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Tyson Gay times 9.79 to win 100 at Athletissima

July 4, 2013

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Tyson Gay ran the second fastest 100-meter time this year on Thursday, clocking 9.79 seconds to win at the Athletissima Diamond League meet.

Only Gay’s world-leading 9.75 to take the U.S. Nationals title has been faster in this world championships season, just five weeks before the main event in Moscow.

Usain Bolt, the Olympic champion and world record holder, has a season’s best so far of 9.94 set at the Jamaican nationals last month.

“I am happy with 9.79,” said Gay, the 2007 world champion. “The weather wasn’t great tonight. The time still ended up OK. These are preparation stages for Moscow.”

The 30-year-old Gay reacted fast to the starting gun yet only pulled away from former world record holder Asafa Powell of Jamaica in the final 40 meters.

Powell clocked his season’s best time of 9.88 — bettered only by Gay in 2013 — to finish second, while American Michael Rodgers was third in 9.96.

Veteran Kim Collins, the 2003 world champion from St. Kitts and Nevis, set a personal best aged 37 of 9.97 to place fourth.

The standout performance on a cool and breezy evening was produced by high jumper Bohdan Bondarenko, who threatened the 20-year-old world record set by Javier Sotomayor of Cuba.

Bondarenko cleared a world season-leading height of 2.41 meters — five centimeters better than his previous best set last Sunday at Birmingham, England — before taking aim at Sotomayor’s hallowed 2.45 mark.

“I can’t explain that progression. It’s simply fantastic for me,” said the 23-year-old Ukrainian, who was watched from the grandstands by his childhood idol, pole vault great Sergei Bubka.

With the bar set at 2.46, Bondarenko only just failed at his first of three unsuccessful attempts. American Erik Kynard, the Olympic silver medalist, also cleared a personal best, at 2.37, to place second.

Two more athletes set world-leading marks.

David Oliver timed 13.03 in the 110 hurdles, leading an American sweep of the first four places. World champion Jason Richardson ran his season-best of 13.20 to place second.

Olympic discus champion Sandra Perkovic extended her own 2013 mark by 48 centimeters with a throw of 68.96 meters.

A surprise winner in the women’s 200 was Mariya Ryemyen of Ukraine, surging late past a strong American entry in a time of 22.61 seconds.

New U.S. champion Kimberlyn Duncan was third, timing 22.73 on her debut run in an individual race in Europe.

The American women got two sprint victories, as Olympic silver medalist Dawn Harper-Nelson won the 100 hurdles in 12.53, and Francena McCorory held off 400-meter world champion Amantle Montsho of Botswana in a photo finish, clocking 50.36.

Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria leaped a personal best 6.98 meters in the long jump fifth round to defeat Olympic champion Brittney Reese of the U.S. by two centimeters.

In men’s track events, Javier Culson of Puerto Rico clocked 48.14 to win the 400 hurdles; Mohammed Aman won the 1,500 in 1 minute 43.33 seconds and fellow Ethiopian Yenew Alamirew’s winning time was 13:06.69 in the 5,000.

In the women’s 1,500, Abeba Aregawi of Sweden clocked a winning time of 4 minutes 02.11 seconds, and the 3,000 steeplechase honors went to Ethiopian Hiwot Ayalew in a meet record of 9:17.66.

American Ryan Whiting won the shot put at 21.88 meters, Kim Amb of Sweden took the javelin victory with a throw of 82.65 and Cuban Pedro Pablo Pichardo leaped 17.58 in the triple jump.

Olympic pole vault champion Renaud Lavillenie of France failed at his opening height of 5.62, and Konstadinos Filippidis of Greece won at 5.72.

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