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Wins for Jamaicans Simpson and Carter in IAAF Golden League opening meet in Berlin

2 June 2008

By Gary Smith

Caribbean athletes recorded two wins at the DKB-ISTAF Berlin, the opening meeting of the IAAF Golden League series, in Berlinís Olympic stadium Sunday afternoon.

Jamaicans Sherone Simpson and Nesta Carter, who both trained together with former world record holder Asafa Powell in Kingston, were the top podium athletes on the day.

Simpson coming back to form

Entering a very competitive field for the womenís 200m, Simpson ran a hard first 100m to take the victory in 22.43. The time was a seasonís best for the Jamaican who, in 2006, was the best female sprinter in both the 100 and 200m dashes. She bettered her 23.44-secs previous seasonal best time.

Simpson came home ahead of Russian Yulia Gushchina, who clocked 22.58 to take second over another Jamaican Kerron Stewart, who ran the same time for third place. Bahamian Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie also broke 23 seconds, crossing the finish line in 22.96.

Good sprinting by Carter

Carter exploded from the blocks to win the menís 100m dash over a strong field. The Jamaican's victory ended the hopes of some of the bigger names, such as World silver medallist Derrick Atkins from the Bahamas and Netherlands Antillesí Churandy Martina, the fastest man in the field this season.

Carter clocked a personal best of 10.08-seconds, following the bullet start to improve on the 10.10 he ran earlier this season. Finishing behind him was St Kitts and Nevisí former world champion Kim Collins, who ran a seasonal best of 10.12 for second place.

Following Usain Boltís magical 9.72-seconds world record run in New York, last night, Carter said it is clear that when Asafa Powell comes back, the challenge will be on for third place.

"With Usain Bolt getting the world record it was a big day for Jamaica and I have contributed to that with a win here," said Carter.

"I think third spot after Asafa and Usain for the Olympic Games in our 100 metres team is open and I want to fight for that spot."

American Ivory Williams (10.13), Martina (10.16) and Atkins (10.18) were some of the favourites left battling for the minor places.

Robles caught at the line

There were second place finishes for Jamaican Adrian Findlay and Cubaís Dayron Robles in the 400m and 110m Hurdles, respectively.

Findlay ran well from the outside line to take second in 49.13 and followed American Bershawn Jackson, who ran a peculiar first 350m before coming back to take the win in 48.73.

In the menís 110m Hurdles, Dayron went into the cruise mode too early and got nipped at the line by improving American hurdler David Oliver.

Dayron looked well placed to take the win at the half-way mark, but was caught and edged out by a diving Oliver, at 13.19 to 13.20.

In the womenís race, Spainís Josephine Onyia shocked everyone to take the win in a 12.50 over Swedenís pre-meet favourite Susanna Kallur (12.54).

Jamaicaís Vonette Dixon was the best place Caribbean athlete in fourth place with 12.71. Countrywoman Brigitte Foster-Hylton was eight in 12.97. Delloreen Ennis-London was well placed to finish in the top half of the race but she went crashing out with three flight of hurdles to go.

Bahamian Chris Brown ran 44.68 to take third in an exciting menís 400m dash. In this race, American World and Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner suffered a rare defeat when he was past by countryman LaShawn Merritt.

Merritt won the race in 44.03 over Wariner, at 44.07. Jamaican Ricardo Chambers was fifth in 45.52.

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