Sun, Jul 15, 2012 - Page 20 News List

Gay powers to 100m win


US athlete Tyson Gay, right, leads, from the left, the Cayman Islands’ Kemar Hyman, Jamaica’s Nesta Carter and US athlete Ryan Bailey to win the men’s 100m final at the Diamond League athletics meet at Crystal Palace in London on Friday.

Photo: AFP

Former world champion Tyson Gay shrugged off damp and cold conditions to power to victory in the 100m at the London Diamond League meeting on Friday.

Gay, the second-fastest man in history, took advantage of the late withdrawal of Jamaican rival Asafa Powell to clock a respectable 10.03 seconds into a headwind at Crystal Palace.

The 29-year-old former world champion over 100m and 200m, who is hoping to break the dominance of Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake at the Olympics, finished clear of Ryan Bailey in 10.09 seconds and Jamaica’s Nesta Carter in 10.13 seconds.

“I feel pretty good with the win. The weather wasn’t that bad, it’s very important to acclimatize and the weather helps me prepare mentally for the Games,” Gay said. “I’m in pretty good shape — I want that Olympic gold.”

Britain’s reigning 5,000m world champion Mo Farah delighted the home crowd with a pulsating win in 13 minutes, 6.04 seconds.

Farah’s time was well short of his season’s best of 12:56.98, but the 29-year-old was happy to have warmed up for his dream of Olympic glory on home soil with a confident performance.

“One last time at home before the Olympics and the crowd gave me a great boost. It’s incredible,” said Farah, who finished clear of Australia’s Collis Birmingham and Moses Kipsiro of Uganda.

The other outstanding performance of the night came in the men’s 110m hurdles, where the US’ Aries Merritt indicated he would be the man to beat at the Olympics with a superb season’s fastest time of 12.93 seconds.

Merritt, the recent winner of the US Olympic trials and favorite for the gold medal in London, led an American sweep of the top three positions, storming clear of Jason Richardson in 13.06 seconds and Ryan Wilson in 13.18.

Chinese star Liu Xiang pulled out of the final moments before the start, suffering from a bad back.

In-form Puerto Rican Javier Culson scored a psychological blow over British world champion Dai Greene in the 400m hurdles.

Culson, unbeaten over the distance this season, romped home in 47.78 seconds to equal the season’s fastest time he had set in Paris last week, with Greene second.

The 27-year-old was always in control, flying out of the blocks to build an unassailable lead before holding Greene, who finished in 48.10 seconds. Two-time Olympic champion Angelo Taylor of the US was third in 48.43.

It was a different story for British hopes in the women’s 400m hurdles, with Perri Shakes-Drayton recording an impressive win over a strong field which included newly crowned European champion Irina Davydova.

Shakes-Drayton, 23, obliterated her previous personal best of 54.18 seconds to come home in 53.77, equaling the second-fastest time of the year set by Davydova, who was second in 54.63.

Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica was third, while compatriot Melaine Walker, the reigning Olympic champion, was a distant fourth.

Meanwhile, Kenyan distance runner Vivian Cheruiyot signaled she would be the woman to beat over 5,000m at the Olympics with a classy victory in 14:48.86, pipping compatriots Mercy Cherono, second with 14:49.26, and Linet Masai, with 14:53.93.

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