Bolt gets a chance to win 3rd gold at worlds

For the last time, Usain Bolt will repeat that rhetorical question he has answered over and over again at this year's world championships - "Who faster?&qu

updated: August 22, 2009 15:51 IST
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For the last time, Usain Bolt will repeat that rhetorical question he has answered over and over again at this year's world championships - "Who faster?"

As if anyone still questions what has been written on billboards and T-shirts across Berlin for weeks.

But on Saturday, he will need a little help from his Jamaican friends.

The great Jamaican-U.S. battle for sprint domination comes to a close with the 4x100 relay finals, and with the Caribbean island leading 3-1.

American sprinter Allyson Felix is responsible for keeping the fight from turning into another Olympian rout. Late Friday, she won her third straight 200-meter title, beating Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown.

Last year, the Jamaicans won 5-0.

On Saturday, another gold for Felix in the women's 4x100 could still make it as close as possible. But then again, the U.S. men's team again botched a baton exchange and was disqualified for the second time in as many years. It effectively hands victory to the Jamaicans.

Two years ago, Tyson Gay won three golds in the sprints to lead the United States to an overpowering performance in Osaka, Japan, at the last worlds.

Now Bolt is poised to do likewise.

And he sure won't waste the 23rd birthday present he got from his teammates when they qualified him for the final. Bolt sat out the heats, happy to give autographs to fans.

On top of that, Bolt received a second gold medal on the stands and accepted a second check of $100,000 for a world record, bringing his total to $320,000 in one week of work. There still is $180,000 at stake if the relay team sets another world record on the way to a third title.

Then again, that total would have to be cut with his teammates.

In the end, Felix might be going for three golds, too. After winning the 200, she will run the 4x100 on Saturday and might just add the 4x400 on Sunday.

She left Osaka with the same three golds two years ago.

Triples could not be produced by people more different in style than Bolt and Felix, one hyperbole, brash and over the top, the other understated, composed, even withdrawn.

Instead of antics, posing and all talk, Felix hardly raised one slender fist and little more than a smile at the finish when she broke the Jamaican hold on sprinting going back to the Beijing Olympics.

She held off an early charge from Campbell-Brown, and once she entered the straight where her stride is at its most efficient, there was no stopping her.

"I was very confident about my strength," Felix said. "I defended my title. I cannot ask for more."

Overall, the United States jumped over Jamaica in the medals table with six golds and 16 overall. Jamaica is second with five gold and 10 overall.

The victory of Yaroslav Rybakov in the men's high jump and Sergey Kirdyapkin in the 50-kilometer walk gave Russia four golds and 11 overall.

Other finals on Saturday include the men's long jump and pole vault, and the women's hammer, marathon and 5,000.