Asafa Powell speeds to 9.78sec in Lausanne (Giancarlo Colombo) © Copyright
General News Lausanne, Switzerland

Powell and Tamgho produce awesome world leads in Lausanne – Samsung Diamond League

- Asafa Powell sent a menacing warning to his rivals that he’s near to reaching top form ahead of the fast approaching IAAF World Championships (Daegu, Korea 27 Aug to 4 Sep) when blasting to a whirlwind 100 metres victory at the Athletissima 2011 - Samsung Diamond League meeting - in Lausanne on Thursday (30).

Powell leaving his blocks like a streak of lightning immediately hit the front, roaring away to victory in 9.78 seconds (+1.0m/s wind), a new world season lead which replaced the 9.79 American Tyson Gay ran earlier in the month.

The former World record holder who has three times previously won at Lausanne’s la Pontaise stadium, setting the meet record of 9.72 seconds three years ago, pulled four of his rivals under the 10sec barrier with him.

Fellow Jamaican Michael Frater, who finished runner-up, struck 0.06sec off his previous best with a time of 9.88, whilst third placed Christophe LeMaitre equalled his French record of 9.95.

They were followed home by another Jamaican Nesta Carter who along with Jaysuma Saidy Ndure, who became Norway's first ever sub-10 man, clocked 9.99.

"It was a wonderful race, I got a perfect start," said Powell winner of his national championship title last weekend. "The first 50 metres were very good but I have to work on the second 50.”

"Now for the moment I'm the best. I'm in a good mood for Daegu. My goal is to keep training hard and run faster."

Tamgho – one jump does it all

World Indoor Triple Jump champion and record holder Teddy Tamgho had only one valid attempt but his third round leap of 17.91 metres (+1.4m/s) saw the Frenchman soar to a world leading mark and meeting record.

Tamgho, who was only seven centimetres short of his year-old personal best, was ecstatic after returning to winning form after failing to make the cut in New York on 11 June.

His decision to attack the board paid off as he stifled the threat of British rival and reigning World champion Phillips Idowu, who finished second with 17.52, Cuba's Alexis Coppell who took third (17.06).

"There is still a lot of work to do," said Tamgho despite his lengthy distance. "I'm ready to beat the World record but the way is long. I need to go on with the work I've started and I hope to improve."

Powell’s and Tamgho’s world leading marks were complemented by some other exciting competitions although the wind blowing on a chilly evening in the stadium proved a hindrance throughout the meeting.

Wind denies Pearson an Area record, and slows Rudisha

Olympic silver medallist Sally Pearson opened her European season with a flourish, only the illegal wind of +3.3m/s denying her 12.47 second run from being counted as an Area record (currently stands to her at 12.53 from Monaco 2008), and the fastest time in the world this year.

The 24-year-old Australian leading from gun-to-tape fought a very close contest with Danielle Carruthers, with the American in her final dip almost catching her on the line but Pearson was given the verdict by just 0.01sec.

Tiffany Ofili-Porter of Britain snatched third place by the same margin from the USA's Virginia Powell-Crawford in 12.64.  

David Rudisha produced another electrifying 800m run and if anyone had challenged him over the final circuit and the wind hadn't been so strong his winning time of 1:44.15 would certainly have been much faster.

Instead the World record holder found himself racing alone after his Kenyan pacemaker and training partner Sammy Tangui stepped off the track following a perfect first lap of 49.48sec. That allowed Rudisha to power into the back-straight where his pace opened-up a gap of 20m with half a circuit remaining.

However, the World record holder, winner at this meeting in 2007 and last year, did lose much of his advantage down the final straight as Marcin Lewandowski and Amine Laalou fought a tense battle for the minor positions. Yet Poland's European champion who clocked 1:45.01 and Laalou from Morocco who finished in a season's best 1:45.11, never had any chance of catching Rudisha.

