Powell blasts back at Bolt with second-fastest 100m time
Wednesday 03 September 2008
Asafa Powell equalled the second-fastest time over 100 metres when he clocked 9.72 seconds here last night.
The Jamaican former world record holder, who finished a disappointing fifth in the Beijing Olympics final, equalled the mark set by his compatriot Usain Bolt in New York City in May. Bolt reduced his own mark to 9.69sec in the Olympic final last month and last night won the 200m in 19.63sec.
"After all my problems this year I'm satisfied with my performance tonight," Powell said, after racing away from a strong field comprising all of the Beijing finalists except for Bolt. "It's also great to set a new personal record."
Making the fastest start out of the blocks, Powell finished 0.2sec clear of the Olympic bronze medallist Walter Dix, of the United States, with Jamaica's Nesta Carter taking third place, a further 0.06 seconds back.
Victory in the 200m was never in doubt for Bolt who finished more than half a second clear of runner-up Churandy Martina.
While Powell was greeted by rapturous applause from the crowd at the Lausanne Grand Prix, Bolt heard the rare sound of jeers from the spectators after slowing up in the final metres.
"It was a good time," Bolt said. "But I've made history now so a lot of people are looking to me for big times and great things. I'm always going out to do my best but it's been a long season and I trailed off tonight because I want to stay injury-free right the way to the season end.
"I'm happy for Asafa tonight," he added. "He has always been there, but he's looking pretty good now. There are a lot of guys to think about in the 100 metres."
Powell and Bolt were among six Jamaicans celebrating last night as the country's athletes won all but two of the sprint events. After owning the podium in the Olympic women's 100m, Jamaica sealed a one-two finish with Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser again finishing in front of the joint Beijing silver medallist Kerron Stewart.
Melaine Walker, another Jamaican Olympic champion, finished more than a second clear of her rivals in the 400m hurdles, while silver medallist Shericka Williams won the 400m in the absence of British gold medallist Christine Ohurogu.
Delloreen Ennis-London completed Jamaica's strong showing, clinching the 100m hurdles after a late mistake by Olympic champion Dawn Harper. The American brought down the final hurdle while leading the race, recovering to cross the line 0.03sec behind Ennis-London.
Bizarrely, the same thing then happened in the men's sprint hurdles with Cuba's Olympic champion Dayron Robles also catching the last barrier to finish second behind the American Olympic bronze medallist David Oliver.
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