Novlene, Kaliese win in Oregon - Fraser-Pryce finishes last in 200m
EUGENE, Oregon (CMC):
Jamaica's Novlene Williams-Mills and Kaliese Spencer recorded quality wins at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, where Hansle Parchment and Stephenie McPherson also secured podium finishes yesterday.
Williams-Mills won the women's 400 metres, racing to a time of 50.40 seconds to finish ahead of American Francena McCorory, who clocked 50.53 seconds.
Another Jamaican, fast-rising Stephenie McPherson, was third in 50.63.
Spencer kept Jamaica's flag in the spotlight by capturing the women's 400 metres hurdles in a world-leading 54.29 seconds.
Americans Kori Carter (55.22) and Tiffany Williams (55.97) were second and third, respectively. Jamaican Shevon Stoddard trailed in fourth in 56.15 seconds.
However, while she failed to win, the main superstar sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce's loss in the women's 200 metres captured a lot of attention.
Fraser-Pryce, the Olympic and World double sprint champion, produced a massive shock as she finished dead last in 23.06 seconds.
American Tori Bowie won the event by clocking 22.18 seconds - the fastest time this year - as she beat Nigerian Blessing Okagbare, who was timed at a personal best 22.23.
Olympic champion Allyson Felix of the United States was third in 22.14 seconds.
In the men's sprint hurdles, Frenchman Pascal Martinot-Lagarde sped to a world-leading 13.13 seconds as he beat Jamaica's Parchment into second in 13.20.
American Justin Gatlin continued his great form this year, clocking a wind-assisted 9.76 seconds, to remain undefeated this season.
He finished ahead of compatriot Michael Rodgers, who was second in 9.80 seconds, with Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut third in 9.89 - the same time as Jamaican Nesta Carter, who was fourth.
Nickel Ashmeade, also of Jamaica, was fifth in 9.95 seconds.
Grenada's Olympic champion Kirani James stormed to a world-leading time as he won his first major 400 metres duel of the year with American Lashawn Merritt.
The 21-year-old James clocked 43.97 - the same time as Merritt - as he barely edged out the World champion in a close finish at Hayward Field, in the third meet of the lucrative IAAF Diamond League series.
The result for James was a reversal of last year's finish at the event when Merritt took the tape first with James second.
"We'll go at it many more times," Merritt said afterwards.
Youssef Ahmed Masrahi of Saudi Arabia finished third in a season-best 44.77 seconds, while Bahamian Chris Brown also posted a season-best 45.15 as he came home fourth.
There was disappointment for World silver medallist, Tony McQuay, however, as the American finished down the field in seventh, in a time of 46.25 seconds.