Dawn Harper

Lolo Jones

Lolo Jones boosted by relay teammates in return to track

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Lolo Jones got off to a slow start in her first track event since competing in bobsled at the Sochi Olympics in February, but her shuttle hurdles relay team still won at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday night.

Jones, who said she has lost more than 20 pounds since Sochi, ran the second leg of a 4x100m shuttle hurdles relay on the USA Red team with 2013 world champion Brianna RollinsQueen Harrison and Vashti Thomas.

Rollins handed a lead to Jones, who lost it with a stuttering hop over her first hurdle, taking nine steps instead of the customary seven. Harrison and Thomas got it back to win in 50.93 seconds, beating a Jamaican team that ran 52.01.

“I made probably the biggest hurdle mistake you can make … for a 100m hurdle race, you’re pretty much sitting in a coffin like ‘the race is over,'” Jones said, according to The Associated Press. “So at that moment I crossed the line I was like, ‘All right, Queen! Let’s go team,’ because if it was individual, Lolo would be in last place.”

Nia Ali, the 2014 world indoor 60m hurdles champion, suffered an injury in warm-ups, which kept a USA White team from competing. It was set to include 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper-Nelson and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Kellie Wells.

In other events, 2013 world champion LaShawn Merritt edged rival and 2012 Olympic champion Kirani James in the 400m, 44.44 to 44.60. 2004 Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner was last in 46.90.

2012 Olympic bronze medalist Hansle Parchment of Jamaica won the 110m hurdles in a world-leading 13.14 seconds, beating a field that included Americans David Oliver and Ryan Wilson, who went one-two at the 2013 World Championships.

“I am surprised with that time,” said Parchment, who ran .12 faster than Oliver’s previous world lead for 2014, to Lewis Johnson for Universal Sports. “I didn’t expect to run that fast so quickly [early in the season].”

2012 Olympic silver medalist Michael Tinsley won the 400m hurdles in 48.57, ahead of Olympic bronze medalist Javier Culson (48.68). Olymipc champion Felix Sanchez was sixth in 49.84.

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Tyson Gay wins Lausanne 100 in 9.79; Diamond League recap

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Tyson Gay continued his world-best form by winning the 100 meters in 9.79 seconds at the Diamond League meet in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday.

Gay now owns the three fastest times in the world this season — adding the 9.79 (with a barely legal 2.0 wind) to a 9.75 and a 9.86 — after beating former world-record holder Asafa Powell, who clocked a season’s best 9.88 for second place. American Mike Rodgers was third in 9.96.

Another impressive performance from Gay puts more scrutiny on Usain Bolt, who runs a 200 in Paris on Saturday. Bolt’s best 100 time this season is a pedestrian (for him) 9.94 at Jamaican nationals. Bolt was beaten by American Justin Gatlin in Rome on June 6.

Is Gay the current favorite for the world championships, which begin Aug. 10 in Moscow? You could make a strong argument, but even Gay expects better out of Bolt in Russia.

“It’s no secret that this guy is a championship performer and you have to bring your ‘A’ game to beat him, or better than your ‘A’ game,” he said before the Lausanne meet, according to The Associated Press.

The women’s 100 hurdles saw a shock in Australian Olympic champion Sally Pearson finishing seventh out of eight in 12.69 seconds. Pearson is coming back from a hamstring injury, but in three races since June 27 hasn’t run within four tenths of U.S. champion Brianna Rollins’ world lead.

2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper won the hurdles in a season’s best 12.53, leading a U.S. sweep with Kellie Wells (12.58) and Lolo Jones (12.60). Jones later led off the U.S. 4×100 relay, which was disqualified on Jones’ handoff to the second runner.

In the women’s 200, U.S. champion Kimberlyn Duncan placed third in 22.73 in her first individual race in Europe. Olympic bronze medalist Carmelita Jeter, coming back from a quad injury, was fifth in 22.77, a season’s best. The world lead is held by Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce — 22.13.

David Oliver, who surprisingly missed the 2012 Olympic team, ran a world-leading 13.03 to win the 110 hurdles over fellow Americans Jason Richardson (13.20), Ryan Wilson (13.27) and David Payne (13.30). Oliver had finished second to Wilson at the U.S. Championships.

American Francena McCorory edged reigning world champion Amantle Montsho of Botswana in the 400, 50.36 to 50.37. Jamaican Novlene Williams-Mills, who competed in the London Olympics a month after learning she had breast cancer, was third in 50.87.

Nigerian Blessing Okagbare showed her versatility by beating Olympic champion Brittney Reese in the long jump with a 6.98-meter jump. Okagbare won the 200 in Birmingham on Sunday, an event where she holds the second-fastest time in the world this year.