Local sprinter Shawn Crawford just won a very odd silver medal.
In the 200 meters, he originally finished fourth behind Jamaica's dazzling Usain "Lightning" Bolt, who broke a 12-year-old world record with a time of 19.30. Bolt was the clear No.1 all the way -- he won the race with an unbelievable first 100 and beat everyone by at least half a second, which is a huge margin in a short sprint. But behind him there was turmoil.
Churandy Martina from the Netherland Antilles finished second originally at 19.82. Then the three American sprinters were in almost a dead heat for third. Wallace Spearmon finished in 19.95 for bronze, Crawford (of Van Wyck, S.C.) in 19.96 for fourth and Walter Dix in 19.98 for fifth.
Spearmon took a victory lap for bronze, draping an American flag across his shoulders. But before he finished the lap, he was disqualified for stepping out of his lane. Crawford was suddenly in third place.
Then the U.S. delegation watched video of the race, thinking they might protest Spearmon's DQ. Instead, they found that the Netherlands sprinter stepped out of his lane, too. They protested that instead.
An hour later, the Netherlands sprinter was kicked out. Suddenly, Crawford had a silver to go along with the gold he won in this event in 2004. He also had, he said, a "hollow feeling." But he was able to joke that, hey, if they go ahead and threw Bolt out, too, he could have another gold.
Bolt ran the race straight and true, though, and faster than anyone ever has. More on this controversial race and Crawford's reaction to it in Thursday's paper.
11 months ago