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With A Big Throw
Jamaica Wins Men's 4 x 100 - New Championship Meet Record, 37.31

August 22, 2009 - 12:12 p.m. PST

Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell at press conference after 4 x 100

BERLIN - You all probably saw this on TV (it was on live). Jamaica just won the men's 4 x 100 in a new championship meet record of 37.31, a time that was .21 seconds above the Jamaicans' world record set last summer at Beijing . While all the Jamaicans ran well, it appeared their exchanges were not crisp enough in a couple of instances. Trinidad and Tobago ran a magnificent race, in my opinion, to stay nearly even with Jamaica until the last leg. They got second in 37.62.

Steven Hooker

One of the most amazing performances I have seen here was by Australian vaulter Steven Hooker. He has been injured and his participation was somewhat in doubt. He thought he had a good chance to win and decided to compete using a planned strategy—limiting the number of vaults he would take. So, he passed at every height until the bar got to 19-2 1/4. Everyone else started a foot or more under that height.

On his first vault, Hooker cleared with his body but knocked off the bar with his hand. In order to have a shot at winning, he passed his remaining jumps at that height and took his next vault at 19-4 1/4. Showing tremendous body control, he made it over and managed to keep his hand off the bar. The one clearance in two tries was enough to give him the gold - no one else came close to making it.

Dwight Phillips

It should be noted that Dwight Phillips won the men's long jump tonight. I talked to Dwight after he won the US championships in Eugene and he made the point that he had no sponsorship at all this year. That is unbelievable because he has been the best long jumper in the U.S. for several years. Meanwhile, there are dozens of track athletes with no significant wins who do have sponsorship deals.

Phillips was upset that no one believed in him and he was on a mission to prove them wrong. I'm glad he did. He is a humble man who works hard and is a great competitor. A real down-home guy from the Deep South. He should have no trouble getting a sponsor now.


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