Felix wavers, Lavillenie wins in Shanghai

Shanghai: Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix failed to recapture her previous magic at the Shanghai Diamond Meet Sunday, finishing a disappointing fifth in the 400m, her first race of the season.

But it was a night to remember for Nigerian Blessing Okagbare, who claimed victory in the 200m and the long jump, and for France`s indoor world record pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie, who won his event with a jump of 5.92 meters.

Felix, a four-time Olympic gold winner, had vowed to return to form this season after winning only two Diamond races in 2013 before crashing out of the Moscow world championships 200m with a hamstring injury.

Her race was won by Novlene Williams-Mills, who showed serious grit at the London 2012 Olympics when she took a 4x400m relay bronze medal having been diagnosed with breast cancer shortly before the Games.

She subsequently had four operations, including a double mastectomy in January 2013.

Okagbare won the women`s 200m with a time of 22.36 seconds, a race which also saw Veronica Campbell-Brown return to the Diamond League circuit after her doping controversy.

The Jamaican former Olympic champion spent 10 months on the sidelines before having a two-year ban overturned in February.

Campbell-Brown finished the race in fifth, while Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was a late withdrawal.

Okagbare had earlier won the long jump event, with a 6.86-metre leap.

In the men`s disciplines, Justin Gatlin ran the 100m under 10 seconds for the first time this year, claiming victory in 9.92 seconds after leading from the blocks.

The US sprinter, who came back from a four-year doping ban in 2010, said: "I just wanted to put a good race together. I know I did a good time, but was not thinking 9.92."

Olympic silver medalist Michael Tinsley stormed to victory in the 400m hurdles after he summoned extra strength at the climax of the race to edge to the front of a pack of four.

Lavillenie, meanwhile, told AFP that he was feeling stronger after breaking the world record in February but injuring his foot on the same event, leaving him out for five weeks.

"Three months ago I was not even able to put my foot on the ground because of my injuries," he told AFP.

"For me it is a big improvement. I think it (recovering from injury) has made me stronger than I was before."

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