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UPDATED: September 7, 2015 NO. 37 SEPTEMBER 10, 2015
Athletic Extravaganza
Beijing presents an IAAF world championship to remember
By Yu Lintao

China's Xie Zhenye, Su Bingtian, Zhang Peimeng and Mo Youxue (left to right) celebrate after winning silver in the men's 4x100-meter relay on August 29 (XINHUA)

Following the U.S. team's victory in the men's 4x400-meter relay on August 30, the 2015 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships drew to a close at the National Stadium, nicknamed the Bird's Nest, in Beijing.

During the nine-day tournament, athletes from around the world competed in 47 track-and-field events. Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt remained center stage every time he showed up on the racing track, walking away with gold. Assisted by Bolt's three gold medals in the 100-meter, 200-meter and 4x100-meter races, Jamaica won second place in the medal tally.

Kenya, another traditional athletic power, finished for the first time atop the medal standings with seven gold, six silver and three bronze medals, while the United States came third with six gold medals, dropping out of the top two for the first time. Legendary U.S. decathlon athlete Ashton Eaton collected a total of 9,045 points, bettering his own world mark set three years ago by six points and creating the only world record of this year's championships.

Ethiopia became the biggest winner on the final day of the championships as Mare Dibaba won the women's marathon title during the day session. Later that night, Ethiopian female athletes swept the medals in the women's 5,000-meter event, with Almaz Ayana taking the title in a championship record time.

The Chinese team also made remarkable achievements in the first IAAF World Championships ever held in China. Sprinter Su Bingtian and his team members Zhang Peimeng, Xie Zhenye and Mo Youxue clinched a historic silver for China in the men's 4x100-

meter final, making a name for themselves alongside retired hurdler Liu Xiang, another track-and-field star. Su, the first Chinese to reach the men's 100-meter final at the world championships, clocking 9.99 seconds, and his teammates became instant celebrities in China, rewriting the Asian sporting history.

World record holder Liu Hong bagged China's sole gold medal with her victory in the women's 20-km race walk. Teammate Lu Xiuzhi took silver a few steps off Liu's pace.

According to statistics from the IAAF, the championships attracted about 700,000 sports fans to the Bird's Nest to watch the games.

"I'm delighted. China staged a wonderful championship, and it's been sensational," IAAF President Sebastian Coe told reporters at a press conference on the last day of the competition.

"The athletes are always a good judge. They are reporting that they have been looked after extremely well. Everybody is happy. It's a great, great championship," Coe added.

In an interview with China's Xinhua News Agency, Eike Onnen, a high jumper from Germany, said he was deeply impressed with enthusiasm in the stadium.

"Being here in Beijing feels like a comeback for me because I had less-than-good years before. Meeting old athlete friends again is super," Onnen said.


Athletes take part in the women's marathon on August 30 (XINHUA)

Jamaica's Usain Bolt celebrates after winning the men's 100-meter final on August 23 (XINHUA)

Yan'er, the mascot of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships, is seen during the opening ceremony of the event on August 22 (XINHUA)

 Copyedited by Kylee McIntyre

Comments to yulintao@bjreview.com

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