Chemos triumphant again

Milcah Chemos, with a fourth 3000m Steeplechase victory, virtually assured herself of a second Diamond Race Trophy but the Kenyan was made to fight every inch of the way by three of her rivals.

This was the first occasion a women's 3000m Steeplechase has been staged at the Athletissima meet, and Chemos duly won in 9:19.87 with Ethiopia's Sofia Assefa finishing runner up behind her for a third successive encounter.

Assefa, who couldn't pass Chemos as she accelerated off the final barrier, finished in 9:20.50, while half a stride behind her, Kenya's Mercy Njoroge took third in 9:20.51.

Lavillenie defends title, Thorkildsen's phenomenal return, Reese always in control

Renaud Lavillenie bounced back from his no height in stormy New York to easily win in Lausanne for a second successive year with a height of 5.83m.

Lavillenie, joining the competition with the bar at 5.63, then cleared 5.73 followed by a pass before matching his season's best to win from Malte Mohr.

The German who had also failed to register a clearance in New York took second with 5.73, which means the two are now tied on eight points in the Diamond Race standings. Lazaro Borges finished third vaulting 5.63m.

Norway’s World and double Olympic Javelin Throw champion Andreas Thorkildsen made a phenomenal return to Samsung Diamond League action after injury in Shanghai when sending his opening spear 88.19m just three centimetres short of Latvia's Vadims Vasilevskis world season lead.

That opener gave Thorkildsen a very early cushion ahead of Russia's 2003 World champion Sergey Makarov who opened with 84.89 and the German Matthias De Zordo who threw 83.65.

Thorkildsen followed his first round with an effort of 84.20 before passing the remainder of his throws, while Makarov improved to a season's best 87.12 in round 5, with De Zordo remaining third.

"I was so happy, I had a great warm up and the weather was nice even though there was some wind," said Thorkildsen, who nevertheless with a comfortable lead didn't take all of his throws after his recent injury.

The Norwegian added: "But I'm happy, I want more competitions so that I can feel more comfortable. I was surprised about Makarov's performance - it was fun to watch."

World Long Jump champion Brittney Reese lying fifth after a first round which was led by European Indoor champion Darya Klishina (6.66m) then turned on the pressure to repeat her victory from last year.

Reese, showing no signs of tiredness after winning a fourth US title last weekend with a world lead and personal best of 7.19m, promptly jumped 6.73 in the second round and 6.85 in the next.

Klishina, the Russian 20-year-old, in only her second outdoor competition of 2011, improved to a season's best of 6.76 for second place, while Briton Shara Proctor thanks to her fourth round 6.66 claimed third on count-back from Funmi Jimoh, the American who leads the Diamond Race standings for the event.

Highs and Lows

There were highs and lows particularly for a resurgent Sanya Richards in the 400 metres and Blanka Vlasic who picked up an injury during the High Jump.

Richards, the reigning World 400 champion and still fighting to achieve racing fitness, had her fastest race this season when taking second place behind favourite Amantle Montsho of Botswana.

Montsho, who went to the top of the Diamond Race standings with her win, was never troubled by Richards who she caught and passed before the final bend, to win in 50.23, with another American Natasha Hasting's third in 51.07.

Richards who clocked 50.61, said: "I feel like I've progressed and it's only a matter of time. This race was encouraging.”

Vlasic after her shock defeat in New York again found herself on the back foot when slumping to sixth place on count-back in a low key women’s High Jump competition.

The Croatian, who was hoping to win the competition with her 100th clearance over 2 metres, had the misfortune of picking up a knee injury which proved to be the end to her chances.

Russia's Anna Chicherova took the win with a height of 1.95, while Ukrainian Vita Styopina and the winner's fellow countrywoman Svetlana Shkolina finished equal second, having gone clear up to and including 1.90 at the first time of asking. They along with Melanie Melfort of France, Sweden's New York winner Emma Green Tregaro and Vlasic all cleared 1.90.

