Gatlin clocks 9.75 in 100m at Golden Gala

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY AN­DREW DAMPF

Justin Gatlin came within 0.01 sec­onds of his world-lead­ing time in the 100 me­ters, clock­ing 9.75 at the Golden Gala on Thurs­day.

Then the Amer­i­can de­clared he could ap­proach Usain Bolt’s world record of 9.58 at the world cham­pi­onships in Bei­jing in Au­gust.

“I feel con­fi­dent run­ning times around 9.70,” Gatlin said. “9.60 should be pos­si­ble in sum­mer.”

With the wind in his fa­vor, Gatlin fin­ished sev­eral strides ahead of the rest of the field then flexed his biceps for pho­tog­ra­phers in the fin­ish area.

Run­ning strong all the way to the fin­ish de­spite his lead, Gatlin took one tick off the clock from Bolt’s meet record of 9.76 set in 2012.

Euro­pean in­door cham­pion Jimmy Vi­caut crossed sec­ond in 9.98, and Gatlin’s fel­low Amer­i­can, Mike Rodgers, was third with the same time.

Gatlin clocked 9.74 sec­onds in the Di­a­mond League opener on May 15 in the swel­ter­ing heat of Doha, Qatar. Only four sprint­ers have ever run faster, in­clud­ing Bolt, who set 9.58 in 2009.

“The key thing to keep win­ning is to not think about it,” Gatlin said. “I do not think of beat­ing Usain Bolt now be­cause the cham­pi­onship is not to­mor­row. We still have some time.”

Also in the fourth stop of the Di­a­mond League, Olympic cham- pion Sally Pear­son of Australia sus­tained a bro­ken left wrist af­ter hit­ting the fifth ob­sta­cle in the 100 hur­dles. She will un­dergo surgery in Rome early Fri­day.

Or­ga­niz­ers said Pear­son was taken to the lo­cal Gemelli Hos­pi­tal, and her manager, Syd­ney­based Robert Joske, later con­firmed to The As­so­ci­ated Press that she sus­tained two frac­tures to her wrist and a dis­lo­ca­tion.

“She’s been given pain med­i­ca­tion, and is be­ing seen by one of the top or­tho­pe­dic sur­geons in Rome,” Joske said on Fri­day. “What that means for the rest of the sea­son, we don’t know. At least it’s not her legs. And she is a fighter.”

The world cham­pi­onships, where Pear­son is de­fend­ing cham­pion in the hur­dles, begin on Aug. 22 in Bei­jing.

Amer­i­can ri­val Bri­anna Rollins also failed to fin­ish, while Sharika Nelvis of the United States won in a per­sonal-best 12.52.

“I ran my own race and didn’t see any of those falls,” Nelvis said.

Emerg­ing Cuban stand­out Pe­dro Pablo Pichardo leaped 17.96 in the triple jump to break Jonathan Ed­wards’ meet record of 17.60 set in 1998. Pichardo earned the year’s best jump of 18.08 last week.

Re­naud Lav­il­le­nie won the pole vault at 5.91 but failed in three at­tempts to clear 6.01. He was far off his world-lead­ing 6.05 in Eu­gene, Ore­gon, last week­end.

Two-time Euro­pean cham­pion Ruth Beitia of Spain beat a stel­lar field in the high jump at 2.00. Croa­t­ian stand­out Blanka Vla­sic fin­ished sec­ond at 1.97, and ap­peared con­tent af­ter three in­jury­plagued sea­sons.

Vla­sic wig­gled a lit­tle dance af­ter clear­ing 1.94 on her third try then un­leashed a fist pump when she made 1.97 on her first at­tempt.

Olympic cham­pion Anna Chicherova set­tled for sixth at 1.94.

Jeneba Tar­moh of the United States won the women’s 200 in 22.77 af­ter Olympic 100-me­ter cham­pion Shelly- Ann FraserPryce with­drew.

Also, Johnny Dutch won the 400 hur­dles in 48.13, edg­ing fel­low Amer­i­can and Olympic sil­ver medal­ist Michael Tins­ley by 0.21.

The 17-year-old world ju­nior cham­pion Yomif Ke­jelcha of Ethiopia won the men’s 5,000 in 12:58.39, the year’s best time. And Mo­hammed Aman, an­other Ethiopian, clocked 1:43.56 in the 800 for an­other fastest time of the year.

(Left) Australia’s Sally Pear­son shouts in pain af­ter hit­ting an ob­sta­cle dur­ing the women’s 100 hur­dles event, at the Golden Gala IAAF ath­letic meet­ing, in Rome’s Olympic sta­dium on Thurs­day, June 4. (Right) Justin Gatlin, of the United States, cel­e­brates af­ter win­ning the men’s 100-me­ter event at the Golden Gala IAAF ath­letic meet­ing, in Rome’s Olympic sta­dium, Thurs­day.

AP

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