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24 Aug 2014
Nanjing 2014 , YOG , IOC News

Whyte and Kwemoi Soet maintain golden traditions on the track

Natalliah Whyte maintained Jamaica’s reputation for producing sprinting talent, while Gilbert Kwemoi Soet showed Kenyans still have it in the middle-distance events.

Natalliah Whyte storms to the gold medal in the women's 200m

Whyte, who won the women’s 200m gold in 23.55 seconds, stood underneath the huge TV screen at the finish line and struggled to find the words to describe the images she was seeing. 

"I'm overwhelmed," she said. "I was hoping for a fast time, but I didn't expect such a result.  "Olympic champion… I can't find the words to describe how I'm feeling."

Whyte has worked hard all year to achieve her success, though the wet and humid conditions early on 24 August at the Nanjing Olympics Sports Centre proved extremely testing.

"At the training facilities back home, I'm not used to this temperature," she said. "It changes every minute, every hour here. I had to run through it."

Brandee Johnson (USA) was tipped to be Whyte's biggest rival for gold, but she finished with a bronze medal on a time of 24.28 seconds, behind Dzhois Koba (UKR) on 23.94 seconds.

Ryapolov sealed gold for Russia in the men's long jump

And Johnson was delighted with her medal. "You know how you always see it at night and you just dream of holding that medal?" she said. "I've dreamt of that since April. I'm very proud.

"When I go around the track I think of all the work I've done throughout the season. I train for two hours and I'm only running for 23 seconds. If I can push through two hours of practice I can push through 23 seconds in a race."

In the other finals, Anatoly Ryapolov (RUS) took gold in the men's long jump with a distance of 7.54 metres ahead of Obrien Wasome (JAM) who recorded a leap 7.44m, and Zhong Peifeng on 7.37m.

However, performance of the day went to men's 1,500m runner Gilbert Kwemoi  Soet (KEN), who claimed gold in wonderful style, first by recording the fastest junior time of the year on 3:41.99 seconds and then by delivering a series of karate kicks in extravagant celebration at the finish.

"I made an effort to end fast," he said. "It was a very good race. I feel a lot of love for China."

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