That World leader and third fastest of alltime David Oliver won the IAAF / VTB Bank Continental Cup here in Split was hardly a surprise. Undefeated in all of his 17 races in 2010, Oliver didn’t have any solid challenger on paper and as it turned out he didn’t have any on the track either.
However, the solid American did not achieve his pre-event target of breaking the Competition record 12.96 set by compatriot Allen Johnson four years ago. In fact, Oliver ran probably the easiest race of the year as 13.11 was enough not only for the win and the 30,000$ pay cheque, it was a performance which completely overshadowed the rest of the field.
Oliver set off to a sluggish start and didn’t pick up his tradition speed and hurdling technique until halfway through the race. But once he did there would be no catching up as Oliver sped as relaxed as ever through the finish line.
“I am happy to gain 8 points for Team America,” said Oliver. “The time was not that important, just winning the race. I've had great fun here, the crowd is great and it makes you perform well. It feels so good to be a part of the team with guys from Jamaica, Cuba and other countries. I hope Robles will recover so we'll have some great races next year. I've had a great season and this is the best way to end it.”
In the race for second, European champion Andrew Turner of Great Britain just prevailed over Dongpeng Shi of China competing for Asia/Pacific. Turner helped his continent maintain a small lead as he added 7 points to Europe’s tally with a 13.48 performance with Shi timed at 13.53.
There would be more precious points for Europe courtesy of France’s Garfield Darien in fourth (13.75) as the Americas’ second runner Dominique Degrammont of Haiti could only grab one point in eighth.
Laura Arcoleo for the IAAF