Felix gatecrashes Jamaica celebrations with gold that recalls memories of Flo-Jo

American sprinter takes women's 200m gold to thwart Fraser-Pryce double

The Olympic Stadium

The Jamaican party was put on hold at London 2012 last night. Two days on from the 50th anniversary Independence Day celebrations, Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake advanced to the men's 200m final without breaking too much sweat at the semi-final stage. The fireworks between the Racers Track Club training partners will have to wait until the final tonight.

When it came to the women's 200m final last night, though, the David of a Caribbean island (population 2.8 million) was unable to keep down the Goliath of the United States (population 311.5m).

In Beijing four years ago, Jamaica enjoyed a clean sweep of the individual sprints, Bolt winning the men's 100m and 200m, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce taking gold in the women's 100m and Veronica Campbell-Brown doing likewise in the 200m.

At the weekend both Bolt and Fraser-Pryce successfully defended their crowns at the shorter distance but the latter's bid to match her stellar male compatriot as a London sprint double winner was blown apart by the spindly-legged American Allyson Felix in the final of the longer event.

Fraser-Pryce stood to become the first female speed merchant to complete an Olympic 100m-200m double since Florence Griffith-Joyner in Seoul in 1988. Instead, it was the latest prodigy of Bob Kersee, Flo-Jo's old coach, who stole the show and the gold medal.

The 26-year-old Felix – three times a world champion at 200m but twice a silver medallist in Olympic finals – scorched round the bend and held a clear lead coming into the home straight that she was never in any danger of relinquishing. She could not get close to the freakish world record that Griffith-Joyner set in Seoul, 21.34sec, but then nobody else has managed to do so in 24 years.

Still, Felix won impressively enough, clocking 21.88sec. It was the first victory in the event by an American since 1992, when Gwen Torrence got the better of the Jamaican duo Juliet Cuthbert and Merlene Ottey at Montjuic Stadium in Barcelona.

Fraser-Pryce took silver in 22.09sec, a lifetime best, with Carmelita Jeter – Felix's US team-mate – third in 22.14sec.

Campbell-Brown, who won the title for Jamaica in Athens in 2004 and in Beijing in 2008, was fourth in 22.38sec. Sanya Richards-Ross, winner of the 400m final on Sunday, finished fifth in 22.39sec.

Predictably, Bolt and Blake gave little away in the men's 200m semis. Neither of the training partners, and friends, was pushed into showing his hand.

Blake was drawn in the first semi-final and won with ease, slowing down some 10m from the line, which he crossed in 20.01sec. He was almost caught by the fast-finishing American Wallace Spearmon, who claimed the second automatic qualifying spot in 20.02sec, and Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre, who was sluggish round the turn and had to rely on a fastest loser spot, clocking 20.03sec. "It was a walk in the park," Blake said.

Bolt took his foot off the gas from farther out in the second semi, switching to cruise control for the final 50m and cantering across the line a clear winner in 20.18sec. "It's about going through as easy as possible," he said. "I am ready. This is my favourite event.

"I am here to cement my legendary status. I am focused and I am ready. The track is fast. It's going to be a good race, lots of good competitors. Spearmon has been here before. There are lots of people who could spoil the party."

There might have been Jamaican winners of all three semi-finals but Warren Weir was unable to catch the flying Dutchman Churandy Martina in the third race. Martina won in 20.17sec, with Weir second in 20.28sec.

There was a valiant run by the lone British representative in these heats. A finalist in 2000 and 2008, Christian Malcolm finished in the wake of Weir in third place but the 33-year-old's time, 20.51sec, was not quite quick enough for the Welshman to join Lemaitre as one of the two fastest losers.

"It was great running out there in front of a crowd like that," Malcolm said, "but it would have been more enjoyable if I'd made the final. To be honest, I'm gutted that I didn't make the final. There are no excuses."


Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Life and Style
The veteran poverty campaigner Sir Bob Geldof issues a stark challenge to emerging economies at the Melbourne HIV/Aids conference
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and John Malkovich talk Penguins of Madagascar at Comic-Con
comic-con 2014Cumberbatch fans banned from asking about Sherlock at Comic-Con
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
filmGuardians Of The Galaxy should have taken itself a bit more seriously, writes Geoffrey Macnab
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform