In the men's Long Jump competition, Panama's Irving Saladino lived up to the status as being the favourite when he leaped 8.34m to win the event over South Africa's Godfrey Khotso Mokoena, with 8.24m and Cuban Ibrahim Camejo, 8.20m.

In another finals, Brimin Kiprop Kipruto of Kenya won the women's 3000 Metres Steeplechase in 8:10.34. France's Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad came home second in a personal best of 8:10.49

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