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(Daegu Athletics) U.S. leads world athletics gold medals for fifth straight time
By Yoo Jee-ho
DAEGU, Sept. 4 (Yonhap) -- Powered by veterans and surprise winners, the U.S. led all countries with 12 gold and 25 medals overall at the World Championships in Athletics, which concluded here Sunday.

   It was the 10th time in 13 world championships that the U.S. topped the standings in gold. There were familiar faces, such as the women's 100-meter and 4x100-meter champion Carmelita Jeter and the men's long jump winner Dwight Phillips. These were Jeter's second and third world championships gold and Phillips' fourth.

   The U.S. had previously led in gold medals in 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009. It tied for the gold medal lead in 1987 and 2001.

   The U.S. was also aided by unlikely heroes. Jesse Williams was nearly flawless in winning the men's high jump for his first world title. Jennifer Barringer Simpson came out from the middle of the pack over the final stretch to win the women's 1,500 meters, a victory that surprised even herself. Lashinda Demus took the women's 400 meters over Melanie Walker, avenging her loss to the Jamaican from the last championships in Berlin.

   Jason Richardson crossed the line second in the men's 110-meter hurdles, but was declared the winner after Dayron Robles of Cuba was disqualified for obstructing Liu Xiang of China. Trey Hardee and Ashton Eaton shared gold and silver in men's decathlon.

   Russia won nine gold medals to finish second. It swept all three race walk titles and also won javelin throw, hammer throw, heptathlon and the steeplechase events.

   The U.S. and Russia have never ranked out of the top five in medals at world championships.

   Kenya reaffirmed its dominance in long distance, sweeping the men's and women's marathons, and sweeping the podium in women's 10,000 meters. Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot was a double gold medalist for Kenya, winning both 5,000 and 10,000 meters for women.

   Two years after winning seven gold medals, Jamaica earned four gold medals here. But it still gave the U.S. a run for its money in sprint events. Jamaica swept the men's and women's 200 meters while splitting the men's and women's 100 meters with the U.S.

   The U.S. held the edge in relays, taking three of the four titles available there, with Jamaica taking the other.

   jeeho@yna.co.kr
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