- Associated Press - Saturday, March 19, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - There was no doubt Trayvon Bromell was the winner. The American even ran backward down the track in his exuberance.

Still, he had to wait and wait some more for it to become official.

Bromell captured the 60-meter title at the world indoor track and field championships Friday night in a race that was so close that it took several minutes to determine the rest of the medalists.

Bromell finished in 6.47 seconds and had the flag draped around him as he paused to see who would join him in celebration. When everything was sorted out, Asafa Powell of Jamaica was moved up to second and Ramon Gittens of Barbados third. A nearly 40-year-old Kim Collins was originally announced as the runner-up before slipping to eighth in a field that was missing big names such as Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin.

Those two were absent by choice. The Russians weren’t here because of pending doping and corruption charges. The absence of one of track’s top nations could be a glimpse of what the Rio Olympics might be like, should the country not be reinstated.

Brianne Theisen-Eaton of Canada had the race of the night, making up major ground in the 800 meters to win pentathlon gold. Theisen-Eaton and her husband Ashton Eaton are hometown favorites given their ties to the University of Oregon, where they met. Eaton leads the heptathlon after the first day, but is slightly off his world-record pace.

“Being able to celebrate this with him is really awesome and the cherry on top,” said Theisen-Eaton, who beat Anastasiya Mokhnyuk of Ukraine by 34 points.

In the final of the 60-meter hurdles, Nia Ali of the U.S. defended her title by holding off teammate Brianna Rollins. A boost of confidence heading into the outdoor season.

“I’ve been looking for a fast race,” Ali said. “It couldn’t have come at a better time than today.”

Brittney Reese of the U.S. also stepped up and used a powerful final leap to capture the long jump crown. She won this event in 2010 and ‘12 as well.

“Today just proved that I’m still here, and it’s a great feeling,” Reese said.

Tomas Walsh of New Zealand won the shot put, ending an American domination in the event at world indoors that began in 2004. Even more, his coach won’t have to make good on a bet.

The stakes were this: If Walsh threw the shot over 21.80 meters (71 feet, 6 ¼ inches), his coach would have to grow a handlebar mustache. Walsh’s top throw was 21.78 (71-5 ½).

“Me and him like to have these bets,” Walsh said. “It’s a great start to hopefully a good year for me.”

Same goes for Bromell, a rising talent in a deep U.S. sprinting pool. He captured a share of the bronze medal at the world outdoor championships last season in Beijing. He still can’t quite believe he held off Powell, though.

“It’s mind-blowing because when I was younger I used to always look at Asafa’s start and thought I had to mimic this. I have a start like him and have the power like Gatlin and Tyson (Gay) and have the mindset like Bolt,” said Bromell, who had a stellar career at Baylor University before turning pro. “It’s crazy.”

Powell never doubted he earned silver, but had to wait for it all to be sorted out.

“(Trayvon) ran a great race today and got away a bit too far and I just couldn’t catch him in the end,” Powell said.

It was a little bit of a heartbreaker for Collins, who tumbled from a silver medal all the way to last place after the review. He still became the oldest male to make the final at world indoors, taking over the honor from American Bernard Lagat, who was a few months over 39 when he made the final of the 3,000 in 2014, according to the IAAF.

“Age is age,” said Collins, who will turn 40 next month.

He has no plans to retire anytime soon, either.

“I have to find that next person to pass the flag on to,” Collins said. “You don’t want to leave a blank space in history. You want to make sure someone takes over where I left off.”

Never in the history of world indoors has a Jamaican man won the 60 meters. Powell was trying to end that streak.

He’s encouraged that he has more time to try to accomplish that feat. After all, he’s only 33 and still has years left, based on what Collins is accomplishing.

“People think once you get to the age of 30, you’re old,” Powell said. “He’s 40 and running his personal best. He’s proving to the world that 40 is not old.”

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide