Dethroned champion Usain Bolt said he needs time to come to terms with his disqualification yesterday in the 100-meter final at the world athletics championships.
Jamaican compatriot Yohan Blake won after Bolt false-started in Daegu, South Korea. Bolt, 25, pulled his running jersey off and clutched his head as he realized he’d left the blocks before the starting gun. No second chances are allowed for the offense.
Blake, 21, won in 9.92 seconds ahead of Walter Dix of the U.S. in 10.08. Ex-world champion Kim Collins of St Kitts and Nevis was third in 10.09.
“I have nothing to say right now, I need some time,” Bolt was cited as saying by Agence France-Presse. As for the defense of his 200-meter title, starting Sept. 2, he said, “How will I go? It’s on a Friday right? Then we’ll have to see on Friday.”
Blake said he could hardly believe his own success.
“I can’t find words to explain it. Usain Bolt has been there for me. I feel like I want to cry, this is all like a dream for me now,” Blake told Channel 4 television.
Bolt won the Olympic 100 meters in Beijing in 2008 in a record and set a new mark of 9.58 seconds at the following year’s world championships in Berlin. He also won 200-meter gold medals in record times at those Olympic and world events.
Powell, Tyson Out
“I thought ‘The champion is out, you’ve got to take advantage of that,’” said Collins, 35, who has competed at every world championships since 1997 and is aiming for next year’s Olympics in London. “I’m on the podium and I’m happy.”
Bolt was an overwhelming favorite to win the 100 meters in Daegu after the withdrawals of Jamaica’s Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay of the U.S. through injury.
The International Association of Athletics Federations has tightened the rules on false starts, after athletes were at one time given two chances.
“I don’t think the false-start rule is the right one but as the IAAF think it is good for TV it will probably stay,” Collins said. “I know what I can do to make it to London next year.”
Dix, 25, said the ejection of Bolt was “surreal.”
“It’s great to put the U.S. back to the medals stand but it was a terrible race for me,” he said. “It was a sloppy race, it was nerve-breaking. I didn’t really think they would kick him out.”
Earlier yesterday, Ibrahim Jeilan of Ethiopia won the men’s 10,000-meter final.
Jeilan overhauled Mo Farah of Britain in the closing strides to win in a time of 27 minutes, 13.81 seconds. Farah clocked 27:14.07 and Ethiopian Imane Merga came third in 27:19.14.
Valeriy Borchin of Russia retained his title in the 20-kilometer race walk. American Brittney Reese successfully defended her long jump crown.
Trey Hardee of the U.S. retained his world decathlon title and China’s Li Yanfeng won the women’s discus.