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Dominican Republic Grenada Get Gold Medal

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Posted by on Tuesday, August 7, 2012, 8:52
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Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic recaptured the Olympic 400 metres hurdles title at the age of 34, eight years after he first won it, on a second successive golden night for Caribbean runners at the London Games.

Sanchez was convulsed with sobs and tears streamed down his face as he stood on the victor’s podium after holding off Michael Tinsley of the United States.

“No one expected this. A lot of people said I should retire but I stuck with it. They’ll all be celebrating now,” said Sanchez. After finishing, he took out and kissed a picture of his grandmother Lillian, who died during the Beijing Olympics.

On a tough night for defending Olympic champions, 33-year-old American Angelo Taylor came fifth, failing in his attempt to become the first man to win three titles in the event after gold in 2000 and 2008.

Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia, bidding for a third successive gold medal in the women’s pole vault, could only manage bronze behind Jennifer Suhr of the United States who went one better than her silver medal in Beijing, and Yarisley Silva of Cuba.

Isinbayeva never looked comfortable on a chilly, rainy evening. After missing at 4.55 metres, she cleared the next two notches at 4.65 and 4.70 but could not improve on that mark, ending 5 cm short of her rivals.

Valerie Adams of New Zealand, also a victor in 2008, was pushed into second place in the women’s shot put by Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus, the 2005 world champion.

Russian world champion Yuliya Zaripova won the women’s 3,000 metres steeplechase, leading from the start and storming across the line well clear of Tunisia’s Habiba Ghribi and Ethiopia’s Sofia Assefa.

“It was easy to win this gold, I was very confident about winning. I’m very good at steeplechase,” she told reporters, grinning from ear to ear.

“Towards the end I saw the scoreboard, I could hear the roar in the stadium but I kept my concentration to the very end.”

Meanwhile, Grenadian teenager Kirani James continued his remarkable rise on Monday when he stormed home powerfully to win 400 metres gold and his country’s first ever Olympic medal.

James, 19, coasted to victory in a time of 43.94 seconds – the fastest in the world this year – half a second ahead of the Dominican Republic’s Luguelin Santos and Lalonde Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago who took silver and bronze.

The gold was the latest in a glut of titles for the youngster nicknamed “The Jaguar”.

He followed up the 2009 world youth title with the world junior title in 2010 and last year in Daegu became world champion in only his fourth professional appearance.

“It means a lot. I am so excited,” James said.

“It is probably crazy at home right now, there is probably a huge party in the streets. I don’t think there is any words that can describe the celebration right now.”

James finished sixth in this year’s world indoor championships and had raced sparingly this season, maintaining that his focus was always on the London Games.

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