Tears as hurdler Sanchez turns back the clock
By Mark Trevelyan
LONDON (Reuters) - Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic recaptured the Olympic 400 meters hurdles title on Monday at the age of 34, eight years after he first won it, but other great champions lost their crowns in an emotional night at the London Games.
Sanchez was convulsed with sobs and tears streamed down his face as he stood on the victor's podium after holding off Michael Tinsley of the United States.
"No one expected this. A lot of people said I should retire but I stuck with it. They'll all be celebrating now," said Sanchez, who was shattered when his grandmother Lillian died during the Beijing Olympics. After his victory, he took out a picture of her from his name label and kissed it.
America's Angelo Taylor, 33, was thwarted in his attempt to become the first man to win three titles in the event after gold in 2000 and 2008. He could only manage fifth.
On a tough night for defending Olympic champions, Valerie Adams of New Zealand was pushed into second place in the women's shot put by Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus, the 2005 world champion.
And Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia, bidding for a third successive gold medal in the pole vault, could only manage bronze behind Jennifer Suhr of the United States and Yarisley Silva of Cuba.
Russian world champion Yuliya Zaripova won the women's 3,000 meters steeplechase, leading from the start on a chilly and rainy evening and storming across the line well clear of Tunisia's Habiba Ghribi and Ethiopia's Sofia Assefa.
Two 19-year-olds took gold and silver in the men's 400 meters, with Kirani James of Grenada powering through ahead of Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic. Continued...