Sprint king Usain Bolt overcame a slow start to beat fellow-Jamaican Asafa Powell in the 100 meters at the Golden League meeting in Zurich, while Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva banished her Berlin World Championships blues by setting a new world record of 5.06 metres.
Bolt, who set new world records in both the 100m and 200m in the German capital, was trailing Powell with 25 meters to go before switching on the afterburners to ensure victory in a time of 9.81 seconds, with Powell 0.07 seconds behind. Meanwhile, Isinbayeva, who failed with all three attempts as arch-rival Anna Rogowska of Poland claimed gold in Berlin, bettered her previous best mark of 5.05m set at the Beijing Olympics. “Now I understand why there was that defeat in Berlin — to have this amazing result,” the Russian told reporters. “It’s like a dream, it’s really hard to believe right now.” Eight of the 14 newly-crowned world champions also won their races at the fifth of the six Golden League meetings.
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Importantly, 400m specialist Sanya Richards and men’s 5000-10,000m double champion Kenenisa Bekele claimed victories to remain in contention, along with Isinbayeva, for the $1 million jackpot that goes to the athlete who wins their discipline at all six Golden League meets. In the women’s 100m, however, Jamaican Kerron Stewart lost out to American world bronze medallist Carmelita Jeter for her first defeat on the circuit this season. Richards won the 400m in a world leading time of 48.94 seconds, benefiting from a fantastic start to leave a leaden-footed Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu in her tracks with 200m specialist Allyson Felix finishing second, 0.89 seconds behind her compatriot.