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Asafa Powell wins 100m at Gateshead Grand Prix

31 August 2008

Asafa Powell (Kirby Lee / Image of Sport) Asafa Powell (Kirby Lee / Image of Sport)
By Gary Smith

Former World record holder Asafa Powell, who anchored Jamaica's 4x100m team to a World record in Beijing, won the men's 100m in gloomy conditions at the Gateshead Grand Prix on Sunday.

Powell clocked 9.87-seconds on a wet track to take the event ahead of countryman and training partner Nesta Carter, the lead off man on the Jamaican record breaking squad, as Caribbean athletes swept the top four places.

Carter posted 10.13sec to finish second, while Trinidadian Marc Burns a finallist in Beijing, took third in 10.16 and St Kitts and Nevis' Kim Collins, 10.23.

In the women's 100m Jamaican Olympic champion Shelly Ann Fraser had to settle for second behind American Lauryn Williams, who the victory in 11.24secs.

Fraser, the last runner to leave the blocks, finished second in 11.29, Bahamian Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie was third in 11.42. Jamaica's Olympic silver medallist Sherone Simpson failed to duplicate that performance and finished last in 11.67.

Williams completed the double after running 22.65 for first place in the 200m. Ferguson-McKenzie followed her home in 22.73, with Jamaica's Olympic 400m silver medallist Shericka Williams rounding off the top three with a 22.80 seasonal best.

Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia, back on the track in just two days after winning the men's 5,000m in Zurich on Friday, won the 3,000m impressively with a final lap kick that opened up a huge gap as he crossed the finishing line in stadium record of 7:31.95.

Kenyans Isaac Songok (7:38.15) and Levi Matebo, who posted a personal of 7:39.43, were second and third respectively.

The men's 400m went to Briton young star Martyn Rooney in a time of 45.35, his fellow countryman Michael Bingham came third in 45.71, with Trinidadian Ato Stephens chasing for third with 46.09.

World champion Tyson Gay went back to winning ways after his disappointing showing at the Olympics when he took the men's 200m in a solid 20.26.

The American who recovered just in time to run in the men's 100m, but did not make the finals in Beijing, came home ahead of countryman Wallace Spearmon, at 20.41 and Ireland's Paul Hession, 20.61.

Antigua's national record holder Brendan Christian finished fifth in 20.67, just ahead of Collins (20.68), a finallist at the Olympics.

Olympic champion Melaine Walker powered home in the final 40m to win the women's 400m hurdles with a time of 54.51. The Jamaican timed her run perfectly again to see off the rush of Poland's reigning world bronze medallist Anna Jesien, who finished almost a second behind in the runner up slot with 55.35 ahead of Britain's Tasha Danvers (55.61).

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