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Fraser-Pryce shines at Prefontaine - Thompson, Gatlin, Gay also impressive at Diamond League meet

Published:Sunday | May 31, 2015 | 12:00 AMAudley Boyd

EUGENE, Oregon:

OLYMPIC and World 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won the women's 100m in a world-leading 10.81 seconds to score the only Jamaican win at the Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field, University of Oregon, yesterday.

Running in her second 100m this season in a headwind of 1.7 metres per second, Fraser-Pryce made an excellent start and battled from mid-race to the finish with Ivorian Murielle Ahoure, with whom she crossed the line almost simultaneously to record the same time.

"I didn't run well last time I ran my first 100, so I wanted to come here and run a solid 100," Fraser-Pryce said.

Commenting on the world lead and her unconvincing form prior to the event, she added: "It's good, but it's still early in the season, you just have to trust God and trust the process."

American Tori Bowie flew in the last 30 metres to finish a half-step behind in third, clocking 10.82, with Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare fourth in 10.87 and Carmelita Jeter of the US fifth in 11.02.

Trinidad and Tobago's Michelle Lee Ahye pulled up in the last 20 metres.

It was an highlight among the other Jamaican performers, with Stephenie McPherson and Nickel Ashmeade's third place in the women's 400m and men's 200m, respectively, also arriving at the event that produced nine world leads.




Numbering among those were Justin Gatlin's astounding 19.68, as he blew away the men's 200m field, while his American counterpart, Tyson Gay, registered a noteworthy 9.88 win in his first season back from a one-year doping violation, plus exoneration from USA Track and Field for cooperating with doping investigations.

While his colours were lowered for the violation, that of Jamaica's Thompson continued to rise as she added some more stars to her glowing advancement this season, even as she placed second.

The Jamaica ran a big personal-best 10.84 seconds to finish second alongside American English Gardner, separated only by the camera at the finish line.

Thompson was slowly out of the blocks, but picked up the pace by mid-race, stayed composed and just got breasted by Gardner in a blanket finish, with the rest of the field well beaten. The wind reading was 1.5 mps.

Brazilian Rosangela Olive was third in 11.04, with the US's Jeneba Tarmoh fourth in 11.06.

"It's a big PB, I'm grateful, I have to thank God. Training is hard and it really showed on the track," said Thompson. "It was a pretty good race, I finished healthy and I'm happy."

Gay produced a strong, late burst to take the men's short sprint ahead of his countryman, Michael Rodgers, who laid down 9.90. China's Su Bingtian (9.99) clipped evergreen Kittian Kim Collins (9.99) for third.

Jamaica's Nesta Carter, who led from the blocks but started fading from mid-race, was fifth in 10.02.

"I've been working on a few things in training and I came out here to do it in the competition. I think I did fairly well, but I think I'll have to look over the tape and see where I went wrong," said Carter after the race with a 1.5 wind measurement.

In the longer sprint, Gatlin blew past his competitors on the curve and by the time they came into the straight the race was over.

Ashmeade and Forte got caught in the American's tailwind and finished third and fifth, respectively.

Ashmeade clocked 20.18, finishing behind South Africa's Anaso Jobodwana, 20.04.

"My coach said just go out there and run the race to win, but I wanted to run a good time. I think I did a little bit of both," said Gatlin, who pulled up a couple steps before the finish line for his world lead and joint PB.

In the women's 400m, McPherson, running out of lane five, was steady throughout and came into the home stretch behind leader Felix and Sanya Richards-Ross making a strong move. However, Felix, who ran hard over the first and last 150m, showed good form and strength to win comfortably ahead of Jamaica-born Richards-Ross and McPherson, who closed like a train for a season best.

Novlene Williams-Mills (51.89) and Christine Day (52.29) never featured prominently at any point and finished sixth and eighth, respectively.

The men's 400m had no late drama, as Grenada's Kirani James laid down a dominating performance for the best time this year, 43.95.

His big rival, American Lashawn Merritt, clocked 44.51 for second, beating Bahamian Chris Brown (44.54).

Jamaican Andrew Riley improved his time this year to 13.28 seconds in the men's high hurdles, where France's Pascal Martinot-Lagarde won in a world-leading 13.06. Favoured Americans Aries Merritt and David Oliver clocked 13,12 and 13.14, respectively, for second and third.

Wolmer's schoolboy Jaheel Hyde placed at the back of the field in the men's 400 hurdles in 50.80.

Americans claimed the top three positions, with Johnny Dutch (48.20) winning ahead of Bershawn Jackson (48.22) and Michael Tinsley (48.79).

Other 2015 bests came from French pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie (6.05m); the IAAF Male Athlete of the Year, Ezekiel Kemboi (8:01.71), in the men's steeplechase; Qatari Mutaz Barshim (2.41m) in the men's high jump; Eunice Sum (1:57.82) in the women's 800m; and for the mile, Djibouti's Ayanleh Souleman (3:51.10).