Vicaut gets 60m gold as he and Dasaolu share world-leading 6.48 time | 02.03.2013
|Jimmy Vicaut of France celebrates his victory in a pulsating men's
60m final on Saturday. (Getty Images)
The Frenchman finished to all intents and purposes dead level with the athlete who had got off the best start, James Dasaolu, who was also credited with 6.48 but eventually had to settle for silver position after judges had examined the evidence of the photo-finish.
The Briton had established himself as a strong contender for the title after a semi-final in which he had taken 0.06sec off his personal best with a time of 6.52, with Vicaut second in 6.60. And it seemed as if Dasaolu was about to follow through with victory as he got away cleanly in lane six, with Vicaut on his immediate left.
But as the line approached, Vicaut closed the gap and as the field raced up the incline of the main running track towards the buffering cushioned stop zone, Dasaolu lost his footing and travelled the final few metres flat on his face.
It must have been a painful fall, but it looked as if he was about to receive the best possible alleviation for it in the shape of a gold medal. However, as he stood with a Union flag which had already been pressed eagerly into his hand, the announcement finally came which ignited celebrations around Vicaut. For a moment, the Briton looked utterly disconsolate before his colleague Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, the former world junior champion who had finished seventh in a season's best of 6.63, persuaded him to return to the track and pose for the photographers with the flag around his shoulders.
Having reduced his personal best here by full tenth of a second from the time he had set in winning the UK title earlier this year, Dasaolu thoroughly deserved his recognition. But quite rightly it was Vicaut who was the centre of attention, having made his own dramatic advances having arrived in this city with a 60m best of 6.53.
"I'm very satisfied," said Vicaut. "I fought hard and relaxed, so it went very well. I expect to be even better in Moscow for the World Championships. It feels alright to have won with such a short margin. Bravo to my competitors!"
Dasaolu commented: "I've been so injury-prone over the last few years and this was my first winter in a long time when I've been healthy. I knew I was in shape but I couldn't believe the time. I'm of Christian belief and so I knew God would help me do my best and I'm very happy with the silver medal."
There had been predictions that this track – constructed three and a half feet above a surface normally given over to ice hockey – would be a fast one. They were proved correct here again after the previous night's 60m hurdles final in which Russia's Sergey Shubenkov had set a world 2013 best time of 7.49sec.
Bronze went to Italy's Michael Tumi, impressive winner of the first semi-final in 6.58, who lowered his time to 6.52 to hold off the challenge of Norway's Jaysuma Saidy Ndure, who recorded 6.61 and finished one place ahead of home favourite Odain Rose, who ran a personal best of 6.62.