London 2012 Olympics: Day 13 Robles could not complete the race Merritt seals 110m hurdle gold for USA / London 2012 Olympics News

Merritt’s time of 12.92secs was just 0.01s outside the Olympic record set by Liu Xiang in Athens in 2004, with Richardson clocking 13.04 and Jamaica’s Hansle Parchment claiming a surprise bronze in a national record of 13.12.

22-year-old returned to the track two hours later to finish just outside the medals as Aries Merritt led an American one-two ahead of team-mate Jason Richardson.

Clarke was fourth in 13.39s as defending champion and world record holder Dayron Robles pulled up midway through the race with an apparent hamstring injury.

‘I can’t believe I came fourth in the Olympic Games. I didn’t expect to reach the final,’ said Clarke, who won the European junior title in 2009 and Commonwealth bronze in Delhi in 2010.

‘I clashed arms with the South African (Lehann Fourie) who’s a big guy, he looks like an American football player; maybe I would have run a PB but I wouldn’t have got a medal – 13.12 for bronze is ridiculous.

The 27-year-old was already ahead of Robles when the Cuban was injured and continued his smooth charge over the remaining four hurdles to win gold in a lifetime best 12.92 seconds.

‘The last four years has been an amazing journey. Malcolm Arnold, my coach, has taken me from running 15.3 to 13.3 and I can’t thank him enough. UK Sport and the Lottery-funding system has been remarkable as well.

‘It hasn’t sunk in and I don’t think it ever will. That crowd was unbelievable, 80,000 people going nuts and they were doing a Mexican wave beforehand, I just felt like it was building up and building up and building up.

‘It’s been a dream come true to just come to this stage. I was going to make the most of it. The support in Britain I just can’t believe and I just wanted to give them a last hurrah because this is going to be my last time in this stadium until 2017 probably (for the World Championships).

‘If you would have said you were going to make the semi-final I would have taken that. To come fourth in the Olympic Games is hard to put in to words. It’s weird because I am on such a high but at the same time I am just so knackered. It’s the most surreal feeling.

‘Aries Merritt ran 12.92 which is pretty world class. He’s 27 and hopefully in the Rio Olympics when I’m 26 I’ll be able to push for places like he has.’

London 2012 News: Bolt and Blake progress through to Olympic 200m final.

This is the one Usain Bolt always took seriously. The 200m, the event he always believed was his. It’s the one for which, in Beijing, he bothered to tie up the laces of both his shoes, keeping his foot on the throttle all the way to the finish line.

It is also the one in which his start does not seem significantly slower than those of his rivals. In the second of Wednesday night’s three semi-finals he appeared to be level with Ademir Da Silva of Brazil, running in the lane outside him, within half a dozen strides, and by the time he came off the bend there was a big stretch of clear track between the defending champion and the rest of the field.

He was able to enjoy the latter stages of the race in comfort, easing up on his way to a time of 20.18sec while keeping an eye on his rivals’ progress on the big screen at the end of the home straight. Behind him came the 20-year-old Anaso Jobodwana of South Africa, taking the second automatic qualifying place for Thursday’s final.

“It’s all about going through as easy as possible,” Bolt said. “This is my favourite event. I’m focused and I’m ready. The track is fast and it’s going to be a good race. There are a lot of good competitors, a lot of people who could spoil the party.”

The men’s 200m has been an incident-packed and occasionally lurid event in recent Olympics, on and off the track. After a bout of food poisoning two weeks before the Games cost an enfeebled Michael Johnson, the odds-on favourite at the age of 24, a place in the 1992 final, the great man turned up in his golden shoes in Atlanta and set a world record that would stand for 12 years, until Bolt finally lowered it.

London 2012 News: USA 119 Australia 86 Bryant sparks into life to help Dream Team make semi-final

Kobe Bryant exploded into life in the second half as the United States eased into the semi-finals of the London Olympics.

Australia fought hard to keep the Americans in check, but had no answer once Bryant found his stroke.

The Los Angeles Lakers man had done little to live up to his superstar status in London prior to this game and reached half-time 0-for-four from the field and with as many fouls committed – 14 – as field goals made in the entire tournament.

Kevin Love made it 56-40 late in the first half, but Australia grabbed the last two points through Mills’ free throws and then exploded out of the gates after the break.

Mills and Joe Ingles combined on an 11-0 run, with Ingles hitting back-to-back three-pointers to make it 56-53.

The game stayed close until Bryant came up with back-to-back three-pointers that had his team-mates off their seats on the bench as the lead moved to 70-58.

A huge slam from Durant made it 80-66 as the Americans stepped it up late in the third quarter.

Bryant continued to pour in the points, and then Durant, LeBron James and James Harden brought out the party tricks with a series of late dunks.

Bryant finished with 20 points, Deron Williams had 18 and Carmelo Anthony 17. Kevin Durant added 14, James 11 and Love 10.

Mills led Australia with 26 and Ingles had 19.

London 2012 News: Finally Allyson Felix wins 200m gold

Allyson Felix finally won the Olympic gold medal she craved most, gliding home with her seemingly effortless stride to take the 200-meters title and break Veronica Campbell-Brown’s stranglehold on the event.

In the biggest final of the night, loaded with gold medalists, Felix was quickest around the curve and, once she had her smooth, elegant stride going, none of the power racers could come close.

“I mean, finally. It’s been a long time coming,” Felix said, reflecting on two losses to Veronica Campbell-Brown. “To twice lose to the same person, it’s been tough. But it’s all paying off.”

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica added silver to her 100 gold medal and Carmelita Jeter took bronze.

Campbell-Brown faded out of contention down the stretch and finished fourth, failing — just like pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva did the night before — to become the first woman in track and field to win gold medals in the same individual event at three consecutive Olympics.

“I’m happy for her. I know that she wanted it,” Campbell-Brown said of Felix.

Sanya Richards-Ross, who was seeking a 200-400 double, fell back into fifth place but was happy that Felix finally got the Olympic gold medal after two silvers.

“She’s had a very good season and definitely deserves this moment,” Richards-Ross said. “She’s just like me, she’s wanted this for a very long time.”

It was a thrilling US victory in the Jamaica-US sprint rivalry. By the looks of it, though, Jamaica should hit back.

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