In cool and unfavourable conditions, Tyson Gay stormed to an impressive 19.78 in the 200 metres topping the bill of another great edition of Lausanne’s Athletissima Super Grand Prix, part of the IAAF World Athletics Tour 2007.
Commanding victory for Gay
The evening's weather was far from ideal but despite the chilly temperature Gay made another superb show running the third sub-20 seconds time of the season. Gay showed that in more ideal conditions he could soon break the 19.6 barrier this season.
“I was happy with the performance given the conditions,” said Gay in his first race after taking the 100/200m double at the U.S. Championships. His widely reported sore knee didn’t bother him physically, he said, but admitted that thinking about it forced him to ease up as he approached the finish. “If we had similar conditions to last year, I think it would have been 19.6.”
Jamaican Usain Bolt, who improved the long-standing national record of Don Quarrie clocking 19.75 at the Jamaican Championships last month, was the distant runner-up in 20.11 ahead of Wallace Spearmon (20.42).
Xiang impresses – 13.01
The other standout performer of the evening was Liu Xiang, who last year broke the World record on this track. The popular Chinese star crossed the finish-line in 13.01.
“I feel very well to come back to Lausanne even if the weather wasn’t good,” Xiang said. “In Paris I wasn’t really fit but I felt better here in Lausanne.” Xiang finished a distant third on Friday in the French capital, but was in firm control here.
American Anwar Moore equalled his PB with a 13.12 performance to finish second ahead of Aries Merritt, whose 13.18 was a season’s best. Allen Johnson made progress finishing fifth in a seasonal best of 13.24 behind David Payne (13.20). Dominique Arnold, who set the US record with 12.90 here last year, was sixth in 13.26.
Another American, David Oliver, who has qualified for the World Championships in Osaka, took the win in the B race in 13.34 beating German Thomas Blaschek (13.42).
Fourth straight 100m win for Atkins
Derrick Atkins, a distant cousin of 100m World record holder Asafa Powell, notched up his fourth consecutive win, including recent triumphs in Athens and Paris, clocking 10.04, a good time in the cool conditions.
“It was hard to keep going and to maintain the speed with this cold weather,” said Atkins, a 2007 member of the sub-10 club.
Churandy Martina ran 10.10 to finish second, ahead of Olympic 200m champion Shawn Crawford, who ran a season’s best 10.13. from the USA (seasonal best 10.13).
Edwards over Campbell
Torri Edwards clinched her second European win after Paris in 11.00 holding off Jamaica's Olympic champion Veronica Campbell who clocked 11.07. USA's reigning World Indoor 60m champion Me’Lisa Barber completed the podium running 11.11. Double European sprint champion Kim Gevaert of Belgium ran a solid race finishing fourth in 11.21 beating US sprinters Carmelita Jeter (11.27) and Allyson Felix (11.30).
European record holder Christina Obergföll from Germany continued her impressive season taking the win in the women’s Javelin with 66.91 with her second attempt. The Javelin was a German affair which featured a second place by reigning European champion Steffi Nerius with 63.12. Third was Czech record holder Barbora Spotakova with 60.89.
“It was cold and the wind was bad,” said Obergföll. “Despite these conditions, I was very glad of my performance.”
Perry edges Kallur on the lean
In the 100m Hurdles, reigning USA's World champion Michelle Perry edged out European champion Susanna Kallur in a very close finish in 12.60. The Swedish star finished just .02 seconds behind, setting her seasonal best. It’s the third time this summer that Perry has beaten Kallur, after Oslo and Paris. Lolo Jones repeated her third place of Paris with 12.74.
“I thought I was asleep because I was a bit slow but I enjoyed running here,” said Perry, who caught the Swede between the ninth and 10th hurdles.
“I am happy I could repeat my good performance after Oslo and Paris,” Kallur said. “I hope to be able to win in Rome.”
Josephine Onyia, a Nigerian who has acquired Spanish citizenship, scored a new PB in the B race with 12.82 holding off Nichole Denby by .04 seconds.
