DOHA, Qatar (Sporting Alert) — Americans Justin Gatlin and Allyson Felix captured the 100 metres titles at the opening IAAF Diamond League in Doha on Friday.
The sprinters got the better of their Jamaican rivals on their way to victories in their first big outing in preparation for this summer’s Olympic Games.
Gatlin defeated former world record holder Asafa Powell of Jamaica when he edged home in 9.87 seconds – bettering Powell’s 9.88 secs. Another Jamaican, Lerone Clarke was third in 9.99secs, while USA’s Mike Rodgers came home at 10.00secs.
The women’s race went to 200m specialist Felix, who did a life-time best of 10.92 seconds to lower her previous personal best of 10.93, done at the same venue in 2008.
Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown followed her in second place with 10.94, while Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce finished third in 11secs flat.
Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt of USA was in fine form when winning the men’s 400m in a world’s best for the year of 44.19 – better his own previous mark of 44.73.
Luguelín Santos was second in a Dominican Republic’s national record of 44.88, with third place going to Angelo Taylor of USA in 44.97.
Walter Dix of USA took the men’s 200m title with a time of 20.02secs in a -0.5 m/s headwind and he finished ahead of Netherlands Antilles’ Churandy Martina (20.26) and Norway’s Jaysuma Saidy Ndure (20.34).
In other events on the night, world indoor champion and defending Olympic gold medallist Pamela Jelimo showed that she is back in form after producing a world-leading 1:56.94 to take the women’s 800m race. The Kenyan beat Ethiopian Fantu Magiso (1:57.90) and another Kenyan star Janeth Jepkosgei Busienei, the former world champion, who ran 1:58.50.
World record holder and world champion David Rudisha of Kenya won the men’s race in a world-leading 1:43.10 and he beat his fellow countryman Job Koech Kinyor (1:43.76) and Great Britain’s Andrew Osagie (1:44.64).
Brigitte Foster-Hylton of Jamaica continued her fine form this season with a 12.60secs performance to win the women’s 100m hurdles over American Kellie Wells and Canadian Phylicia George.
Olympic champion Melaine Walker of Jamaica took the women 400m hurdles in a 2012 world’s best of 54.62 and she beat compatriot Kaliese Spencer, who clocked 54.99
Elsewhere, Nadzeya Ostapchuk from Belarus won the women’s Shot Put with the year’s second best mark of 20.53m, while Aleksandr Menkov of Russia sealed the men’s Long Jump event with a mark of 8.22m.
Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot and Meseret Defar, went to line in the women’s 3000m events, with the former winning in 8:46.4.