ROME (AP) — Justin Gatlin won the 100 meters at the Golden Gala for a second straight year, while Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar set a meet record in topping a high-class high jump on Thursday.
Gatlin, who set a year-leading time of 9.87 seconds last month, was in front from the start and finished in 9.91, 0.11 ahead of Jamaica’s Nesta Carter. Britain’s Adam Gemili was third.
It was a repeat of last year’s success for Gatlin, who edged Usain Bolt on the line.
“I go out with the gun and hold it to the end,” Gatlin said. “I am definitely satisfied. My aim? I want to achieve my third victory in a row in Rome next year. This should be a good season. One of my goals is also a win at my own national championships.
“Having a winning streak is great but it also puts a lot of pressure on you sometimes. Racing against Nesta Carter and Usain Bolt means that I have to put together and do a complete race in order to win.”
In the high jump, Barshim achieved a personal best as he matched the Diamond League record and year-leading height of 2.41 meters set by Olympic champion Ivan Ukhov of Russia in Doha. Ukhov was fifth at the Stadio Olimpico.
Barshim and world champion Bohdan Bondarenko of Ukraine each made three unsuccessful attempts at 2.43, which would have been a European record.
Bondarenko, who went close to the world record of 2.46 in Moscow, was second after passing on all other heights after clearing 2.34. American Erik Kynard was third with 2.31.
“There are no limits in the high jump now, and I do not like to put any limits even on myself,” Barshim said. “I really believe the world record is possible. I was very close to 2.43 — only hit it with my ankle. The record can come next week or in four years.
“It is good that the field is so strong nowadays, it is pushing us to perform well.”
Ukhov cleared 2.28 but failed three times at 2.34.
It was an all-American podium in the 100 hurdles where Australia’s Olympic champion, Sally Pearson, pulled out shortly before the event after hurting herself in the warmup.
World champion Brianna Rollins won on her Diamond League debut, with a year-best time of 12.53, 0.01 ahead of Dawn Harper-Nelson. Queen Harrison was third in 12.61.
“At the finish line I did not know that I won the race,” Rollins said. “It was only when the camera man showed my face and they gave me the flowers. It was very competitive and I like that.”
In the women’s 100, American Tori Bowie smashed her personal best in winning in 11.05, as two-time Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce finished only eighth.
Kerron Stewart was second, 0.03 behind Bowie, with Jamaican compatriot Simone Facey third.
American Lashawn Merritt recovered from his disappointment at the last Diamond League meet in Eugene, Oregon, where he was edged in a photo finish by Kirani James, to win the 400. And two-time Olympic champ and world record-holder Barbora Spotakova of the Czech Republic won the javelin in her first competitive appearance since the birth of her son last year.