Saladino, Walker rule the men’s jumps
Panama's Irving Saladino leapt to 8.36m twice this evening to take an easy win in the Long Jump, as nobody else managed to go beyond eight metres.
Reigning World Indoor champion Brad Walker from the USA set a new meeting record for the Pole Vault of 5.91. Australians Paul Burgess and Steve Hooker took second and third place with respectively, topping out at 5.75 and 5.70.
US champion and world seasonal leader James Carter won a very close men’s 400m Hurdles ahead of former World Junior champion Kerron Clement in 48.30 to 48.31. Good performances were set by South Africa’s Louis Van Zyl (48.50) and last year’s European champion Periklis Iakovakis (GRE), who was fourth in 48.53. Angelo Taylor equalled his seasonal best for fifth place in 48.68.
World champion Bershawn Jackson (USA) was incontention to nearly the end but heavily hit the last barrier and fell back dramatically to 7th (49.12)
Cool temperatures and a slight headwind did not help the triple jumpers produce the 15 metres that had been expected on the eve of the meeting. Russian star Tatyana Lebedeva took the lead in the first round with a modest 14.42, and was never challenged. She improved to 14.47 with her final attempt. Marija Sestak, who extended the Slovenian national record to 14.92 last month, was the runner-up with 14.26, one centimetre better than Brazilian revelation Keila Costa. Cuba's Yargelis Savigne, who jumped 15.09 last weekend, finished fourth with 14.21.
Lebedeva competed later in the evening in the Long jump where she finished third with a 6.54 best. Swedish Heptathlon legend Carolina Klüft highlighted the competition with an impressive 6.84m seasonal best.
Jamaican 800m runner Kenia Sinclair overtook three-time World outdoor champion Maria Mutola in the final straight to clinch a narrow win in 1:59.13. Mutola was also passed in the final metres by American Hazel Clark who ran 1:59.43 to 1:59.66 for the star from Mozambique.
Jamal, Mansour capture thrilling 1500m wins
Lausanne-based Maryam Yusuf Jamal was pushed by the support from home crowd to a confidence-boosting win in the women’s 1500 metres in 4:03.61, bouncing back from her low-key race in Paris last week. Ukraine’s Iryna Lishchynska finished a distant second in 4:04.27.
Former Kenyan Ali Bilal Mansour, now representing Bahrain, added another win to his season’s CV with a 3:35.41 performance. Earlier this year he has notched-up other World Athletics Tour victories in Ostrava (800 metres) and Athens (1500 metres). Bouabdallah Tahri from France was the first European, finishing in second place in 3:36.13.
Novlene Williams from Jamaica finished first in the women’s 400 metres with 50.71 ahead of former World champion Amy Mbacke Thiam (51.03) and 2007 US champion Dee Dee Trotter (51.48).
Last year’s World Junior champion David Rudisha took his first major 800 metres win in 1:45.82, taking the scalp of 2004 Olympic champion Yuriy Borzakovskiy (1:46.01), and Asian record holder and 2006 World Cup winnerYoussef Saad Kamel (1:46.05).
The men’s 400 metres win went to African record holder Gary Kikaya from the Congo in 45.24. Commonwealth champion John Steffensen from Australia was second in 45.54.
Edwin Soi held off compatriot Micah Kogo in the final straight of the men’s 5000 metres in 13:10.21, a new season’s best. Kogo also dipped under the previous PB with 13:10.68.
Russian Natalya Ivanova prevailed in the women’s 400 metres Hurdles in 54.90, followed closely by Jamaica’s Melanie Walker (54.95).
Reigning Olympic champion Stefan Holm from Sweden cleared 2.28m to clinch the win in the men’s High Jump on count-back over Czech Tomas Janku ,and newcomer Donald Thomas from Bahamas who had grabbed the headlines last week after clearing 2.35 in Salamanca.
The cool but highly entertaining evening ended with a narrow win by the Jamaican 4x100m Relay team anchored by World 100m record holder Asafa Powell. Jamaica ran 38.75 edging out the Olympic champions from Great Britain by just .03 seconds. Powell made a good test three days before his much-awaited comeback 100m race in the Golden League meeting in Rome on Friday.
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF