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The Third World Athletics Championships

Year:1991 Issue:10

Column: SPORTS


Release Date:1991-10-20

Page: 52

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There is nothing athletes cannot achieve. During the Third World Athletics Championships which took place in Tokyo in August, one doubted whether there really were any limits to the human capabilities. There, young hopes and established athletes alike showed the world a will to challenge their own limits.

There are “hot subjects” that cannot be brought up in a conversation without instantly starting a debate: the “ten extraordinary legs” of Carl Lewis, Leroy Barrell, Mike Powell, Andre Cason, and Denis Mitchell, for instance. The owners of these legs proved to be capable of establishing three new world records, a new entry in the history of athletics and an exploit which aroused the spectators’ enthusiasm.

Leroy Burrel had probably never thought of losing the world title for the men’s 100 m while at the same time beating the world record! But he had to admit that Lewis’ time was not over yet. For the third time in a row, the legendary Lewis, now over 30 years old, won the men’s 100 m of the third world championships with a score of 9.8seconds. But Lewis, the world’s fastest runner, was sorry he couldn’t realize his dream of winning a gold medal in high jump.

The legs of Powell woke up with a start and realized a 8.95 m score, compared to the 8.90 m he had been sleeping on since the age of 23. At the time, it had been praised as the most extraordinary jump of the century. It was thought to be unbeatable. But that was without taking into account that for man, nothing is insurmountable.

Alas for Sotomayor! The high jump champion who holds the world record (2.42 m) only reached 2.36 m due to an injured leg. As to the American Charles Austin, he tried to set a new record at 2.45 m, but stopped at 2.38 m. Despite his failure, he received a standing ovation.

As expected, Carl Lewis and his teammates improved the world record for the 4 x 100 m race. The American team won hands up the first place, carrying off 10 gold medals. The Soviet team made the top of the list of medal winners. But to their chagrin they had one less gold than the Americans.

Among the more than 2,000 athletes from 171 countries and regions, the Africans also realized quite a feat, carrying off 7 gold medals. The Kenyans, known for their skills in running, especially in longdistance and middle-distance running, won 4 gold medals and the respect of all, finishing 4th.

At the previous World Athletics Championships, the Chinese had been mere spectators during the prize giving ceremony. This time around, two Chinese women (discus thrower and javelin thrower) were the first Asians, and of course the first Chinese, to climb the podium. But it took many efforts, trials and errors in order to succeed! These successes have nothing to do with chance and will surely help the Chinese win other victories.

For ten days, human strength reached over to the spectators in the stadium or in front of the television set like a fragrant breeze on the vastness of tropical shores.

Chinese athlete won title at the Third World Athletics Championships. XIN HUA

Chinese athlete won title at the Third World Athletics Championships. XIN HUA

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