BERLIN (AFP) – Superstar sprinter Usain Bolt stormed to his second world title of the week here on Thursday and collected another world record with an extraordinary triumph in the 200 metres.
Bolt, who will celebrate his 23rd birthday on Friday, timed 19.19 seconds to eclipse the record of 19.30sec he set in last year’s Olympic final.
The Jamaican’s victory led a night of celebration for the Caribbean with compatriot Melaine Walker adding the women’s 400m hurdles title to her Olympic crown in a championship record time.
There was also an unexpected gold for Barbados, who had never before won a medal at the world championships, as 21-year-old Ryan Brathwaite edged out experienced American duo Terrence Trammell and Olympic silver medalist David Payne in the 110m hurdles.
The other titles of the night saw Croatia’s defending champion Blanka Vlasic retain her high jump title while America’s Trey Hardee won the decathlon.
Bolt, who shattered the 100m world record at the start of the championships, was truly extraordinary.
There was never any doubt about the result as he eased away to win by 10 metres, breaking his own record as well as achieving something even Carl Lewis never managed in holding the Olympic and world 100m and 200m titles at the same time.
He celebrated by demonstrating his trademark lightning bolt pose before insisting he never feels the tension of the big occasion.
"I was just in my room playing video games all day," said the Jamaican. "It keeps me calm and that is the aim."
More worryingly for his rivals is his pledge to keep breaking records.
"I don’t know where I can stop, I just try to run as fast as possible even if I was feeling a little tired."
American bronze medalist Wallace Spearmon admitted he was in awe of Bolt.
"I saw Bolt for three seconds. This guy is really, really fast. He’s amazing, one of the greatest ever runners."
Walker was also impressive, running down America’s Lashinda Demus to win the 400m hurdles in a time of 52.42sec.
"I am so proud to be Jamaican," she said. "Everything went perfectly. I have been looking forward to this race because this is the only time you can do it."
Brathwaite showed maturity beyond his years as he recovered from a poor start to triumph.
"This is just great. It did happen," said Brathwaite, who reached the Olympic semi-finals last year.
"I am very happy. My dream really has come true. Barbados is only a small country but I showed the world who I am.
The saga surrounding South Africa’s women’s 800m world champion Caster Semenya continued with the IAAF embroiled in a furious row with the South African federation over her gender tests.
IAAF spokesman Nick Davies revealed that the South Africans had not been impressed by the way the matter had been handled.
"There have been heated and frank discussions at the highest level," he said.
"They (the federation) believe she has done nothing wrong, that she was eligible to run and we should have left it alone."
Even if the gender tests work against her, there is no guarantee that she will lose the title.
"Legally if you are found to be of a different sex to that declared that is not cheating," said Davies.
"Doping is an attempt to defraud and is cheating. So it is not necessarily the case that she would be stripped of her medal. It is a very delicate matter."