Americans Felix, Spearmon win in Diamond League
LONDON (AP) — Allyson Felix of the United States secured a second victory at the Diamond League meeting at Crystal Palace by winning a close 400 meters in 50.79 seconds on Saturday.
The 24-year-old Felix followed up a comfortable win in the 200 on Friday night with a battling display in the longer run to hold off new European champion Tatyana Firova and American Debbie Dunn.
“The time wasn’t great, but it wasn’t about the time today,” Felix said. “It was a great field, and I just wanted to execute my race. It was more difficult than yesterday’s race.”
Firova of Russia finished strong in second at 50.84. Dunn, the world leader this year, was 0.05 further back.
U.S. sprinter Jeremy Wariner beat world leader Jermaine Gonzales of Jamaica in a cool, windy 400 race. Wariner lagged for the first 200 but powered past Gonzales on the final curve and held off a late challenge from his rival to finish in 44.67 seconds.
Wallace Spearmon of the U.S. clinched his first Diamond League victory of the season, clocking 20.12 to win a low-quality 200. The 2005 world silver medalist finished well ahead of second-place Churandy Martina of Netherlands Antilles, who ran 20.42. Jaysuma Ndure of Norway was third.
“I ran a little slower than expected, but it was still a good race considering the wind,” Spearmon said.
David Oliver won the 110-meter hurdles in 13.06. Women’s 100 world leader Carmelita Jeter was upset by Mershevet Myers, who won in 11.01.
Felix, who already had won the Diamond League 400 this season in Doha and Eugene, flew out of the blocks and was in the lead coming into the home straight.
“I really had to rely on my endurance,” Felix said. “I felt pretty good, but it was a little difficult recovering (from her specialty event 200).”
Firova rallied in the last 50 but could not pass Felix. The Russian, a winner in Stockholm last week, topped Dunn, who clocked a world-best time for 2010 of 49.64 in June.
Christian Cantwell of the U.S. lost his first shotput event of the season, ending a 20-meet unbeaten run dating back to September. Reese Hoffa of the U.S. won with a season’s best throw of 70 feet, 4¼ inches, while Cantwell finished third.
Cantwell had been looking to join women’s high jumper Blanka Vlasic with six straight victories in the Diamond Race.
Mariya Savinova of Russia eased to victory in the 800 in 1:58.64.
Jamaica’s Kaliese Spencer climbed into third place in the Diamond Race for the 400 hurdles, crossing the line in 53.78 to claim a third straight victory .
Milcah Chemos of Kenya posted a meet record in winning the women’s 3,000 steeplechase in 9:22.49.