Flying Powell feels the wind at his back

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The Independent Online

Asafa Powell clocked a wind-assisted 9.75 seconds to win his 100m heat as the IAAF Diamond League series got under way in Doha last night.

The Jamaican former world record holder was aided by a following wind of 2.6m per second, beyond the legal limit, to qualify fastest for the final at the inaugural meeting in the series at the Qatar Sports Club.

Two more Jamaicans, Michael Frater and Lerone Clarke, also dipped under 10sec, clocking 9.97sec and 9.98sec respectively to finish first and second in heat one.

Bershawn Jackson upstaged the world champion, his fellow American Kerron Clement, to win the 400m hurdles. Jackson, the bronze medallist at last year's World Championships in Berlin, won in a relatively pedestrian 48.66sec, with Clement second in 48.82sec and the South African LJ Van Zyl third in 49.59sec.

"I want to be No 1, I want to win all the Diamond races," Jackson said. "I want to go back to the 47sec level. Today because of the wind we could not get better times."

The world indoor champion Lolo Jones took a strong 100m hurdles. The American woman, who secured her second world indoor title in Doha in March, clocked a windy 12.63sec to beat Priscilla Lopes-Schliep, last year's world silver medallist outdoors.

The Canadian runner-up came home in 12.67sec, with Virginia Powell-Crawford of the US third in 12.70sec. Jones said: "I had a terrible start. I hit some hurdles so I was shocked at the end to see that I'm the winner. I did not count on a win after such a beginning."

The world champion Christian Cantwell threw a world-leading 21.82m, also a new meeting record, to win the shot put.