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Fraser-Pryce triumphs, U.S. men set relay record

Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce celebrates after winning the women's 60m final in the world indoor athletics championships at the ERGO Are
Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce celebrates after winning the women's 60m final in the world indoor athletics championships at the ERGO Are

(Reuters) - Double Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce may not like running indoors, but the Jamaican proved again on Sunday why she is the world's dominant female sprinter.

A blistering start propelled the reigning Olympic and world 100 meters gold medalist to the fastest women's 60 meters in four years, 6.98 seconds, as she made a triumphant debut at world indoor championships in Sopot, Poland.

Only six women have ever run faster.

Americans dominated the three-day meeting in Sopot, Poland, capping the championships with a world indoor record in the men's 4x400 meters as Kyle Clemons, David Verburg, Kind Butler III, and Calvin Smith Jr. triumphed in 3 minutes, 2.13 seconds.

The time was 0.70 seconds faster than the 15-year-old record set by a U.S. team at the 1999 world indoor championships.

Fraser-Pryce had never run in the indoor meeting before this week.

"It is an amazing feeling," the 2008 and 2012 Olympic 100 meters gold medalist told reporters after becoming only the second woman to hold world titles at 60, 100 and 200 meters.

Ivory Coast's Murielle Ahoure took the silver in 7.01 with American Tianna Bartoletta third in 7.06.

Yet Fraser-Pryce said running indoors was not a favorite of hers.

"To be honest I don't like it," the Jamaican said with a chuckle. "There is so much that can go wrong in a 60. Not nailing the start....You have persons that don't nail the start can win a 100...But in the 60 you have to get going."

That Fraser-Pryce did as she replaced two-times champion and fellow Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown as the global 60 meters champion.

Campell-Brown, rusty after missing the season as she successfully overcame a doping charge, finished fifth in 7.13.

REPEAT TITLE

Three-times 3,000m champion Bernard Lagat was also denied a repeat title.

Kenyan Caleb Ndiku turned on the afterburners in the final 500 meters and sped to victory in 7:54.94 with Lagat claiming silver in 7:55.22.

"I knew that Lagat and (Olympic 5000m silver medalist Dejen) Gebremesekel were good, but I also knew that I was fast in the last lap so I had to wait and see, I did not waste my energy," said the leggy Ndiku, sporting flaming dyed red hair.

Lagat, 39, still became the oldest male ever to win a medal at the world indoor championships.

Gebremesekel earned bronze in 7:55.39.

Only the time was in doubt in the women's 3,000m.

Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba, whose winter of glory had already produced world records at 1,500 and 3,000 meters, surged to the front with 1,200 meters to go and won convincingly in 8:55.04.

Qatari Mutaz Essa Barshim outduelled Russian Olympic champion Ivan Ukhov in the high jump, winning on fewer misses as both cleared 2.38 meters.

The United States claimed eight golds and 12 total medals to dominate the championships.

Four of the victories came on Sunday, highlighted by the men's 4x400 relay world indoor record.

Chanelle Price ran a 2014 world-leading 2:00.09 to win the women's 800, Omo Osaghae equaled the year's fastest 60 meters hurdles, clocking 7.45 seconds, and the U.S. women added another yearly leader by claiming their 4x400 relay in 3:24.83.

(Writing by Gene Cherry, editing by Ed Osmond)

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