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Powell runs second-fastest 100 of season

14 July 2007

World record holder Asafa Powell made an impressive comeback from injury by winning the 100 meters in 9.90 seconds at a Golden League meeting on Friday.

Powell, who had not raced an individual 100 since suffering a groin injury at the Jamaican national championships on June 23, streaked away from the field in Rome to finish 0.12 seconds ahead of runnerup Derrick Atkins of the Bahamas.

Powell's time was his best of the season and the second-best performance of 2007 behind the 9.84 mark set by Tyson Gay at last month's U.S. trials.

His victory was just one of a number of impressive track performances on a warm, still night inside the Olympic Stadium.

In the women's 100 hurdles, world champion Michelle Perry set the fastest time of the year by winning in 12.44 seconds.

The American finished comfortably ahead of runnerup Josephine Onyia of Spain to shave one hundredth of a second off the previous best performance of 2007, set by her compatriot Virginia Powell.

Perry's win was also her third in three Golden League meetings, after Oslo and Paris, and kept her in the hunt for a share of the one million dollar jackpot on offer to athletes who win their event at all six Golden League meetings.

"The Golden League hunt is still on," Perry told journalists at trackside. "I'm really excited. I started well, I executed it well in the middle and I finished strongly."

The men's 5,000 also produced the best performance of 2007, with Sileshi Sihine of Ethiopia outsprinting Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge to win in 13 minutes, 1.46 seconds.

Another American, Sanya Richards, remained in contention for the jackpot by winning the 400 in 49.77 seconds.

There was disappointment, however, in the women's pole vault, where the eagerly awaited duel between Russia's world-record holder Yelena Isinbayeva and the improving Jennifer Stuczynski failed to materialize after the American pulled out with a back injury.

Isinbayeva underlined her supremacy in the event by clearing 4.90 meters at her first attempt -- 25 centimeters higher than second-placed Katerina Badurova -- before failing three times at a world-record height of 5.02.

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