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Bowie’s perfect dip snatches 100m gold from Ta Lou

LONDON- America’s Tori Bowie delivered a finish line masterclass when she timed her dip perfectly to win the women’s 100 metres world championship gold in spectacular style on Sunday, leaving Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou with a consolation silver.

The momentum of 26-year-old Bowie’ exemplary dip sent her sprawling onto the track but by the time she recovered enough to look at the big screen she saw that she had won by one hundredth of a second and denied Ta Lou the chance to claim Ivory Coast’s first world title in any event.

Olympic champion and race favourite Elaine Thompson never got going and finished fifth, as Dutchwoman Dafne Schippers took bronze.

Ta Lou appeared to have the race sewn up but fatally failed to throw herself at the line and there were moments of suspense before the result appeared on the stadium scoreboard.

The 26-year-old Bowie, who finished in 10.85 seconds, went one better than her silver medal at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro last year while Ta Lou was left to ponder another desperately unlucky finish.

“I never give up until I’m over the line,” Bowie said. “Ta Lou went away fast but she always does. It didn’t bother me and I just kept pumping my legs and arms until the finish.

“The dive doesn’t feel too good now. But that has saved me at championships in the past. I’ve got a couple of days to recover before the 200 heats so I’ll be okay.”

Ta Lou was also unlucky not to walk away with a bronze medal in Rio after being denied a place on the podium by the rarely-resorted to thousandths measurement.

“I am just happy to have this medal, it is a dream come true,” she said. “I didn’t expect to be in the top three because all the girls have the power and the talent to make the podium.”

Thompson’s shock defeat came after Usain Bolt finished third in the men’s 100 metres on Saturday making it the first time since the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki that Jamaica failed to win either 100 metres race.

It was also the first sprint double for the U.S. since Helsinki when Gatlin and Lauryn Williams were the champions.

Thompson, who had looked in fine form in the heats and won on the same track in trainers to protect an injury in a Diamond League meeting one month ago, was at a loss to explain her defeat.

“I don’t know what happened. I just wanted to get a good start but they race well,” she said. “I’ll have to watch the video back because I don’t know what went wrong.

“I have to give those three girls a lot of credit, so big congratulations to them. I didn’t execute my race which is a shame but I’m healthy.”

(Additional reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Ed Osmond)

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Hungarian Suzuki joins the World Judo Championships as title sponsor

Hungarian Judo Association held a special press conference today where Dr. László Tóth, President of the HJA were pleased to announce that Hungarian Suzuki is sponsoring the World Judo Championships.

For the first time in the history of judo, Budapest to host the World Senior Individual & Teams Championship between 28 August – 3 September 2017. During the most important competition of the year, the stars of judo will meet in the Budapest Sports Arena. As part of the sponsorship, Yoshinobu Abe, CEO of the Hungarian Suzuki awarded seven Suzuki vehicles to Hungarian judoka in order to make their preparation easier for the Worlds.

Yoshinobu Abe, CEO of the Hungarian Suzuki, Dr. László Tóth, President of the Hungarian Judo Association, Dr. Antal Kovács, Vice President of the Hungarian Judo Association and Tamás Záhonyi, Marketing Leader of the International Judo Federation were present at the campaign opener press conference. Alongside them, judoka and coaches preparing for the World Championships took part in this special event as well.

Earlier last week spectacular flash mob action (Judo for the World!) was held in the heart of the Hungarian capital, at the Heroes Square where 1000 judoka launched 2017 messages by 2017 homing pigeons across the country.

“Being the title sponsor of such a prestigious event is not just a huge honor, but also a great responsibility. Hungarian Suzuki is pleased to undertake this with pride. The philosophy of our company and our culture are very similar to what judo represents: concentration, continuous learning, persistence, preparedness or the honesty in competitions. On the imaginary tatami these make the Hungarian Suzuki the most successful car factory in Hungary. I honestly hope we can help Hungarian judoka by making their preparations easier with the awarded Suzukis” – said Yoshinobu Abe, CEO of Hungarian Suzuki.

Dr. László Tóth, President of the HJA also added: this sponsorship is such an exceptional support in the Hungarian sports’ history. The President also said a few words about the special guests planning to take part in the Worlds. Vladimir Putin, IJF Honorary President and Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee are about to visit the competition in Budapest. One important change also was highlighted: the team competition in Budapest on the last day of the Worlds will be organized in that format how this event may appear in the programme of the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.

As announcement was made by Marius L. Vizer, IJF President in October: for the very first time in the history, the total prize money will be one million dollars. The World Championships is having great interest, entries predict that Budapest may be able to welcome the biggest number of participants. Two years ago in Astana 729 judoka from 120 countries competed in the World Judo Championships.

Hungarian team
Hungarian judoka has been reaching several great results this year, last time in Yekaterinburg at the IJF Grand Slam event Hungarians won one gold, two silver and one bronze medals. András Nagy, head coach said, although the biggest part of the team is already known, the official team announcement will be made at the end of the month, after the Chinese Grand Prix. Each country may enter nine entries in total for men and nine entries for women. The Hungarian delegation of both men and women will be 18 athletes.

Strong team for Japan
Rio Olympic Games’ three gold medalists, Shohei Ono, Mashu Baker and Haruka Tachimoto will miss the World Championships, however there are going to be five World Champion, five Olympic Games,- and seven World Championships medalists in the team: Naoisha Takato, Ryonosuke Haga, Ami Kondo and Takanori Nagaese Olympic bronze medalists and world champions, Mami Umeki world champion and Hisayoshi Harasawa Olympic silver medalist will represent Japan in Budapest.

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We look forward to welcoming everyone in Hungary

Dr. TOTH László, Hungarian Judo Association President, was present in Cancun all weekend and had key meetings regarding the upcoming 2017 Suzuki World Judo Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

“I am very pleased with where we are at the moment in terms of our organisation and preparation for the World Championships,” said TOTH.
“We are working tirelessly as an Association every single day to ensure we do our maximum to host the best event we possibly can. I am particularly pleased by the fact that we as able to attain a sponsor in Suzuki which is a first for a sports event in Hungary of this magnitude.

“Tickets are selling very fast and we already have large groups of fans from countries such as Russia, Austria, France, Germany and Japan buying tickets in great quantities. We are even looking to open extra seating so that as many people as possible can enjoy this judo spectacle.

“I have had productive meetings here in Cancun with the IJF team, as we discuss areas such as the first organisation of the mixed team judo event on the last day, and everything has been positive.

“I believe France held the best edition of the World Championships in 2011 in Paris. After 3 September I wish for people to think that Budapest hosted the biggest and best World Championships in our sport of all time. We look forward to welcoming everyone in Hungary.”

(Source: IJF)
(Photo: IJF, Gabriela Sabau)

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Gatlin stuns Bolt to win 100m world title

LONDON- Justin Gatlin ruined Usain Bolt’s farewell party when the 35-year-old American won the world 100 metres title on Saturday, beating the Jamaican superstar into third and sparking a chorus of boos from a London crowd unhappy with his doping past.

What was meant to be a glorious celebration of the departure of the sport’s greatest showman turned into a condemnation of its biggest pantomime villain as Gatlin, twice banned for drug offences, rolled back the years to win a second world title 12 years after his first and 13 after claiming Olympic 100m gold.

As so often before Bolt made a terrible start but this time he could not make it up as Christian Coleman, the 21-year-old American who beat him in the semi-finals, looked set for victory.

But Gatlin, who stumbled at the death to lose the 2015 world final by a hundredth of a second to Bolt, on this occasion timed his surge and dip to perfection to win in 9.92 seconds.

Coleman, who has run over 40 races this year but turned professional only a few weeks ago, took silver in 9.94.

Bolt, straining every sinew, fought all the way to the line but the pace and grace that took him to his world record of 9.58 eight years ago has withered with age and perennial injury battles and this time he ran out of track.

“It’s just one of those things,” Bolt said. “My start is killing me. Normally, it gets better during the rounds but it didn’t come together.”

When the results flashed up on the giant screen the crowd immediately began repeating the booing with which Gatlin’s name had been greeted since the heats on Friday.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, his first response was to put his finger to his lips to indicate silence.

The crowd responded instead by chanting Bolt’s name.

“I tuned it out (the boos) through the rounds and stayed the course. I did what I had to do,” Gatlin said.

“The people who love me are here cheering for me and cheering at home.

“It is Bolt’s last race. I have had many victories and many defeats down the years. It is an amazing occasion. We are rivals on the track but in the warm-down area we joke and have a good time. The first thing he did was congratulate me and say that I didn’t deserve the boos. He is an inspiration.”

Bolt is not quite finished yet and will go in the 4x100m relay next week – as will Gatlin.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

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Gudzius earns stunning discus triumph for Lithuania

LONDON- Lithuanian Andrius Gudzius, a one-time junior prodigy, finally fulfilled expectations to shock the big names in the discus and take gold at the World Athletics Championships on Saturday.

The 26-year-old, who had won the world junior title back in 2010 but had never since come close to threatening the elite in his event, prevailed with a second-round throw of 69.21 metres, the best of his life.

His winning effort came immediately after Sweden’s Daniel Stahl, the event favourite as the only man to throw over 70 metres this season, had launched a 69.19m throw.

Stahl ended up with the silver and American Mason Finley took the bronze with a personal best 68.03m.

“Every athlete must be dreaming about the world title and I managed it tonight. I still cannot believe it and I think I need some time to understand what has just happened,” a stunned Gudzius said afterwards.

