BERLIN (RPRN) 8/19/2009–The United States picked up two golds to leap to the top of the medal standings on Day Four of the World Athletics Championships in Germany. Sanya Richards won the women’s 400 meters, while Kerron Clement topped the podium in the men’s 400-meter hurdles.
Sanya Richards of the United States won her first major 400-meter gold medal Tuesday night, breaking away to such a wide lead that she cruised the last 10-15 meters with a huge smile on her face.
Despite the slowdown, Richards still managed to set a world leading time of 49 seconds flat (49.00). Jamaica’s Shericka Williams earned silver (49.32), while Antonina Krivoshapka of Russia took the bronze (49.71).
American Kerron Clement successfully defended his gold medal in the men’s 400-meter hurdles with a world-leading time of 47.91 seconds. Clement says he was pleased to be back atop the podium.
“I’m really tickled, you know,” said Kerron Clement. “My plan all along was to come out here to defend my title and I did that today. I stayed focused, first round, second round, now the finals. I couldn’t ask for more. I just thank God every single day. I just thank Him.
Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson won the 400 meter hurdles silver medal (48.09), while Bershawn Jackson of the United States took the bronze (48.23).
Earlier, former Olympic champion Ezekiel Kemboi of Kenya finally got his gold medal at the World Championships. Kemboi was a three-time Worlds silver medalist before his breakthrough performance of 8:00.43 in the men’s 3,000 meter steeplechase.
Steffi Nerius gave the home crowd its first gold medal at the Championships by winning the javelin throw. The German won with a season’s best toss of 67.30 meters. And Phillips Idowu brought Britain a gold medal with a leap of 17.73 meters in the triple-jump.
After four days of competition, the United States has taken the lead in the medal count with a total of seven including three gold, two silver and two bronze. Jamaica is second with two gold, two silver and a bronze, while Russia stands third with two gold, one silver and four bronze.