Sluggish Bolt beats Lemaitre as Tomlinson delivers on his talent

For Chris Tomlinson, there was a quantum leap in Paris last night: a British long jump record of 8.35 metres.

For Usain Bolt, the bill-topping performer at the IAAF Diamond League meeting on the north side of French capital, there was 15 minutes of going nowhere while an electrical fault was repaired before the 200m could get underway and not even the Crackerjack Pencil of a consolation record at the end of a trying day for the world's fastest man.

There was a victory for Bolt but in a rare 20sec-plus time for the Jamaican phenomenon who holds the freakish world record figures of 19.19 seconds.

Despite the frustration of the hold up, which drew boos from the Parisian crowd, Bolt got off to a cracking start and entered the home straight with a clear lead. Having been caught by an overnight cold, however, he took his foot off the throttle in the final 20m and, in doing so, missed the meeting record of 20.01sec that has stood to Michael Johnson since 1990.

Still, a cantering victory in 20.03sec – 0.18sec ahead of the young Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre – was a satisfactory enough conclusion to a day the Lightning Bolt had started by being struck down by flu, to such a degree that he considered withdrawing from the race.

He failed to appear at last night's customary pre-meeting parade of the stars but arrived at the track tweeting the message: "Ppl I'm good..born African warrior..no flu will stop this run."

The electronics almost did but Bolt is now unbeaten in 15 successive 200m races. His last defeat at the distance dates back to September 2007.

It was back in 2002 that Tomlinson first leapt into the British record book. Competing in an early-season meeting in Tallahassee, Florida, the lanky Teessider – a training partner of Jonathan Edwards, holder of the triple jump world record – long jumped 8.27m. In doing so, at the age of 20, he eclipsed Lynn Davies' 34-year-old British record of 8.23m.

Nine years on, Tomlinson had only advanced his personal best by a further 2cm before he set off down the runway for his third-round jump in the Stade de France last night. The 8.29m he jumped at Bad Langensalza in Germany in 2007 had been broken as a national record when Greg Rutherford achieved 8.30m in the qualifying round of the World Championships in Berlin in 2009.

A major step forward had been long overdue by the richly-talented Tomlinson and it came in the French capital as he launched himself out to 8.35m. In doing so, the Middlesbrough man propelled himself into fourth place in the world rankings for this year.

At 29, having landed his first major championship medal last summer, winning bronze at the European Championships in Barcelona, Tomlinson looks to be in the throes of finally beginning to fulfill his rich potential.

At 30, Jenny Meadows has been among the world's elite in the women's 800m for two years now. The Wiganer made her big breakthrough at those 2009 World Championships, taking bronze in a race won by a distance by the 18-year-old Caster Semenya. The pair were both in action in Paris and Meadows led the way until her South African rival, cleared to return to competition a year ago after undergoing gender tests, overtook around the final bend.

Meadows, the 5ft 1in "pocket rocket," gave chase down the home straight but faded to third as the muscular Semenya, after a beguilingly indifferent run of form, finished a clear winner in 2min 00.18sec.

News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Recruitment Genius: Product Quality Assurance Technologist - Hardline & Electric

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...

Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower