News20 Sep 2009

Gay 9.69 and Jeter 10.64 at 100m; Liu Xiang makes dazzling comeback – Shanghai Golden Grand Prix


Liu Xiang makes his comeback from injury taking second place in the 2009 Shanghai Golden Grand Prix (© Getty Images)

Shanghai, ChinaThe equal second quickest men’s 100m sprint all-time and the fourth quickest women’s 100m in history were the undoubted highlights of the 2009 Shanghai Golden Grand Prix (20).

Yet they can be no doubting that the stunning 13.15 sec comeback from injury for China’s former World and Olympic 110m Hurdles champion Liu Xiang is what excited the crowd most at the IAAF Grand Prix in Shanghai, the home city of China’s ultimate sporting hero.

Gay - 9.69sec

USA’s Tyson Gay produced a blistering display to lower his American 100 metres record and power past early leader Jamaica’s Asafa Powell winning in 9.69 seconds (+2.0 m/s). Powell finished a well beaten second in 9.85 with American Darvis Patton, third, 9.89, which equalled his PB. Nester Carter of Jamaica was fourth in 9.91 (PB).

Gay’s run was the second-fastest of all-time equalling the World record clocking that Usain Bolt achieved when winning the Olympic gold in Beijing. His previous US record of 9.71 was achieved when winning the World Championships silver medal behind Bolt last month, the Jamaican improving the World record to 9.58 on that occasion to win the World title.

Jeter - 10.64

USA’s World bronze medallist Carmelita Jeter, who ran 10.67sec last weekend in Thessaloniki to become the third fastest female sprinter of all-time, lowered her 100m PB again to 10.64 (1.2m/s) and is now the second faster sprinter in history. Her time is the fourth fastest on the all-time list headed by three runs in 1988 by USA’s World record holder Florence Griffith- Joyner.

Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown and Chandra Sturrup of the Bahamas, clocked 10.89 and 11.03 respectively for second and third today.

In perhaps the understatement of the season, Jeter commented, “everything’s finally coming together!”

Chinese hero returns and so nearly pulls off victory

Returning to the field after a 13-month absence, 110m hurdler and former World record holder Liu Xiang placed second tonight in a photo finish. The 2004 Athens Olympic gold medallist and 2007 World champion got back in the game with this comeback, his first race since he was forced to pull out of his first round heat at Beijing Olympics due to an Achilles tendon injury.

A tsunami of cheers and applause swept the stadium as the Shanghai native crossed the finish line abreast of American Terrence Trammell in 13.15. Trammell, having become familiar with second places at the 2007 and 2009 World championships, as well as in the 2000 and 2004 Olympics was awarded first this time. Chinese hurdler Shi Dongpeng, a semi-finalist in Beijing, came in third with a 13.34. Liu Xiang's old adversary American 1996 Olympic and four-time World champion Allen Johnson, whom Liu Xiang beat for gold at the Shanghai meetings in 2005 and 2006, placed fourth with a 13.47.

Though Liu Xiang carries the dreams of an entire nation, pressure did not get to him tonight, in fact all three Chinese runners fared well, delivering season bests, with eighteen-year-old Xie Wenjun placing seventh with 13.53.

Isinbayeva on-top with stadium record

With only Daegu left to go in the post-season, Russia’s pole vaulting queen Yelena Isinbayeva is ending an uneven year on a high note after an upsetting failure in Berlin’s World Championship in which she no heighted, the title going to Anna Rogowska of Poland. Tonight she was second only to Liu Xiang in the crowd’s adoration as she cleared 4.85m, busting her own stadium record of 4.65. Victory in hand, she attempted to beat her own World record of 5.06 but did not succeed, not close at any of her attempts. 

Rogowska (4.60) and Pyrek, also of Poland (4.50), were next best. China’s Li Caixia vaulted to 4.40, a new personal best for the 22-year-old, who finished in sixth.

Foster-Hylton continues winning streak

At last year’s Shanghai meeting, Brigitte Foster-Hylton of Jamaica was the runner-up in the womne's 100m Hurdles, coming in a tenth of a second behind USA's Beijing Olympic gold medallist Dawn Harper. Tonight Harper and Foster-Hylton both registered 12.56 in a photo finish, equalling the stadium record. Foster-Hylton, who won her first World Championship title in Berlin at the age of 34, can once again celebrate another first placing. This was the World champion's sixth one-day meeting success in a row since taking her title in Berlin. Canadian Perdita Felicien followed next, clocking in at 12.73.

In the women's 200m, after winning her third consecutive World title in Berlin, 23-year-old American Allyson Felix again proved herself untouchable, coasting into first in 22.37sec. Neck-in-neck with Felix almost the entire way, Debbie Ferguson of The Bahamas was in the end surprised for second by Cydonie Mothersill of the Cayman Islands who finished late to tie on 22.45 sec but take the runners-up spot in a photo finish.

There was nearly a shock for USA's World and Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt in the men's one lap, as Britain’s Robert Tobin gave the world season leader a real run for his money, 45.28 sec to 45.49. Gary Kikaya of the Democratic Republic of Congo was third (45.63), finishing ahead of Beijing Olympics bronze medallist David Neville of America (45.94).

Shericka Williams of Jamaica, silver medallist in Berlin, was challenged over the women's 400m by fellow countrywoman Novlene Williams-Mills, 4th in Berlin. As the Jamaicans rounded into the finishing straight, it seemed that Williams-Mills was a paper shred ahead of Williams, but it was Williams, the Olympic silver medallist, who glided in first, coming in 0.02 seconds ahead of Williams-Mills (49.85).

USA's World champion Dwight Phillips and South Africa's silver medallist Godfrey Mokoena put up another good fight for first place in the Long Jump. Phillips’ second round 8.36m was good enough to beat Mokoena, who steadily lengthened his leaps to a best of 8.27m in the fourth. Christian Reif of Germany led the rest (8.09).

In the women's 1500m, Gelete Burka of Ethiopia stayed out of trouble by taking an early lead which she never gave up finishing in 4:02.15 to beat Olympic gold medallist Nancy Jebet Lagat of Kenya who had come back to the top of the pile last weekend by winning the World Athletic Final. Ethiopian, Kalkidan Gezahene, placed third (4:03.47).

Amine Laalou of Morocco surprised the rest of the men's 1500m field, shooting into the finishing straight, his winning time of 3:34.19 close to a full second ahead of World champion Yusuf Saad Kamel of Bahrain (3:34.94), who finished fast having totally miss-timed his run for the line.

Similarly Augustine Choge of Kenya skated easily to the finish line in the men's two-laps in 1:45.10, ahead of Berlin winner Mbulaeni Mulaudzi of South Africa (1:45.68) who like Kamel miscalculated this evening overtaking European champion Bram Som of the Netherlands (3rd, 1:45.78) in the home straight but was never near enough to challenge Choge.

In the women's 400m Hurdles, World and Olympic champion Melanie Walker of Jamaica (54.68 sec) sailed to an easy victory in front of Angela Morosanu of Romania (55.11).

USA's Berlin bronze medallist Wallace Spearmon won the 200m in 20.57sec.

The men's High Jump was won by American world season leader Andra Manson with 2.27m, and with a stadium record of 14.72m on her third jump, Olympic silver medallist Tatyana Lebedeva of Russia leapt past another world season leader Nadezhda Alekhina, also of Russia (14.61) to win the women's Triple Jump.

A Diamond future ahead

Beginning next year, the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix will become part of the new IAAF Diamond League, the new global one-day circuit that replaces the current Golden League.

Jean Yung for the IAAF

*World record subject to usual ratification procedures

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