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Sprinter Powell eases to 100m win

25 July 2008
bbc.co.uk

Jamaica's Asafa Powell cruised to victory in the 100m at the London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace to complete his preparations for the Beijing Olympics.

The ex-world record holder won in 9.94 seconds ahead of Trinidad's Marc Burns, with Britain's Craig Pickering eighth.

Gold medal favourite Phillips Idowu won the triple jump with a 17.42m leap.

Elsewhere, Christine Ohuruogu led home a British 1-2-3 in the 400m while Kelly Sotherton recorded a lifetime-best long jump in the four-event competition.

Her leap of 6.79m was the perfect start to the weekend, but the shine was taken off her evening as she struggled in the 100m hurdles - coming home fourth in a race that had to be rerun after the hurdles were originally set out in the wrong position.

She still holds a 69-point lead going into Saturday's two events, but the 31-year-old was left fuming at the hurdles debacle.

"I'm totally fed up," said Sotherton. "The long jump went so well but they ruined the hurdles, and now I'm just angry.

She added: "I have had so many issues this year with injury and illness so I am delighted to jump a personal best like that."

Jon Ridgeon, speaking on behalf of the organisers, said: "It was a genuine mistake that the hurdles were misplaced.

"We confirmed with the athletes whether they were happy to re-run the race and they were."

The main attraction at Crystal Palace was the men's 100m race, despite the absence of injured world champion Tyson Gay.

Powell, who lost his world record to compatriot Usain Bolt earlier this year, blew away the opposition, though a headwind meant his time was some way off the mark of 9.74 seconds he set in Rieti, Italy, in 2007.

"The race did not quite go as expected but felt easy," said Powell.

"A bit more work to do and everything should be fine for Beijing," he added.

"The way I am running at the moment I feel I am in the best shape I have been in."

Briton Pickering, meanwhile, made it into the final as one of the fastest losers from the heats in a time of 10.25.

Though he improved on that with a run of 10.21, it was only good enough to see him finish eighth in the showpiece.

The news was better for Idowu, even though it took the triple jumper until his fourth effort to show something like his best form with a leap of 17.41m - an effort that he beat by a centimetre with his next jump.

"I had to wait until rounds four and five to get going but I've been saying all year that I feel, regardless of whatever anyone else does, I'm not going to lose," he said.

"I can't envisage myself being beaten. We had the top three finishers - that's a nice way to finish before we go to Beijing," he added, alluding to fellow Britons Nathan Douglas and Larry Achike, who finished second and third with leaps of 17.14m and 17.09m respectively.



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