American Walter Dix said Olympic and world champion Usain Bolt could “definitely be beaten” at the global championships in South Korea after easing to victory in the 200m on the second day of the London Diamond League meeting on Saturday.
Dix was among a number of US athletes to record impressive wins on a cool day in the British capital, with fellow sprinter Carmelita Jeter and one-lap queen Sanya Richards-Ross also laying down the gauntlet to their rivals ahead of the worlds in Daegu, which start on Aug. 27.
Olympic double bronze medalist Dix, the top American male hope for sprint medals in the absence of the injured Tyson Gay, clocked 20.16 seconds into a minus headwind and was pleased by his performance.
Bolt may not have been at the meeting, which he also missed last year because of British tax rules on promotional earnings, but he will be the man to beat in Daegu, a task Dix thought was far from impossible when asked about it after his victory.
Another sprinter to watch at the worlds will be Jeter, who has been in consistent form all season and aged 31, will be a strong contender for a first global title after bronzes in 2007 and 2009.
The second fastest woman of all time over 100m — only the late Florence Griffith-Joyner has gone quicker — powered down the straight to win in 10.93 seconds, ahead of Trinidad and Tobago’s Kelly-Ann Baptiste (10.97 seconds) and Olympic and world champion Shelley-Ann Fraser Pryce (11.10 seconds).
Richards-Ross appears to be hitting peak form at the right time as she heads to South Korea to defend her world 400m crown.
The 26-year-old, who missed most of last season through injury, lowered her season’s best by nearly a second in clocking 49.66 seconds.
The American’s best display of the season contrasted sharply with that of Britain’s Olympic and former world champion Christine Ohuruogu, who trailed in last.
Ohuruogu, like Richards-Ross, missed most of last year’s season through injury and has hardly competed this year.
Home favorite and world and European triple jump champion Philips Idowu was upstaged by American Christian Taylor, who smashed his personal best by 28cm with a third round leap of 17.68m to take victory.
The always colorful Idowu, his cropped hair dyed blonde with a blue stripe down the middle and resplendent in white headband and knee high white socks, was far from his best and had to settle for third with a jump of 17.07m.
In other events, Australian Sally Pearson scorched to victory in the women’s 100m hurdles, Puerto Rican Javier Culson won the men’s 400m hurdles in a season’s best 48.33 seconds and Lithuania’s Virgilijus Alekna, twice Olympic and world discus champion, secured victory with a throw of 66.71m.