World Championships: Felix signs off with 19th world medal, Kerley clocks 9.79s in 100m heats

Track legend Allyson Felix signed off her glittering career with a bronze in the 4x400m mixed relay in Eugene. Meanwhile, Fred Kerley blasted to a 9.79 seconds victory in the 100m heat.

Fred Kerley (left) and Allyson Felix at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

Fred Kerley (left) and Allyson Felix at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon. | Photo Credit: AFP

Track legend Allyson Felix signed off her glittering career with a bronze in the 4x400m mixed relay in Eugene. Meanwhile, Fred Kerley blasted to a 9.79 seconds victory in the 100m heat.

Track legend Allyson Felix signed off her glittering career with a 19th world medal as she helped the US team to bronze in the 4x400m mixed relay in Eugene on Friday.

The Dominican Republic took gold in 3min 9.82 seconds and the Femke Bol-powered Dutch quartet silver.

It was not quite the dream swansong for the 36-year-old Felix, who received the baton from Elija Godwin on the second leg at Hayward Field but let the lead slip.

Although Vernon Norwood made up the deficit, Dominican anchor Fiordaliza Cofil reeled in Felix’s teammate Kennedy Simon, who went out fast and paid the price as she flagged coming down the home stretch.

Either way, the bronze brought the curtain down on a stellar career that saw Felix make her world championship debut back in Paris in 2003 at the age of 17.

Her overall world tally now stands at 19 medals (13 gold, three silver, three bronze), including four individual golds.

Kerley on fire but Jacobs struggles in 100m heats

American Fred Kerley blasted out a warning that he, and the springy Hayward Field track, are in hot form as he blasted to a 9.79 seconds victory in the World Championships 100m heats on Friday, but Olympic champion Lamont Jacobs looked rusty.

Olympic silver medallist Kerley had posted the year’s leading time and a personal best of 9.76 on the same track when winning the U.S. trials last month and he looks well-equipped to surpass that in the semifinals or final on Saturday.

Kerley’s time was the fastest heat ever recorded in the 39-year history of the World Championships. He is one of only three men, along with South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk and U.S. runner Michael Norman, to have broken 10 seconds in the 100m, 20 seconds in the 200m and 44 seconds in the 400m.

Italian Jacobs, the shock winner in Tokyo, has struggled with a thigh injury this year and though he equalled his season’s best of 10.04 he trailed impressive Jamaican heat winner Oblique Seville (9.93).

Jacobs, who did not look comfortable crossing the line, was also shown a rare yellow card for being late to the call room.

Tamberi through to high jump final after mighty scare

Italy’s joint Olympic champion Gianmarco Tamberi advanced to the high jump final at the World Athletics Championships on Friday but only after twice flirting with disaster in the qualifying round.

Tamberi, who famously asked an official if he could share gold in Tokyo with Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim, failed twice at the relatively modest height of 2.25 metres and left the bar wobbling as he scraped over with his third and final attempt.

Peru’s Garcia Leon wins first gold in 20km race walk

Peruvian Kimberly Garcia Leon won the first gold medal of the World Championships on Friday in the 20 kilometres race walk in a time of 1:26:58, with Poland’s Katarzyna Zdzieblo claiming silver and China’s Qieyang Shijie taking bronze.

Qieyang and Garcia Leon shared a 20-second lead over the rest of the pack at the halfway mark and battled shoulder-to-shoulder through the next five kilometres under sunny, hot conditions.

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