Tori Bowie

Tori Bowie wins 100m title at worlds (video)

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LONDON (AP) — With Usain Bolt and Elaine Thompson in the 100 meters, it was supposed to be double sprint gold for Jamaica by now. Instead, it’s the United States that leads 2-0 at the world championships.

With a desperate final lunge on Sunday, Tori Bowie dipped at the line to edge Marie-Josee Ta Lou by .01 seconds and win in 10.85.

Once across and off balance, the American sprinter fell onto the track and didn’t have a clue who had won.

“The dive doesn’t feel too good now,” said Bowie, who added gold to her Olympic silver from last year. “I never give up until I am over the line.”

Dafne Schippers, the 2015 world champion in the 200, took bronze in 10.96.

Thompson, the Olympic champion from last year, came into the race as a big favorite. Sporting a flower bow in her headband and purple lipstick to stand out, she was never a factor and finished fifth in 10.98.

“I didn’t execute my race, which is a shame, but I’m healthy,” Thompson said. “I don’t know what went wrong.”

On Saturday, Justin Gatlin won the men’s 100, beating Bolt.

MORE: Gatlin tops Bolt for 100m gold

The stunning reversal of Jamaica’s sprint fortunes was highlighted by the fact that it didn’t have a medalist in the women’s 100 for the first time in 14 years.

In an event almost as close as the 100 final, Ekaterini Stefanidi again held off Sandi Morris to win gold in the pole vault.

Morris and Stefanidi were involved in an epic battle when the Greek won on a countback at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. It was almost as good at the world championships.

This time, neither had a failure through 4.75 meters — they were tied at the top with all opposition already out. Then, Stefanidi scaled 4.82 while Morris failed.

When gold was already assured, Stefanidi cleared 4.91 for a Greek record.

There was nothing close about the heptathlon, though, as Nafi Thiam added a world championship gold medal to her Olympic title.

The 22-year-old Belgian already had a huge lead coming into the concluding 800-meter race in the two-day competition. Thiam finished last in the final heat but still had more than enough points to win.

Thiam finished with 6,784 points, 88 more than silver medalist Carolin Schaefer of Germany. Anouk Vetter of the Netherlands took bronze with 6,636 points.

Thiam won three of the seven events — the high jump, shot put and long jump.

In the men’s shot put, Tomas Walsh of New Zealand already had won gold when he threw 22.03 meters on his last attempt, 37 centimeters more than defending champion Joe Kovacs.

The American also had a huge throw on his last attempt but was given a red flag for a foot fault. Stipe Zunic of Croatia took bronze with a toss of 21.46.

Ryan Crouser of the United States, the Olympic champion and the season’s top performer, never got it going and finished sixth with a throw of 21.14.

More from Sunday’s events: Men’s marathon | Women’s marathon

Tori Bowie takes wait-and-see approach to worlds double

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Tori Bowie is entered in both the 100m and 200m at the world track and field championships, but that doesn’t mean the triple Rio medalist will race both sprints.

“My team and I decided that I should just take each race one race at a time,” Bowie said Thursday, two days before she races in the 100m first round Saturday in London. “Depending on how I’m feeling after the 100m, try to go for the 200m as well.”

Bowie earned 100m silver, 200m bronze and 4x100m gold at her first Olympics in Rio, two years after switching from the long jump to full-time sprinting.

She has been focused on the 100m all season but also reached a goal in running a 200m personal best on May 27.

The 26-year-old won the 100m and finished third in the 200m at the USATF Outdoor Championships in steamy Sacramento in June. Afterward, an exhausted Bowie said she didn’t want to race both sprints at worlds.

“If I could choose, my preference would be the 100m,” Bowie said Thursday. “I actually think the 200m is my best race. It’s not my favorite race, but it’s my best race. You know, after I get through this 100m final, who knows. I think I’ll be motivated to try to go get a gold in the 200m as well.”

Bowie is ranked seventh in the world this year in the 100m, an event dominated by Jamaican Elaine Thompson, the Olympic champion who has won every 100m that she has finished since May 2015.

Bowie ranks No. 1 in the world in 2017 in the 200m with a time that would have won gold in Rio. Plus, Thompson isn’t racing the 200m at worlds, further boosting Bowie’s hopes. Should she decide to race the 200m.

Regardless of her event schedule, Bowie is going into her second worlds with a fresh mindset.

“A lot of times, I’ve come to the championships, and I was already focused on my competitors before I got a chance to run,” she said. “So I lost before I even got a chance. So, coming into this meet, I’m trying something different. I’m going to get on the line and zone out.”

The soft-spoken Mississippian said she feels no pressure. She’s not defending any titles. She feels extremely blessed with 2016, when her goal was simply to make the Olympic team and she came home with three medals.

