Jamaican sprinter continues undefeated season despite poor starts and mailed-in finishes.
Day one of the Aviva London Grand Prix treated the fans at Crystal Palace to another commanding victory by Jamaican world record holder Usain Bolt. Bolt toed the line for the men’s 100m against strong competition, including countryman and former world record holder Asafa Powell. Although Bolt had yet another poor start he overpowered his competition over the second half of the race, taking the win in a easy 9.91. Jamaican Yohan Bloake finished a full .20 seconds back in second place, while Powell crossed the line a very disappointing sixth in 10.26, almost a half-second behind his PR.
British distance star Mo Farah was looking to break David Moorcroft’s British national record of 13:00.41 in the men’s 5000m and had the pace set well early on. Farah ran strong at the front of the field with Saif Saaeed Shaheen of Qatar and Sammy Mutahi of Kenya, both of whom are capable of a sub-13:00 effort. As Shaheen faded in the final 800m, Farah was able to handle Mutahi and grab the win in front of his home crowd with a time of 13:09.14, well short of the British record. Farah seems in shape to breach the 13:00 barrier, and may well get the record before the end of the season.
A huge upset occurred in the women’s pole vault, as reigning champion of everything pole vault and world record holder Yelena Isinbaeva of Russia was relegated to second position for the first time all season. Isinbaeva vaulted an unimpressive 4.68m and lost to Anna Rogowska of Poland, who also recorded a best vault of 4.68m. Isinbaeva has looked human for the first time in many years and she will need to regain form if she is to claim her third consecutive world outdoor title (to go with two Olympic titles) next month.
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