Bolt sees off Powell, Oliver sizzles in hurdles

Usain Bolt saw off compatriot Asafa Powell in the 100m at the Diamond League meeting.

Paris: Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt saw off compatriot Asafa Powell in the 100m at the Diamond League meeting Friday that saw American David Oliver clock the third-fastest time ever in the 110m hurdles.

Bolt, the reigning world record holder in the 100 and 200m, ran a meet record of 9.84 seconds, with Powell at 0.07sec back and another Jamaican, Yohan Blake, in third on 9.95.

The 23-year-old triple Olympic and double world sprint champion, who only made his comeback from an Achilles tendon problem last week, was held by Powell until the closing 20 metres, but had enough in the tank to take it at the line.

Despite the victory, Bolt was not satisfied with his performance at the Stade de France.

"I didn`t feel so powerful out of the blocks as I wanted to. I need to work on that," said Bolt.

"Asafa got the body drive from the blocks. I am not in my best shape at the moment and it`s hard to be at my best."

Powell said he was confident catching Bolt in the near future.

"It was just a bad race tonight. It will get better," said Powell.

"There`s a lot going on behind the scenes. I`m just working on some stuff and hopefully we will get there."

The stand-out performance of the evening, however, came from Oliver, who timed the third fastest time ever in the men`s 110m hurdles at 12.89sec.

Only Cuban world record holder Dayron Robles (12.87) and China`s Liu Xiang (12.88) have gone faster.

"It`s excellent, I broke the US record and became the third ever under 12.90sec," said Oliver, bronze medallist at the Beijing Olympics. "Records will come when they should -- I`m not thinking about that too much."

It was a mixed night for the reigning world and Olympic champions on show.

Australian Steven Hooker bombed in the pole vault, Kiwi Valerie Vili was second in the shot, South African Mbulaeni Mulaudzi second in the 800m, Kenyan Ezekiel Kemboi third in the men`s steeplechase, and Phillips Idowu of Britain was fourth in the triple jump.

But Allyson Felix (200m) and Brittney Reese of the United States (long jump), Croat Blanka Vlasic (high jump) and Kenya`s Vivian Cheruiyot (5000m) all won their events.

Jeremy Wariner ran a world lead of 44.49sec in the 400m, turning on the gas around the final bend and managing to hold off Jamaican Jermaine Gonzales.

"I`m back, we can say that," said the American, the two-time world champion and Olympic gold medallist in Athens in 2004 who was beaten into silver at the 2009 Berlin worlds and 2008 Beijing Games by compatriot LaShawn Merritt.

"It`s mid-season right now for me, so I must be satisfied with where I am. I`m now already faster than last year and that is a good feeling."

Australian Hooker was a surprise early casualty in the pole vault, the reigning world and Olympic champion bombing out at 5.40m.

French vaulter Renaud Lavillenie, the world bronze medallist, wont he event with a best of 5.91m.

Kenya enjoyed a cleansweep of the men`s 3000m steeple, Olympic champion Brimin Kipruto outsprinting team-mates Paul Koech and Kemboi to the line.

Sudan`s Abubaker Kaki powered to an impressive victory in the men`s 800m, clocking 1min 43.50sec to see off Mulaudzi by 0.61sec.

Felix destroyed the field in the women`s 200m, the reigning triple world champion winning in 22.14sec after running a hard bend.

In arguably the most entertaining event of the night, Vlasic held off some stiff competition from American Chaunte Howard-Lowe to win the high jump.

After failing with two attempts at 1.98m, the Croat registered a best of 2.02m, with Howard-Lowe at 2.00 after a duel that had engaged the crowd.

New Zealand`s reigning world and Olympic champion Vili could only muster second behind Nadezhda Ostapchuk in the shot put, the Belarusian throwing a meet record of 20.78m to the Kiwi`s 20.13.

Bureau Report

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