• Bolt always shows up for work
Jamaica’s 100m and 200m world record holder Usain Bolt won the Paris Diamond League 200m in 20.03 sec just 2/10 secs off the meet record of 20.01 secs held by USA’s Michael Johnson since 1990. In a distance second was the 21-year-old Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre, who ran a season best 20.21. USA’s Doc Patton was third in 20.59. Although the time was not very impressive, Bolt’s performance was admirable and workmanlike. Due to technical difficulties, the race was delayed for 10 minutes after the runners were already warmed up and ready to go. Bolt, the consummate professional, who was also suffering from flu-like symptoms, went out and executed his race, and even spent the last 15 meters of his race admiring himself on the TV screen before jogging across the line.
• The men’s 400m is more open than ever
Bahama’s Chris “Fireman” Brown ran a scorching stretch run in the men’s 400m to dispose of a quality field in 44.94secs. Belgium’s Jonathan Borlee was second in 45.05, and Jamaica’s Jermaine Gonzales was third in 45.43 with USA’s Jeremy Wariner in fourth in 45.50. Brown ran a control race for the first 300m before taking it to the field in the last 100m and accelerating away to take the victory. With Gonzales and Wariner struggling to find their form and with an impressive group of youngsters (Tony McQuay, Demetrius Pinder, Rondell Bartholomew and Kirani James) ready to challenging for quarter-mile supremacy in Daegu, the men’s 400m seems more wide open that ever.
• Women's Sprinting is not just for the USA and Jamaica
While the USA’s Carmelita Jeter and the Jamaican trio of Veronica Campbell-Brown (VCB), Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and Kerron Stewart, among others, are preparing for their podium appearance in Daegu, Trinidad and Tobago’s Kelly-Ann Baptiste has reminded us that on any given day anything can happen. The 25-year-old Baptiste got a brilliant start and held off a late charging VCB to win the women’s 100m in a season best 10.91secs, ahead of the VCB (10.95) and Kerron Stewart (11.04). This is Baptiste’s second 100m victory in the last 3 days. She won the 100m in 11.11 secs in Reims, France on Tuesday, July 5, when VCB false-started in that race and was disqualified. Baptiste, the Trinidad 100m record holder, has a personal best 10.84.
• Cuba’s Dayron Robles is back
The year 2010 belonged to USA’s David Oliver. He won every 110m hurdles in which he competed, winning in impressive manner in sub-13 fashion, had a season best 12.89, and was named the 2010 USA Track and Field athlete of The Year. However, two top-ranking rivals were missing: Cuba’s Dayron Robles and China’s Liu Xiang. On Friday, Robles edged Oliver in an epic battle in the 110m hurdles that saw both men posting identical times of 13.09, with Jamaica’s Dwight Thomas third in 13.18. Robles, the world record holder at 12.87, has signaled his return.