MOSCOW (AP) — Yes, Usain Bolt dazzled again.
He usually does on the biggest of stages, taking all suspense out of races early and leaving everyone else to compete for medals other than gold.
Unlike Bolt’s races, however, these world championships packed plenty of drama. Some of it wasn’t so much for race finishes as the finish on the fingernails of two Swedish athletes. To show support for Russian gays and lesbians in the face of an anti-gay law, they went with rainbow nail polish during competition.
That prompted a complaint from Russian pole vault great Yelena Isinbayeva, who said she supported Russia’s law and that Russians have “normal” heterosexual relations.
Isinbayeva later backed off her remarks, saying she may have been misunderstood because she was speaking in English instead of her native language.
On the track, Bolt was the show once more. When is that not the case? He picked up three more titles and is now the most decorated male athlete in world championship history with eight golds and two silvers, moving past Carl Lewis (eight golds, one silver, one bronze).
Fellow Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce also earned three gold medals as the proud sprinting country swept the men’s and women’s 100, 200 and 4x100 relays.
Here are five things we learned after nine days of competition at the world championships:
1. BOLT SAVES THE DAY: With all of the doping scandals of late, track needed someone to rescue the sport.
Enter Bolt, even wearing his country’s flag as a cape, just like Superman.
Not only did he breeze to wins, he did so in memorable fashion. He won the 100 in a downpour, complete with lightning before and after the race.
For a moment, he helped blow away the dark clouds — Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell, Sherone Simpson and Veronica Campbell-Brown all tested positive for a banned substance and didn’t attend the worlds.
“I’m just doing my part by running fast, winning titles and letting the world know you can do it clean,” Bolt said.
2. MR. & MRS. EATON: The Eatons skipped a honeymoon to win medals.
First, Olympic champion Ashton Eaton took the decathlon crown. Not to be outdone, his wife, Brianne Theisen Eaton of Canada, captured silver in the heptathlon.
The couple went to the University of Oregon and married July 13. Now, it may be time to relax.
“Go lay on the beach,” Theisen Eaton said. “But if we did that, I’d just shut my eyes and in 10 minutes he would go, ‘How much longer are we going to lay here? Let’s go play volleyball or something.’ He can’t sit around too long.”
3. RAINBOW BRIGHT: Isinbayeva has set 28 world records and won three world titles, including one in front of a boisterous home crowd last week. Only now she may be remembered more for what she voiced in a news conference that what she’s vaulted. The two-time Olympic champion who will serve as “mayor” of one of the Sochi Games villages spoke out in favor of her country’s anti-gay stance.
“If we allow to promote and do all this stuff on the street, we are very afraid about our nation because we consider ourselves like normal, standard people,” Isinbayeva said in English. “We just live with boys with woman, woman with boys.
“We never had any problems, these problems in Russia, and we don’t want to have any in the future.”
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.
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