Olympic champion Gatlin powers to victory as rival is sent sprawling

As Justin Gatlin, the Olympic champion, swept over the line in a UK All Comers' record of 9.89sec, the world record holder, Asafa Powell, was face down on the track scarcely 15 metres from the blocks, felled by a recurrence of a groin injury that now seems certain to deny him a run in the World Championships which get under way in Finland a fortnight from now.

"I felt the injury as soon as I left the blocks," said the 22-year-old Jamaican, who incurred the problem in setting his record of 9.77sec in Athens last month. "It's very serious, and I'm not sure about Helsinki."

But Britain's 400m runner Tim Benjamin is very sure about the World Championships after securing a startling victory over the Olympic champion, Jeremy Wariner, in a personal best of 44.75sec that catapaulted him into world class circles.

Wariner is now receiving guidance from the former world and Olympic 400m champion Michael Johnson, but all the insider knowledge in the world could not resist the charge of the 23-year-old Welshman from lane seven. The American finished a metre behind in 44.86.

"I'm happier breaking into world class and sub 45 than to beat Wariner," said Benjamin, who was flat on his back for a fortnight in hospital last autumn after a lumbar injection went badly wrong. "Britain needs medals and I want to be the one to do it, but please give me time. I'm fed up with people saying I'm not quite world class. I've finally proved it now.'

Gatlin had little to prove last night, but the likely absence of Powell from Helsinki is nothing but good news for him. The 23-year-old American finished with an exuberance that augured well for his hopes of eclipsing Powell's world record. Asked if that mark was now within his reach, Gatlin responded: "I think so," before adding his own special message. "I want to dedicate the race to the people of London. Stay safe - and watch out for terrorists."

Earlier in the evening, Londoners received another tribute from the team which had secured the 2012 Olympics, headed by double Olympic champion Seb Coe, as they were thanked for their support. 'The challenge now is to make the 2012 Games the best ever,' Coe added.

Powell's agent, Paul Doyle, said he would undergo a scan, but added: 'The picture does not look good with the worlds only two weeks away.'

Wallace Spearmon took the 200m for the United States with a stadium record of 19.89sec, with Jamaica's Usain Bolt 0.1sec behind. That pace was too fast for Britain's pairing of Christian Malcolm and Marlon Devonish, who clocked 20.39 and 20.41 respectively.

The triple jump threw up dramatically different fortunes for Britain's leading pair. Nathan Douglas, who won the trials with a personal best of 17.64m last month, confirmed his status as a genuine medal contender for Helsinki with a winning leap of 17.32.

"I produced one of the best series of jumps I've ever done today, so I'm really pleased," said Douglas. 'I proved to everyone that I can jump well under pressure."

With Christian Olsson, the Olympic triple jump champion, out of contention for the World Championships because of a foot injury, the chances for Britain's athletes to make their mark have markedly improved.

But Phillips Idowu was unable to put a marker down for Helsinki as he pulled out of the competition at short notice, baffling organisers by simply failing to turn up.

In the 1500m, the Commonwealth champion Michael East ensured his appearance in Finland by clocking 3min 33.32sec to take third place in a race won by Kenya's Bernard Lagat in 3.33.12.

Meanwhile, the pole vaulter Janine Whitlock, who returned to action this season after a two-year doping ban, achieved the 39th British record of her career with an effort of 4.47m.

Lee McConnell, Scotland's European and Commonwealth 400m medallist, has found life hard going as she attempts to switch to the 400m hurdles event. Although she ran a personal best in finishing second at the world trials, McConnell was still in need of a qualifying time when she lined up for a national event race at Crystal Palace last night, but she came to grief at the seventh hurdle and failed to finish.

Nicole Sanders, who won the trials in 55.61sec, 0.01sec outside the qualifying standard, pulled out of last night's meeting with a stomach problem but intends to book her ticket to Helsinki tomorrow in Belgium.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003