Gudzius, whose previous best performance in the senior ranks was a European Under-23 triumph in 2013, showed little emotion as he became only the second Lithuanian man ever to win a world title following his great discus throwing predecessor Virgilijus Alekna.

Alekna, who won in 2003 and 2005, was also double Olympic champion and his feats had led Lithuanians to heap expectations on his potential successor, even though Gudzius had only finished 12th in last year’s Olympics.

“I was thinking about a medal but I did not expect gold. Everybody in my country was expecting a medal from me and I am happy to bring one home,” he said.

Still, it had seemed a tall order for Gudzius to emulate Alekna with a couple of the event’s greats in the field.

Yet neither Germany’s Robert Harting, who won the Olympic title in the London Stadium in 2012, nor Poland’s reigning champion Piotr Malachowski, who had captured the last four world titles between them, could find their range.

Harting ended up sixth with his first-round throw of 65.10m while Malachowski was fifth with a fifth-round effort of 65.24m.

Jamaican Fedrick Dacres, another former world junior champion, produced a fourth round throw of 65.83m to earn fourth place.

(Reporting by Ian Chadband, editing by Neil Robinson)

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Manyonga claims long jump gold to crown remarkable comeback

LONDON- South Africa’s Luvo Manyonga won the World Championship long jump title on Saturday to make up for the disappointment of missing out on a gold medal in last year’s Olympics by one centimeter.

Manyonga, who only returned to formal competition last year after overcoming a drug addiction, led the final from the second round with a leap of 8.48 meters.

The 26-year-old held off the challenge of American Jarrion Lawson, who in his first senior championships jumped a season-best 8.44 in the last round to claim silver.

The bronze was taken by Manyonga’s compatriot Ruswahl Samaai, the leader in the Diamond League standings, who jumped 8.32.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

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Olympic champion Ayana destroys field to win 10,000 metres

LONDON- Ethiopian Almaz Ayana destroyed the field to win the 10,000 metres at the World Championships on Saturday, finishing around 300 metres clear of her rivals in her first race of an injury-plagued season.

The Olympic champion began pulling away from the field after 10 laps, sweeping past back markers who were made to look sluggish in comparison.

She finished in 30:16.32 seconds, well outside the world record she set when she won in Rio last year but still enough to win by an astonishing 46.37 seconds, by far the biggest margin in championship history.

Ayana’s compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba, the former world and Olympic champion, added to her impressive collection of medals when he took the silver with Kenya’s Agnes Tirop in third.

“I am very happy to win this title, much more than when I won the Olympic gold because I have been sick this year and didn’t expect it. In fact, this was my first race of 2017,” Ayana told reporters.

A repeat of her world record-breaking performance in Rio was never on the cards after a slow, tactical start to the race in which the field crawled around the first lap in 81 seconds.

But the last two thirds of the race was reminiscent of Ayana’s extraordinary run last year where she also blew away the field.

Ayana began pulling away after 10 laps and by the 12th had opened up a gap of 30 metres.

The 25-year-old ran the next three kilometres in 8:33 minutes as she continued to increase her advantage and began overhauling the backmarkers with eight laps to go.

Remarkably, Ayana’s prospects had been in doubt because injuries forced her to cancel a number of appearances at European meetings this season.

The battle for second turned into a three-horse race between Kenyans Tirop and Alice Nawowuna and the 32-year-old Dibaba.

Almost unnoticed, Dibaba, who is now focusing on running marathons, won the sprint to claim silver to sit alongside the five world championship and three Olympic golds she has won.

“I have only had two months of training, so I am happy to win silver this time,” she said.

“It was a very fast race. I knew that Almaz was going to run very fast so, if I had followed her, I wouldn’t have won a medal. I know my capacity these days because my training for this race was very short.”

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

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Brilliant Farah maintains domination with epic 10,000 meters win

LONDON- Mo Farah launched the World Athletics Championships in scintillating fashion on Friday with another consummate 10,000 meters triumph that further embellished his claim to being the greatest distance racer in the sport’s annals.

With 55,000 of his home fans roaring their support at the London Stadium, the 34-year-old Briton sprinted away with his 10th consecutive gold medal in a global track final, a dazzling sequence that ranks among the greatest feats in sport.

Farah survived being clipped twice from behind in the final lap, nearly tripping over, before unleashing a trademark burst down the home straight to burst away from Ugandan silver medalist Joshua Cheptegei and Kenyan bronze medal winner Paul Tanui.

The Briton clocked 26 minutes 49.51 seconds, the world’s fastest time in 2017, in what proved perhaps the hardest-earned of all his magnificent triumphs as he protected his six-year unbeaten streak in major championships.

Cheptegei clocked a lifetime best 26:49.94 and Tanui 26:50.60 but, five years to the very night when he won the 25-lap title at his home Olympics on “Super Saturday” in the same London Stadium, Farah had still not lost that invincible aura.

