American Tyson Gay completes sprint double with 200-meter gold

OSAKA, Japan &

First the 100. Now the 200. And, if Tyson Gay's legs hold up, he can join the elite company of Carl Lewis and Maurice Greene with three wins at the world championships.

Gay completed a sprint double today when he caught up with Jamaica's Usain Bolt halfway through the 200 meters and finished in a world championship time of 19.76 seconds.

"I have two golds and I want the third," Gay said.

Bolt was .15 seconds behind Gay, and American teammate Wallace Spearmon earned bronze in 20.05.

"I got beaten by the No. — man in the world," Bolt said. "For the moment, he is unbeatable."

Maurice Greene (1999) and Justin Gatlin (2005) are the only previous male athletes to have won sprint doubles at the championships.

Gay didn't display the breast-beating and shouting that followed his victory against world record holder Asafa Powell in the 100. After eight races in six days, he hunched down in contemplation and stuck one finger in the air.

"Oh, it feels so great but I am still tired," he said. "It was the hardest race of my life."

On Saturday, Gay will compete in the 400 relay. Only Lewis (1983, 1987) and Greene (1999) have won a triple at worlds.

Gay increased the gold count to six for the United States, which leads 13 medals overall. Russia has three gold and 10 total. Kenya is third with three gold and eight overall.

Veronica Campbell can appreciate Gay's achievement of winning the 100-200 double in a single championships. The Jamaican 100 champion is going for a double of her own after reaching the final of the 200.

"The last few days have been a bit rough," she said after being outrun by favorite Allyson Felix in her semifinal. Sanya Richards also advanced by winning her semifinal.

Bernard Lagat came back to the track one day after winning the 1,500 and qualified for Sunday's final of the 5,000.

Earlier today, Jana Rawlinson proved that titles and records mean little &

and that motherhood can strengthen a runner, not slow her.

Facing Russian defending champion and 400-meter hurdles world record holder Yuliya Pechonkina, the Australian took over the race midway through and held on over the final two hurdles to reclaim the title she won in 2003.

Just over eight months after giving birth to Cornelis, the 24-year-old came back as strong as ever.

"The last 18 months have been truly incredible. Getting married, having a baby and then coming and winning a world title. I don't think you can beat that," Rawlinson said.

She won her world title and competed as Jana Pittman until she married her British coach, Chris Rawlinson, last year.

Pechenkina had an undefeated season until the last stretch but held no grudge, the pair hugging at the finish.

"I'm really hoping that Yuliya and I can dominate the sport and bring a bit more love into the women's 400 hurdles because it's a great event," Rawlinson said.

Pechenkina said it would be love up to a point: "The revenge could come at the Olympics."

Rawlinson finished in 53.31 seconds. Pechenkina took silver in 53.50 and Anna Jesien of Poland was third in 53.92.

In the long jump, Irving Saladino of Panama rallied on the last attempt to beat Andrew Howe of Italy with a leap of 28 feet, 11/2 inches. Earlier, Howe had taken the lead with a national record leap of 27-91/2.

Defending champion Dwight Phillips took bronze.

China won its first medal of the championships when Zhang Wenxiu took bronze in the hammer throw behind Germany's Betty Heidler and Cuban Yipsi Moreno.

After Zhang put China on the medal table, Olympic champion Liu Xiang followed it up by easily qualifying for the final in the 110 hurdles. Easing up at the line, Liu let Cuba's Dayron Robles take the semifinal in 13.21 seconds to his 13.25.

American David Payne had the top time of 13.19, with teammate Terrence Trammell posting the third quickest time overall. Defending champion Ladji Doucoure of France was eliminated for Friday's final.

In the 800, defending champion Rachid Ramzi of Bahrain finished second to Mbulaeni Mulaudzi of South Africa in his opening heat. Ramzi was the double middle distance champion from Helsinki two years ago, but lost to Bernard Lagat in the 1,500 final late Wednesday, complaining he ran a bad tactical race.

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