Greene and Uceny make their mark

David Greene the European 400m Hurdles champion showed his rivals a clean pair of heels coming down the final straightway to score one of the best victories of his career.

Greene will always cherish his continental championships victory in Barcelona last August but on this occasion he was mixing it with the world's best including current World gold and silver medallists respectively Kerron Clement and Javier Culson.

The Welshman with his final kick pulled clear of Puerto Rico's Culson to win by a healthy 0.32sec in 48.41 with Justin Gaymon third in 49.21, and his fellow American Clement winding-up fifth (49.79).

Morgan Uceny after winning last weekend's US title again showed top class form when overpowering the favourites to unexpectedly win a close 1500m race in 4:05.52.

The American, second in New York, had the finishing pace to score a solid success ahead of Anna Mishchenko, the winner of the opening race of the Samsung Diamond League in Doha.

Mischenko, in a very tight finish between four other contestants, clocked 4:06.00 while France's Hind Dehiba Chayd took third in a season's fastest 4:06.58.

Meet records for Cantwell and Chepkok

11 years after the Shot Put was last staged in Lausanne, USA's World champion Christian Cantwell produced a new meet record of 21.83m to clinch victory ahead of compatriot Ryan Whiting and Pole Tomasz Majewski.

Cantwell, after Whiting improved Werner Gunthor's 1987 performance of 21.73 with an opener and season's best of 21.76, then did likewise in the second round producing 21.81, which he then followed-up on with his furthest of the night, 21.83.

Whiting who didn't improve further, comfortably held on to second place with Poland's Olympic champion Majewski producing his best of the summer with a 21.55 in the last round.

The 5000m saw Kenyan Vincent Chepkok smash the meeting record of compatriot Sammy Kipketer, when in a thrilling finish he beat Imane Merga and Eliud Kipchoge in 12:59.13.

The distance which has not been raced at this meeting for four years was always likely to see the mark of 13:01.93 Kipketer achieved in 2000 broken, and it was so thanks in part to a final last lap burn-up by Chepkok.

Chepkok assured himself victory with one final spurt just short of the line when he sensed a late challenge from Ethiopia's Merga, who had pushed him into third place in Rome. The Ethiopian had passed Kenya's former World champion Kipchoge for second place with 50m to run.

Merga finished in 12:59.47, while Kipchoge after a lean spell this summer set a season's best of 12:59.71.

Ferguson-McKenzie splits Euro Indoor medallists

Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie prevented a European 200m sweep of the podium positions when splitting the Ukrainian pair of Mariya Ryemyen and Olesya Povh in a close finish.

Ryemyen took the honours in 22.85 sec with her Bahamian rival clocking 22.93, while Povh who beat her fellow countrywoman to win the European Indoor gold medal in March finished in 23.04.

Barrios back on top

Olympic and World discus silver medallist Yarelis Barrios scored her first Diamond Race victory of the season ahead of Aretha D. Thurmond and German Nadine Muller.

Thurmond second at the US Championships, led after round one with a season's best of 63.85 metres from Nadine Muller (63.44) with Barrios throwing 62.55 for third.

The Cuban, last year's Diamond race winner, then hit the front with a 2011 personal best by 10cm of 64.29m which proved the winner as Thurmond couldn't improve on her opener, although Germany's Muller got her last round effort out to 63.58.

Robles brings a bright sparkle to the non- Diamond Race events too

The men's 100 Hurdles race, one of the non-Diamond Race events of the evening saw Cuba’s Olympic champion and World record holder Dayron Robles win in 13.12 (+1m/s). Jamaica's Dwight Thomas placed second behind the Cuban in 13.16 with Jason Richardson of the USA third in 13.17.

Jermaine Gonzales of Jamaica won the open 400m in 45.27 sec, with Belgium's Kevin Borlee in second setting a season's fastest of 45.37 and Tabarie Henry of the US Virgin Islands, third in 45.57.

Dave Martin for the Samsung Diamond League

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