It was the perfect way for Farah to begin his final championship as a track runner before he turns his attentions to the roads as a marathon man.

“What a way to end my career in London. It’s special,” Farah said, after hugging his children on the track.

“It was amazing. I had to get my head around it and I got a bit emotional at the start. I had to get in the zone.

“It wasn’t an easy race. I work on everything and it’s been a long journey.”

After an epic test in which the powerful Kenyan and Ugandan athletes combined with mid-race bursts to test Farah’s resolve more fiercely than ever before, the Briton had to show remarkable composure on the final lap.

Twice as he led straight after the bell, Farah was caught as his pursuers jostled to take pole position. The first one saw his heel clipped and on the second occasion just on the second bend, Tanui seemed to flick his arm, sending Farah off balance.

Yet despite momentarily losing his rhythm, the champion regrouped to take control on the back straight and he scorched off the final bend to forge clear and take his third successive world 10,000m title by a couple of metres.

Still, though, he has only done half the job with the 5,000 metres to come next week and the prospect of completing a fifth straight 5,000/10,000 distance double in global championships.

The 16th edition of the Championships could not have been set up more ideally for Britain to celebrate a home triumph in the first medal event and Farah, as ever, did not disappoint his legion of fans.

After he crossed the line, he swore that the noise in the stadium matched the incredible din of his 2012 tours de force when he won the 10,000m and 5,000m here.

Down the years, his main opponents from Kenya have tried in vain to upset Farah’s equilibrium, sometimes working in teams and varying their pace and tactics but the master racer always has an answer in the sprint denouement.

Once again, the same scenario unfolded with, this time, two Ugandans teaming up with the Kenyan trio of Geoffrey Kamworor, Bedan Karoki and Tanui to pressurize him.

A couple of blistering 61-second laps were thrown in to try to shake him but Farah’s composure never wavered as he continued a sequence of race triumphs that no distance great – not Haile Gebrselassie, Paavo Nurmi or Emil Zatopek – ever achieved.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

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Bolt digs in to advance to 100 meters semis

LONDON- Usain Bolt took his first, somewhat stuttering, steps towards what he hopes will be a glorious World Championship farewell on Friday when he recovered from a poor start to win his heat in the first round of the 100 meters in 10.07 seconds.

The Jamaican is seeking his fourth gold in the event – he has won the 100m at every world championships since 2009 apart from 2011 in Daegu when he was disqualified for a false start.

It wasn’t a false start on Friday, just a bad one, and Bolt said his blocks were to blame.

“That was very bad,” he told reporters. “I stumbled a little bit coming out of my blocks. I’m not really a fan of these blocks. These are the worst blocks I have ever experienced. I have to get the start together as I can’t keep doing this.”

Asked what’s wrong with the blocks, he said: “It’s shaky. When I did my warm-up and pushed back, it fell back. It’s just not what I’m used to. It’s not as sturdy.”

Bolt was given his usual rapturous welcome by the 55,000 crowd at the stadium where he completed the sprint double at the 2012 Olympics.

“The crowd is always wonderful,” he said. “They always show me so much love and I always appreciate being here.”

The fans were less pleased with America’s world and Olympic champion Justin Gatlin, twice banned for doping offences and pipped by Bolt in the world championship final two years ago. He was loudly booed by many crowd when his name was announced and again when he won his heat in

American 21-year-old Christian Coleman, the fastest man in the world this year with 9.92, looked smooth in winning the first heat in 10.01.

On a cool but windless night, Jamaican Julian Forte was the only man to break 10 seconds, clocking 9.99 for his first time under the magic mark.

The big surprise was South Africa’s Akani Simbine, who has been in hot form all season but finished fourth in his heat in 10.15 to scrape through as a fast loser.

The semi-finals and final take place on Saturday evening. Bolt is also due to go in the 4x100m relay a week later – his final championship race before retirement.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

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Big guns cruise through in wide-open women’s 1500

LONDON- All the big names advanced from the first round of the women’s 1,500 meters on Friday, an event that is shaping up to be one of the most intriguing of the World Championships.

Ethiopia’s defending champion Genzebe Dibaba showed the way by winning the first heat in a sharp four minutes 2.67 seconds but jogging in just behind her was Caster Semenya, the South African Olympic 800m champion who is attempting the middle- distance double in London.

Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands, owner of the three fastest times this season, won a slower second heat ahead of 2011 world champion Jenny Simpson of the United States but remains favorite, though Kenya’s Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon showed she will be in the mix with a strong run to take the third heat.

There was plenty for the home fans to cheer too with four Britons progressing – Jessica Judd, Laura Muir, Laura Weightman and, with a personal best to snatch a fastest loser slot, Sarah McDonald.

The semi-finals take place on Saturday with the final on Monday.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)