OSAKA (Japan), Aug 27: Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele motored away to a third straight 10,000 metres title while only a freeze-frame could separate Veronica Campbell from her 100-metre rivals on a dramatic night at the World Athletics Championships on Monday.

The Japanese crowd roared Bekele towards the pantheon of greats, but they were silenced and left gaping at the scoreboard at the end of the women’s sprint.

The naked eye could not split Jamaican Campbell and American Lauryn Williams and nor could the clock – both women were timed at 11.01 seconds.

Such was the cluster on the line that Torri Edwards was first flashed up as winner, yet she finished fourth, behind another American Carmelita Jeter.

For several minutes the four sprinters paced around uneasily, blowing through puffed cheeks and glancing anxiously up at the scoreboard.

Only when Campbell was finally named the winner did she allow an enormous smile to spread across her face as she looked to the heavens.

“It was one of my longest moments,” Campbell said. “I wasn’t sure with the names going back and forth (on the scoreboard) but now I am so happy to win.

“I was very confident and positive. My start wasn’t the greatest but I know I finished well.”

The 2005 champion Williams took heart from her silver medal after a season of injuries.

“During the wait I did a lot of praying in those minutes. Where I have come from this season I am not at all upset with the silver.”

Campbell’s victory capped a sensational two days for her imprisoned coach Lance Brauman who also coaches men’s 100m champion Tyson Gay.

Brauman will be released on Tuesday from a federal prison in Texarkana, Texas, where he has spent more than nine months after being found guilty of embezzlement, theft and mail fraud charges.

“He should be very proud. He’s got two gold medallists so far,” Campbell said.

There was no such suspense to Olympic champion Bekele’s demolition of the field in the 10,000m. The Ethiopian blew past countryman Sileshi Sihine coming round the final bend and eased away to win in 27 minutes 5.90 seconds.

Bekele had time to blow kisses to the crowd before turning around to see Sihine come home for silver in 27:09.03. Kenya’s Martin Irungu Mathathi took bronze in 27:12.17.

Bekele moved to within one world championship gold of Ethiopian great Haile Gebrselassie, who won four between 1993 and 1999.

“It is very special... a very special moment,” Bekele said.

“I am very pleased to have had this chance. It is not easy to win for a third time in a world championships.”

In the women’s 3,000 metres steeplechase, Russia’s Yekaterina Volkova snapped up gold with a world championship record time of nine minutes 6.57 seconds.

“This victory is for my three-year-old son Daniel,” Volkova said. “He is already trying to call me now for sure.”

Compatriot Tatyana Petrova claimed silver with Kenyan Eunice Jepkorir taking bronze.

Japan’s Olympic gold medallist hammer thrower Koji Murofushi gave home fans nothing to cheer about, finishing sixth.

The event was won by Belarussian Ivan Tikhon who also completed a hat-trick of world titles with a final throw of 83.63.

The 30-year-old, champion in 2003 and 2005, produced the best throw of the season with his last effort to deny Slovenia’s Primoz Kozmus. Slovakia’s Libor Charfreitag took bronze.

“It was a big fight, very tough and very emotional for me,” said Tsikhan. “Before my last throw I said to myself I could do it. As you saw, everything is possible.”

Results of finals on Monday:

Men’s 10,000 metres: 1. Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia) 27 minutes 05.90 seconds; 2. Sileshi Sihine (Ethiopia) 27:09.03; 3. Martin Mathathi (Kenya) 27:12.17; 4. Zersenay Tadesse (Eritrea) 27:21.37; 5. Josephat Muchiri Ndambiri (Kenya) 27:31.41; 6. Gebre-egziabher Gebremariam (Ethiopia) 27:44.58; 7. Abdi Abdirahman (US) 27:56.62; 8. Kiprono Menjo (Kenya) 28:25.67; 9. Dathan Ritzenhein (US) 28:28.59; 10. Boniface Kiprop (Uganda) 28:30.99; 11. Galen Rupp (US) 28:41.71; 12. Kensuke Takezawa (Japan) 28:51.69; 13. Tadesse Tola (Ethiopia) 28:51.75; 14. Alejandro Suarez (Mexico) 28:52.19; 15. Wilson Busienei (Uganda) 29:24.72; 16. Dickson Marwa Mkami (Tanzania) 29:25.91; 17. Kazuhiro Maeda (Japan) 29:48.17; 18. Michael Aish (New Zealand) 30:34.16.

Men’s triple jump: 1. Nelson Evora (Portugal) 17.74 metres; 2. Jadel Gregorio (Brazil) 17.59; 3. Walter Davis (US) 17.33; 4. Osniel Tosca (Cuba) 17.32; 5. Aarik Wilson (US) 17.31; 6. Phillips Idowu (Britain) 17.09; 7. David Giralt (Cuba) 16.91; 8. Alexander Martinez (Switzerland) 16.85; 9. Kim Duk-Hyun (South Korea) 16.71; 10. Aleksandr Petrenko (Russia) 16.66; 11. Zhong Minwei (China) 16.66; 12. Dimitrios Tsiamis (Greece) 16.59.

Men’s hammer: 1. Ivan Tikhon (Belarus) 83.63 metres; 2. Primoz Kozmus (Slovenia) 82.29; 3. Libor Charfreitag (Slovakia) 81.60; 4. Vadim Devyatovskiy (Belarus) 81.57; 5. Krisztian Pars (Hungary) 80.93; 6. Koji Murofushi (Japan) 80.46; 7. Szymon Ziolkowski (Poland) 80.09; 8. Markus Esser (Germany) 79.66; 9. Olli-Pekka Karjalainen (Finland) 78.35; 10. Miloslav Konopka (Slovakia) 78.09; 11. Esref Apak (Turkey) 76.59; 12. Ali Mohamed Al Zinkawi (Kuwait) 76.04.

Women’s 100 metres: 1. Veronica Campbell (Jamaica) 11.01 seconds; 2. Lauryn Williams (US) 11.01; 3. Carmelita Jeter (US) 11.02; 4. Torri Edwards (US) 11.05; 5. Kim Gevaert (Belgium) 11.05; 6. Christine Arron (France) 11.08; 7. Kerron Stewart (Jamaica) 11.12; 8. Damola Osayomi (Nigeria) 11.26.

Women’s 3000-metre steeplechase: 1. Yekaterina Volkova (Russia) 9:06.57; 2. Tatyana Petrova (Russia) 9:09.19; 3. Eunice Jepkorir (Kenya) 9:20.09; 4. Ruth Bisibori Nyangau (Kenya) 9:25.25; 5. Sophie Duarte (France) 9:27.51; 6. Cristina Casandra (Romania) 9:29.63; 7. Gulnara Samitova (Russia) 9:30.24; 8. Rosa Morato (Spain) 9:36.84; 9. Hanane Ouhaddou (Morocco) 9:37.87; 10. Roisin McGettigan (Ireland) 9:39.80; 11. Veerle Dejaeghere (Belgium) 9:40.10; 12. Fionnuala Britton (Ireland) 9:48.09; 13. Sara Moreira (Portugal) 10:00.40; 14. Mardrea Hyman (Jamaica) 10:16.24.—Reuters

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