With Usain Bolt out of his planned July track meets due to an injury to his left leg, two of his fellow Jamaicans ran to victory in the men’s and women’s 100 meters at the Diamond League meet in Paris.
Asafa Powell ran the 100 in 9.81 seconds, the second fastest time of the year and his season’s best. France’s Jimmy Vicaut come in second with 9.86 and America’s Michael Rodgers came in third with 9.99.
32-year-old Powell told the IAAF, “I have proved I’m in the best shape maybe in the last seven years – remember, age is just a number.”
American Justin Gatlin set this year’s fastest time, 9.74, at the Doha Diamond League meet in May. Both Gatlin and Bolt are expected to race the 100 meters at August’s world championships in Beijing.
On the women’s side, Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, two-time Olympic champion in the 100 m, lowered the fastest time in the world this season with her win in 10.74 seconds. American English Gardner finished third in 10.97.
Other highlights include American Michael Hartfield winning gold in the long jump with 8.19 meters.
The steeplechase ended in dramatic fashion as Evan Jager of the United States looked to become the first non-African runner to break the 8-minute mark. Approaching the final barrier Jager was on pace to set a season’s best time of 7.55, but he stumbled and fell to the track. Jager had to settle for second place and a new American record, 8:00.43. Kenya’s Jaius Birech came in first with 7:58.83.