Bolt wins 200 in Lausanne, Blake sets personal best
Jamaica’s Usain Bolt (C) celebrates after winning ahead of his compatriot Warren Weir (R) and Netherlands’ Churandy Martina in the men’s 200m race during the Athletissima Diamond League meeting in Lausanne August 23, 2012. (REUTERS/Denis Balibouse)
LAUSANNE, Aug 23 (Reuters) – Olympic champion Usain Bolt ran 19.58 seconds for victory in the 200 metres at the Lausanne Diamond League meeting on Thursday while Yohan Blake equalled the third fastest time ever to win the 100 in 9.69.
The effervescent Bolt performed the air guitar as he was presented to the crowd before predictably dominating the race, winning ahead of Dutchman Churandy Martina and as the top three all finished in under 20 seconds.
Other highlights of the meeting included another win for Grenada’s teenage Olympic champion Kirani James in the 400 metres and the high jump where Qatar’s Moutaz Essa Barshim leapt 2.39 metres to defeat Olympic champion Ivan Ukhov.
Less impressive was the 110 metres hurdles where Olympic champion Aries Merritt was disqualified for a false start.
Bolt, who has said his main aim was to see out the season without injury, seemed as pleased with his latest stunt as he was with his performance.
“It’s fun, I heard the music and it just came to me, it was spontaneous,” he told BBC television.
His fellow Jamaican Blake, Olympic silver medallist in the 100 and 200 metres, beat his previous best by 0.06 seconds as he destroyed a world-class field in the 100, leaving Tyson Gay and Nesta Carter trailing in his wake.
Blake’s performance added to the feeling that the 22-year-old could be the one to eventually topple Bolt, who is four years his senior and beat him over both sprints at the London Games.
Merritt’s disqualification devalued what was billed as one of the highlights of the evening in the hurdles.
His fellow American, London silver medallist Jason Richardson, took advantage as he led from the front to win in 13.08 seconds, ahead of David Oliver and Olympic bronze medallist Hansle Parchment who was third.
James overcame a sluggish start to win the men’s 400 metres, coming back strongly in the third 100 metres before powering clear down the final straight to win by several metres in 44.37 seconds.
Dominican Republic’s Luguelin Santos was second in a repeat of the Olympic final.
Barshim, 21, equalled the world’s best performance this year to win the high jump, with Ukhov beaten into second place and Britain’s Robbie Grabarz third, both with 2.37.
Carmelita Jeter, beaten into second place by Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in London, reversed that result as she won the women’s 100 by millimetres with both women given the time of 10.86.
Fraser-Pryce clearly led at halfway before the American came surging back to pip her in a photo finish with the Jamaican guilty of standing up at the line.
“She’s a great starter and I knew I had to fight to the finish line,” said Jeter.
Mariya Savinova, another Olympic champion, lost out in a tactical battle to Pamela Jelimo in the women’s 800 metres.
Savinova was on Jelimo’s shoulder on the final bend and poised to attack but the Kenyan, fourth in London, charged clear with a sudden change of pace and the Russian was unable to catch her down the straight.
Olympic gold medallist Olga Rypakova of Kazakhstan won the women’s triple jump with 14.68 metres, while world champion Olha Saladukha was second.
Valerie Adams of New Zealand, who won the Olympic shot put after Belarusian Nadezhda Ostapchuk was stripped of gold for failing a dope test, twice broke the meeting record for victory with 20.95.