Tyson Gay (left) runs next to Derrick Atkins in the men's 100-metre dash at the Adidas Track Classic yesterday in Carson, California. Gay won with a time of 9.79 followed by Atkins with 9.86. - AP photo
CARSON, California (Reuters):
Ethiopian distance runner Meseret Defar and American sprint sensation Tyson Gay lit up the Adidas Track Classic with glittering performances at the Home Depot Centre yesterday.
At the same meet, Jamaica's Olympic 100m champion, Veronica Campbell, placed a close-up second in the women's sprint in 10.91 seconds, beaten by the United States' Torrie Edwards, who clocked a world-leading 10.90. Another Jamaican, Olympic sprint relay gold medallist, Aleen Bailey, finished seventh in 11.17 seconds.
Defar defied a bout of food poisoning to set a world record in the women's two-mile run and Gay powered to victory in the men's 100 metres with a wind-assisted time of 9.79 seconds.
Defar, the Olympic 5,000m champion, romped to victory with a new world mark of 9:10.47 seconds despite having vomited shortly before the race.
"I think it must have been something I ate," the 23-year-old from Addis Ababa told reporters after setting her fourth world record.
"I had a warm-up of 15 minutes and then I vomited two or three times just two minutes before the start. I was scared and thought that maybe I couldn't beat the record.
"But once I started the race, I was ok. With two laps to go, I knew I was going to break the record."
In other races, World and Olympic gold medallist Jeremy Wariner outclassed the opposition in the men's 400m and fellow American Allyson Felix set the fastest time this year to win the women's 200m. Felix dominated the race, cruising home in 22.18 seconds with compatriot LaShauntea Moore second in 22.46.
Defar, who broke the previous mark of 9:11.97 set by American Regina Jacobs in 1999, finished ahead of Canada's Megan Metcalf (9:37.04) and American Kara Goucher (9:41.32).
Gay's performance, the fastest this year, would have equalled the American record set by former Olympic champion Maurice Greene in 2005 had it not been for a stiff breeze.
More than I needed
"That tail wind of 2.5 was more than I wanted but I think I can do the same time with a 1.8 at my back," said Gay, who finished ahead of compatriot Derrick Atkins (9.86) and Jamaican Steve Mullings (10.02). Another Jamaican, Dwight Thomas, finished fifth in 10.07.
A crowd of 6,208 had hoped to see a head-to-head between Gay and Greene but the three-times 100m world champion failed to make the final after finishing last in his heat.
Wariner, who set the year's fastest time with 44.02 in Osaka, Japan, earlier this month, was unhappy with his start.
"I didn't get out too good on the first turn, which affected me the most," he said after powering to victory in 44.60 seconds. "The coach said I was 22.12 for the first 200 but the wind down the back straight didn't work out well at all. But my final kick was good.
"I've got to put the best parts of my races together at the same time," added the 23-year-old, who finished ahead of Chris Brown of the Bahamas (45.10) and Jamaican Sanjay Ayre (45.25).