Unleashing what is rapidly becoming his trademark finishing blitz, Christophe Lemaitre of France took the men’s 100m title to secure a big victory for Team Europe over Team Americas in ideal conditions at Split's Poljud Stadium.
After a conservative start – a false start eliminated Team Africa’s Aziz Zakari – the 20-year-old Frenchman was well behind Team Americas’ Daniel Bailey at the midway point. But Lemaitre didn’t panic. Making up ground stride-by-stride, Lemaitre caught and eventually passed the Antiguan in a furious finish just two metres from the line to win in 10.06.
"I'm very satisfied with what I've done today," said Lemaitre. "It was important to win at the end of a long season."
His IAAF / VTB Bank Continental Cup victory in Split added yet another significant milestone to the young Frenchman’s career. Joining the sub-10 club shortly after his 20th birthday earlier this season, Lemaitre became the first man to take gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m Relay at a European championship. He improved to 9.97 in Rieti last weekend to arrive in Split as a strong favourite to score maximum points for Europe.
He’ll be looking to another title to his expanding war chest when he runs on Team Europe’s 4x100m Relay quartet.
Following Bailey across the line was Briton Mark Lewis-Francis who celebrated his 28th birthday with a 10.16 season’s best to finish third. Further back was American Monzavous Edwards, fourth in 10.23.
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF