US sprinter Justin Gatlin overcame the rain and a challenge by Jamaica’s Nickel Ashmeade to win the 100m at the Gugl Games on Monday.
Gatlin, beaten for the world title by Usain Bolt in Moscow earlier this month, was the fastest starter, but saw his lead narrowed by Ashmeade, who won a relay gold with Jamaica at the worlds. The American clocked 10.08 seconds to beat Ashmeade by 0.09. Keston Bledman of Trinidad and Tobago trailed Gatlin by 0.19 in third.
“Today, my legs were tired,” said Gatlin, who announced before the race he was going to attack the track record of 9.92. However, he failed to seriously threaten the 19-year-old mark.
“I promise I’ll break the Gugl record next year,” he said.
The field of the European Athletics meet included 11 current or former Olympic gold medalists and four reigning world champions, but the wet conditions and low temperatures prevented them from posting outstanding results.
World record holder Aries Merritt of the US beat 2008 Olympic champion Dayron Robles by 0.23 to take the 110m hurdles in 13.26. Mikel Thomas of Trinidad and Tobago was another 0.02 back in third.
Olympic pole vault champion Renaud Lavillenie of France had no valid attempt as the competition was won by his younger brother, Valentin, who had a best jump of 5.63m.
Russia’s Aleksandr Menkov lived up to expectations by easily winning the long jump. The Russian world champion’s best effort of 7.94m beat Britain’s Chris Tomlinson’s by 15cm.
On the women’s side, Olympic champion Sally Pearson of Australia won the 100m hurdles in 12.83, leading second-place Reina-Flor Okori of France by 0.35.
Barbara Pierre won the women’s 100m in 11.14 ahead of Charonda Williams and Alexandra Anderson to lead a US sweep of the podium.
World silver medalist Dalilah Muhammad of the US took the 400m hurdles in 55.01, defeating Denisa Rosolova of Czech Republic by 0.26, and Natasha Hastings convincingly won the 400m in 50.92 to beat American teammate Jessica Beard by 0.72.