Gay blazes to 9.69 100m victory


SHANGHAI, China — Tyson Gay ran the second fastest 100 metres of all time on Sunday when the American sprinter clocked 9.69 seconds to win his event at the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix meeting.

Gay matched Usain Bolt’s winning time in last year’s final at the Beijing Olympics, then a world record, but which the Jamaican has since eclipsed with his astonishing run of 9.58 seconds to win the 100 title at last month’s world championships in Berlin.

The American, who had come home in 9.71 in Berlin, powered to victory in Shanghai ahead of Asafa Powell of Jamaica, who clocked 9.85.

It was a special day too for teammate Carmelita Jeter in her 100 metres race, as the American became the second fastest woman of all time in 10.64.

And Canadian Perdita Felicien was third in the women’s 100-metre hurdles, while Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang returned from a foot injury to place second Sunday at the Golden Grand Prix.

Only the late Florence Griffith-Joyner has been faster than Jeter — a total of three times, including her world record of 10.49 set in 1988.

Jeter’s performance improved on Marion Jones’s time of 10.65, set at altitude in Johannesburg in 1998, and left her well clear of Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown in 10.89 at the Shanghai meet.

Felicien, from Pickering, Ont., clocked 12.73 seconds to grab the bronze. Brigette Foster-Hylton of Jamaica beat out American Dawn Harper for gold in a photo finish after both finished in 12.56.

Felicien was fifth at last week’s world athletics final in Greece, even though she ran the same 12.61 as three other women. Harper was awarded second, Delloreen Ennis-London of Jamaica third and Priscilla Lopes-Schliep of Whitby, Ont., fourth after officials had studied the photo finish.

Foster-Hylton won that race in 12.58.

Liu, in his first race since a foot injury forced him to pull out of the Beijing Games one year ago, received boisterous applause from his hometown crowd. He put his hand to his heart before collapsing on the track after finishing the 110 metre hurdles in 13.15 seconds.

He has been one of China’s most popular athletes since winning the country’s first Olympic gold medal in track at the Athens Games in 2004.

American Terrance Trammell, who placed second at the world championships last month in Berlin, won the race in a photo finish.

In other events, Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva made another attempt at improving her world record but failed to clear 5.07 metres — one centimetre higher than her current mark. Isinbayeva, who has broken the world outdoor and indoor marks 27 times, won Sunday’s meet with a vault of 4.85. Poland’s Anna Rogowska placed second with 4.60, and her compatriot Monika Pyrek got third with 4.50.

In the men’s 200, Wallace Spearmon pulled away comfortably in the last 70 meters to win in 20.57 seconds. Kim Collins of St. Kitts and Nevis placed second in 20.90, and American Shawn Crawford came in third, clocking 21.04.

American Lashawn Merritt, first at the World Championship, won the 400 in 45.28. Robert Tobin of Britain place second in 45.49, and Gary Kikaya won third in 45.63.

Kenya’s Augustine Choge unleashed his kick in the final 200 meters in the men’s 800 and cruised away from South Africa’s Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, who won at the worlds in Berlin. Choge finished in 1:44.10 seconds, while Mulaudzi clocked 1:45.68 and Bram Som finished in 1:45.78.

Amine Laalou of Morocco won the 1,500 metres with a blistering surge that began in the final 200 metres, finishing in 3:34.19. World champion Yusuf Saad Kamel of Bahrain placed second in 3:34.94. Belal Mansoor Ali of Kenya was third in 3:35.18.

Jamaican world champion Melaine Walker won the women’s 400 hurdles in 54.68. Romania’s Angela Morosanu was leading around the final turn but placed second in 55.11 as Walker kicked past her in the final stretch. Poland’s Jesien placed third in 55.29.

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