Phillips Wins Long Jump, Honors Owens At World Championships

By  | 

BERLIN (AP) -- Dwight Phillips won the long jump at the world championships Saturday, 73 years after Jesse Owens did the same at the Berlin Games in the Olympic Stadium.

During a final laden with symbolism, Phillips jumped 28 feet, 1/4 inch on his second attempt to win. His main rival, Olympic champion Irving Saladino of Panama, was eliminated after scratching on his first three tries.

Phillips was to get the gold medal from Owens' granddaughter, Marlene Hemphill Dortch, later Saturday.

The American beat Godfrey Khotso Mokoena of South Africa, who jumped 27-9 1/2 for silver.

Owens won four gold medals in 1936 and as a black athlete became a symbol of racial equality in sports during the days when Adolf Hitler promoted white Aryan supremacy.

Despite the long jump victory Saturday, it still was a bittersweet day for the American team. The United States failed to make the women's 4x100 relay final, with Muna Lee falling to the ground injured after a handover in the heats.

The accident compounded the U.S. relay problems one day after the men's team was disqualified from its heat for handing over the baton outside the designated zone.

Instead, Jamaica ran to victory in 42.06 seconds, beating the Bahamas for silver and Germany for bronze.

It was Jamaica's fourth sprint victory at the world championships. Usain Bolt was to go for his third gold and world record later Saturday.

With Jamaica already leading 4-1 in the sprints, it also extended the country's overwhelming sprint domination over the Americans, dating to last year's Beijing Games.

The American women were running a smooth race but Lee was struggling to get a clean handoff from Alexandria Anderson, the second of four runners.

Once she did, she was suddenly overcome by pain, and everything came apart.

"Just when she pushed off going around that turn something happened," Anderson said.

Lee hobbled and fell to the ground, clutching her left leg. She was taken off the track on a stretcher, with ice on her leg.

The incident thwarted the goal of 200-meter champion Allyson Felix, who was trying to equal her accomplishment from two years ago when she won three golds at the worlds in Osaka, Japan.

Earlier Saturday, Abel Kirui and Emmanuel Mutai made sure Kenya is keeping an edge over Ethiopia, finishing 1-2 in the men's marathon.

The intense African rivalry for medal supremacy swung Kenya's way for good under the Brandenburg Gate when the two Kenyans ran Tsegay Kebede of Ethiopia into submission in the fastest marathon in world championship history.

Kenya rubbed it in at the Olympic Stadium late Saturday when Vivian Cheruiyot led Kenya to a 1-2 finish in the women's 5,000 and reduced Ethiopian favorite Meseret Defar to bronze.

The double 1-2 finish gave Kenya four golds and 10 overall, and left Ethiopia with one gold and six overall.

In the women's hammer throw, Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland set a world record of 255 feet, 9 inches on her second attempt. The competition was still ongoing.

Most eyes, though, were centered on Bolt, wondering whether he would set a third world record at the championships in the relay final.