“I don’t feel like I have a point to prove to everyone,” Bowie said.

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WORLDS: TV Schedule | 5 Men’s Races to Watch | 5 Women’s Races

Five women’s races to watch at world track and field championships

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Not that Allyson Felix needs any more superlatives, but she is likely to finish these world championships with the most medals of any athlete in history.

Felix has 13 career world medals, tied with Usain Bolt and one shy of retired Jamaican Merlene Ottey‘s record. Bolt will race in two events at his last worlds. Felix will race at least two and possibly three, if she is placed on the 4x100m relay as has traditionally been the case.

Felix’s focus is on her opener, the 400m, where she has the most anticipated head-to-head showdown out of the women’s events at the London meet that runs from Friday through Aug. 13.

In Rio, Felix was edged at the finish line by a diving Shaunae Miller-Uibo. The move caused many to cry foul at the Bahamian, though it was perfectly legal and Felix did not criticize it.

Felix and Miller-Uibo are once again the class of the 400m this year.

Familiar faces dot the other key women’s events. None more scrutinized than South African Caster Semenya, who is eight years removed from her 2009 Worlds breakout and subsequent gender-testing controversy.

Semenya hasn’t lost an 800m race in nearly two years, but she has been pushed this season and is tacking on the 1500m at worlds for the first time.

WORLDS: TV Schedule | 5 Men’s Races to Watch | 5 Women’s Races

Five women’s races to watch in London:

100 Meters
Sunday, 4:50 p.m. ET on NBC

Elaine Thompson has not lost a 100m race that she has finished since May 2015, according to Tilastopaja.org. It is the longest stretch of 100m dominance since Marion Jones‘ four-year winning streak from 1997 to 2001 (the last year invalidated and the entire streak dubious due to doping). Aside from Jones, you have to go back at least 30 years.

This season, Thompson is the only woman to break 10.80 seconds. She’s done it twice. Olympic silver medalist Tori Bowie beat Thompson in the Pre Classic 200m, but her best wind-legal 100m time this year is 10.90. Rio bronze medalist Dafne Schippers has four times broken 11 seconds in 2017, but none faster than 10.95.

1500 Meters
Monday, 4:50 p.m. ET on NBCSN

No clear favorite here. Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon is the Olympic champion. Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba is the world champion and world-record holder. Ethiopian-born Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan has the three fastest times in the world this year.

Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya is also entered in this event, but she hasn’t raced an international 1500m in six years. There’s also Jenny Simpson, the 2011 World champion and Rio bronze medalist. Plus British hope Laura Muir, who has the fastest time in the world since Dibaba’s record run two years ago.

400 Meters
Aug. 9, 4:50 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Allyson Felix and Shaunae Miller-Uibo haven’t gone head-to-head over 400m since Miller-Uibo’s famous dive across the finish line to win by .07 in Rio. This year, each is undefeated at 400m, though Felix has raced just twice and Miller-Uibo three times.

Still, Felix has the fastest time in the world in 2017. Miller-Uibo’s times rank Nos. 3, 4 and 5 behind Felix and U.S. champion Quanera Hayes. Felix is looking to join Cathy Freeman as the only women to win multiple world 400m titles.

100 Meter Hurdles
Aug. 12, 3:05 p.m. ET on NBC

Keni Harrison‘s only defeat since the start of 2016 was at the Olympic Trials (where she shockingly failed to make the Rio team). In that span, the middle child in a family of 11 kids has run the 11 fastest times in the world in this event out of those in the world championships field. That includes breaking a 28-year-old world record last year. She’s an even bigger favorite with Olympic champion Brianna Rollins suspended for missing three drug tests.

The pick for silver may be Australian Sally Pearson, who came back from a broken wrist in 2015 and torn hamstring in 2016 to post her fastest time since winning the 2012 Olympic title. Pearson and defending world champion Danielle Williams of Jamaica will try to keep the U.S. from sweeping the medals as it did in Rio.

800 Meters
Aug. 13, 3:10 p.m. ET on NBC

This event got a lot more interesting on July 21, when Ajee’ Wilson shattered the American record to become the first woman to disrupt Rio medalists Caster SemenyaFrancine Niyonsaba and Margaret Wambui in nearly two years. Wilson got third in that race, .34 behind Semenya and .14 behind Niyonsaba as Wambui faded to ninth.

Now, Wilson looks to continue her ascent since turning pro out of high school in 2012. In 2013, she placed sixth at worlds. In 2014, she won the U.S. title and two Diamond League races. In 2016, she finished second at the world indoor championships (behind Niyonsaba and ahead of Wambui). Rio did not go as hoped as she was eliminated in the semifinals.

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