LAUSANNE, Switzerland, CMC – Asafa Powell ran the fastest 100 metres in the World this year yesterday at the IAAF Diamond League Athletissima meet, as Jermaine Gonzales continued his good form.
Powell established himself as a serious challenger for fellow Jamaican Usain Bolt at the World Championships later this year, clocking 9.78 seconds.
Powell’s compatriot Michael Frater was second in a season’s best time of 9.88 secs, and Frenchman Christopher Lemaitre ran a national record time of 9.95.
“It was a fantastic run, a bit cold out there, but I managed to push through,” Powell told the BBC.
“I got a great start. We’ve been practising that for a very long time now. I definitely can’t wait to face Usain.”
The 28-year-old Powell followed up his victory at the Jamaica national championships last weekend with another impressive performance. He delivered more bad news to injured American star Tyson Gay, clipping one hundredth of a second off his mark set on June 4 in Florida.
Powell ran 9.90 at the Jamaica championships, but Bolt has a season’s best time of 9.91.
The defending World 100 champion and record holder set ran that time at the Diamond League meet last month in Rome, when Powell finished runner-up.
Gonzales, another Jamaican, saw off the challenge of Belarus’ Kevin Borlee and Tabarie Henry of the United States Virgin Islands in the men’s 400, taking victory in a time of 45.27.
Borlee finished one tenth of a second behind Gonzales, with Henry clocking 45.57, and newly-minted Bahamian champion Demetrius Pinder was fourth in 45.99.
Undisputed Bahamian sprint queen Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie clocked 22.93, finishing eight hundredths of a second behind behind Mariya Ryemyen of the Ukraine in the women’s 200.
Jamaican Dwight Thomas ran 13.16, just four hundredths of a season behind Cuba’s Dayron Robeles in the men’s 110 hurdles, and was the only other Caribbean athlete to make it to the podium.