The Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt eft Moscow an eight-time world champion. Source: Mikhail Sinitsyn / RG
The World Athletics Championships in Moscow have come to a close and the Russian team came away with seven gold medals and first place in the medal count - a result it hadn't seen since the 2001 World Championships in Edmonton. But the Moscow competitions will be remembered not only for the medal count, but for many other highlights and emotions. Intense joy, pain, frustration, tears - just like in life.
Bolt and Lightning
Victory seemed assured in Moscow for the fastest person in the world - Usain Bolt. The Jamaican sprinter didn't disappoint the Russian crowd. The 100-metre winner was not deterred by rivals or the weather. Even with lightning and sheets of rain Bolt didn't give the other competitors a chance. The Jamaican runner won his favourite distance of 200 metres, and afterwards gave Muscovites a Russian-style farewell dance.
Usain Bolt dances after the win. Source: YouTube
The Final Word
Yelena Isinbayeva did not set 28 world records, but she nevertheless left the Moscow audience wild with excitement after her 4.89-meter jump. Her victory in Moscow was a perfect finish for an outstanding career. “I wanted to leave a good mark. And I had a decent result, winning the gold medal. Now, if I'm not able to return, I will know that I left with a clean heart ... This victory is the most special to me in my career.”
Yelena Isinbayeva took the gold medal in Moscow regaining her world champion title. Source: Mikhail Sinitsyn / RG
Tears and an Anthem
The Russian women's team victory in the 4x400 relay has been a very long time coming, therefore, after the finish the athletes did not hide their emotions. The final leg of the Russian four Antonina Krivoshapka didn't hold back her tears before the reporters: “For the past few years, we have come in third, second, and I really wanted finally to win. Until today, I ran in so many relays, stood on the pedestal, and heard someone else's anthem. And today I heard ours, on the home field, when there was such wild support from the crowd. And I started to cry.”
The Russian women's team won the gold medal in the 4x400 meter relay. Source: AP
London's Olympic champion Elena Lashmanova was almost deprived of Moscow gold in the 20 km racewalk because of an unfortunate misunderstanding. After she entered the stadium, she ran 100 meters and stopped, but there was still a full lap to go before the finish. Fortunately, someone told the athlete that the race had not yet ended, and the drama did not become a tragedy.
Dances and naked torsos
|Yelena Lashmanova. Source: Mikhail Sinitsyn / RG|
Many athletes in Moscow didn't hide their feelings. German Robert Harting, winner in the discus throw, tore off his shirt immediately after his victory, as he has been known to do before. After winning the steeplechase, Ezekiel Kemboi tied the Kenyan flag on himself and did a national dance.
Old and New
The Moscow World Championships became a nightmare for many recognized favourites. A whole group of London Olympic champions could not pull off the same results. Disappointing failures, however, were offset by some pleasant surprises. One of the pleasant surprises was the success of long jumper Aleksandr Menkov. The 22-year-old from Krasnoyarsk not only became the world champion with a jump of 8.56 metres, but broke the Russian record twice, and is now ready to think about breaking the world record: “The last attempt today was very long, but I was too emotional, had so much adrenaline in my body that I just overran. But I am sure that one day I will be have the perfect jump, and it will be close to the world record!”
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