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Gay powers to Osaka sprint double

  • Story Highlights
  • Tyson Gay completes a sprint double at the world championships in Osaka
  • He wins the 200 meters in a championship record 19.76 seconds
  • Irving Saladino of Panama wins the long jump with 8.57 meters
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OSAKA, Japan -- Tyson Gay sprinted into the history books on Thursday as he completed the rare world 100-200 meters double in emphatic fashion in Osaka, Japan.

Gay crosses the line ahead of Jamaican Usain Bolt to complete a rare men's sprint double in Osaka.

The American charged to 200m victory in a championship record 19.76 seconds, pulling away from Jamaica's Usain Bolt with team-mate Wallace Spearmon taking bronze.

Bolt was away quickest but Gay took him on the bend before accelerating down the straight to win with room to spare. Bolt timed 19.91 and Spearmon 20.05.

Gay, who won the 100m on Sunday, becomes only the third athlete to hold both sprint titles after Maurice Greene in 1999 and Justin Gatlin two years ago.

It was a remarkable achievement by the season's outstanding athlete, who went into the 200m competition just 36 hours after winning his 100m showdown with Asafa Powell.

Gay has competed on five of the championships' first six days and had complained of fatigue and a left hamstring twinge.

The Kentucky-born 25-year-old finished an agonising fourth behind three US team-mates in 2005.

But he has been sensational this season, blasting to the fastest sprint combination in history after timing 9.84 and 19.62 within two days of each other in June.

The 200m time was the second quickest ever seen, 0.3 shy of Michael Johnson's 1996 record.

Gay was embraced at the finish line by Bolt, who was celebrating his first world championships medal.

Gay said|: "Oh, it feels so great. But I am still tired. Maurice Greene is one of my idols and I am proud to do the double like him.

"Usain Bolt came out so fast and I had to work hard to catch him. I should be thankful to him to make this such a fast race.

"I stayed relaxed -- also about the hamstring -- and kept pumping," he said.

"I felt the twinge in the warm-up, but during the race it was fine. The 200m was just about believing in God that he would give me the strength.

"I have two golds and I want the third in relay. I beat the meet record of Michael Johnson and that is great feeling because he is also one of my idols."

Bolt, the Jamaican record-holder, has a history of injury problems, going out in the Athens Olympics heats and missing the Commonwealth Games with a muscle problem. He suffered cramp in the 2005 final and finished dead last.

"I tried hard, but for the moment he is unbeatable. I'm proud of myself to get the silver for Jamaica. Hey, I'm one of the best in the world, that is not small," said Bolt.

Bronze medallist Spearmon, 22, was runner-up behind Gatlin in 2005 and last year ran 19.65, the fourth fastest 200m ever seen.

Gay and Spearmon's coach, Lance Brauman, was released from prison on Tuesday after serving a year for embezzlement and mail fraud.

Long jumper Irving Saladino claimed Panama's first ever world championships gold with a dramatic final leap.

Saladino, the hot favourite, led all the way until Italy's Andrew Howe appeared to snatch gold with 8.47 metres in the final round. But the Panamanian responded with a mighty 8.57 to remain unbeaten this season.

America's two-time defending champion and Olympic title-holder Dwight Phillips took bronze with his best effort of 8.30.

Phillips, competing under the watchful eye of US great Carl Lewis, had not been beaten in a major championships since the 2001 worlds in Edmonton.

South American record holder Saladino has now won 23 of 25 competitions since finishing sixth at the Helsinki world championships in 2005.

The long jump provided one of the world championships' best known moments when Mike Powell's 8.95 broke Bob Beamon's 23-year-old record in Tokyo in 1991. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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