OSTRAVA: Powell 9.85sec -9June05-

OSTRAVA, Czech Republic, June 9 - Jamaica’s Asafa Powell sent a message to his American rivals here today, running the 100 metres in a blazing 9.85 seconds at the IAAF Golden Spike athletics meeting.
In his first race of the season on the European circuit, Powell blew away the competition to run the second fastest time of the year, despite unseasonably cold and rainy conditions. He was slightly helped by a 0.6m/sec wind at his back.
Powell’s time was just one one-hundredth of a second slower than the 9.84 he clocked on May 7, the fastest official time this year.
Only Americans Tim Montgomery and Maurice Greene have run faster than Powell and the Jamaican feels it may not be long before he races past them as well.
``I’m very surprised I ran so fast under such bad conditions. I didn’t expect the race would be so fast. My goal is to get the gold medal at the world championships. And the record? We’ll see,’’ the soft-spoken runner said after becoming the first man ever to break the 10 second mark in the Czech Republic.
Nigeria’s Olusoji Fasuba was second in a time of 10.17, followed by Jamaican Michael Frater in 10.20 seconds.
Olympic 400 metres champion Jeremy Wariner, who has targeted fellow American Michael Johnson’s world record of 43.18 seconds, won his event in a time of 45.58 seconds, well behind his 44.53 posted in May, the fastest 400 in the world this year.
Several other athletes also managed to battle through the dismal conditions.
Russian world champion and double Olympic bronze medallist Sergey Makarov won the javelin with a throw of 88.84 metres, the longest in the event this season.
Bulgaria’s Ivet Lalova posted a time of 11.03 seconds in the women’s 100 metres, tying the second fastest time in 2005.
Jamaica’s Sherone Simpson, who has also run 11.03 this year, placed second in a time of 11.07.

And man did he look smooth as always!!
Also Great legal time from Ivet Lolava. Guys, search on google for pics of her… she is hotttt!!
Last year she ran a 10.7x with a flyer. But 11.03 legal wind beating Simpson… she may be able to grab a top 3 sport at worlds.

THIS MEET REVIEW APPEARED FIRST WITH SOME NICE PIX ON THE IAAF WEBSITE www.iaaf.org

Powell powers to stunning 9.85 in a cold and wet Ostrava - UPDATED
Thursday 9 June 2005
Ostrava, Czech Republic - Running in cold and rainy conditions, Jamaican Asafa Powell powered to a stunning 9.85 victory in the 100 meters to highlight the Golden Spike Super Grand Prix.

I’ve never run under these kinds of conditions

Ivet Lalova in Ostrava
(Hasse Sjögren)

“I didn’t expect that, that it was going to be so fast,” the 22-year-old Jamaican said after a jaw-dropping performance that was just 1/100 of a second shy of his national record and world leading 9.84 set last month at the Jamaica International. In the balmy tropical Caribbean climes of Kingston, Powell equalled Canadians Donovan Bailey and Bruny Surin as the third fastest man ever.

Here, under comparatively arctic conditions and with no competition in his class, he produced yet another scintillating effort that immediately illustrated that Tim Montgomery’s 9.78 World record is under serious threat. “I’ve never run under these kinds of conditions.”

“I was surprised about the time because the weather was so bad,” added Powell, who is the IAAF World Ranked number one for his event. “But I’m quite happy and surprised.”

Sergey Makarov throws 88.84m in the rain of Ostrava
(Hasse Sjögren)

No injury worries

Last year’s top sprinter despite a fifth place finish in the Olympic final, Powell’s performance was a remarkable follow-up to his narrow defeat last Saturday in Eugene, where he was edged by Olympic champion Justin Gatlin in a virtual dead heat. That race, Powell said, was a cautious one after he suffered a minor groin strain in Santo Domingo. “I was 100 percent but I wasn’t going 100 percent; just feeling out the groin and feeling my strength.” In Ostrava, Powell confirmed that the minor ache is a distraction of the past. “No problem at all tonight. I didn’t feel it at all.”

Olusoji Fasuba of Nigeria prevailed in the race for second, clocking 10.17, a massive 32/100s behind the Jamaican.

Roman Sebrle hurdling in Ostrava as part of a special Triathlon
(Hasse Sjögren)

Powell’s next race will be at the Athens Super Grand Prix on Tuesday, before he returns to Jamaica to prepare for his national championships.

Lalova skims to win too

Just before Powell’s command performance, Ivet Lalova too defied conventional wisdom with her 11.03 win in the women’s race, another unlikely quality performance considering the conditions. Unlike the men’s winner, the young Bulgarian, a double Olympic finalist last year, had company, pushed to the finish by Jamaican Sherone Simpson, who finished runner-up in 11.07.

World Javelin lead

The puddled javelin runway didn’t prevent Russia’s reigning World champion Sergey Makarov from producing a world season leading 88.84m first round effort, by far the highlight of the field events programme. Dominating the competition, the double Olympic bronze medallist followed up with an 87.73 throw, with his fifth and sixth round efforts - 84.47 and 84.90 - bettering the best of what the rest of the field had to offer. Finns Tero Pitkämäki (83.19) and Esko Mikkola (79.97) rounded out the podium.

Citing nagging pains, World record holder Jan Zelezny announced earlier in the day that he would not compete. Still on the mend from a minor Achilles surgery a month ago, the javelin legend said that the ensuing pain in his foot and toes regrettably forced him to pull out of the competition. “I am sorry that I couldn’t compete against Sergey,” Zelezny said, “particularly since he is here because I personally invited him.”

Weather takes its toll elsewhere

Despite the strong performances in the sprints and javelin, the weather played a significant role nearly everywhere else.

Tahri takes commanding win over two Olympic champions

Bouabdallah Tahri, the co-European record holder in the 3000m Steeplechase, produced a sterling upset in his specialty with a commanding win over two Olympic champions. Taking the lead off the final water jump, Tahri passed Sydney Olympic champion Rueben Kosgei en route to an 8:18.12 win. Radoslaw Poplawski (8:20.25) of Poland was next to reach the line, producing a rare 1-2 European finish in traditionally Kenyan-dominated territory. Kosgei faded badly to finish fifth (8:21.07), with reigning Olympic champion Ezekiel Kemboi struggling even more in the final forty metres to finish sixth (8:21.38).

Adere toys with opponents

Judging from her finishing kick, reigning World 10,000m champion Berhane Adere toyed with the field in the women’s 5000m before taking the lead a creating an immediate ten meter gap with 250 metres to go on to win decisively in 15:01.78.

“I think I was ready to run 14:28 or 14:29 when I came from Ethiopia,” Adere said. “But the track was just too wet --too much water! So I said I don’t want to risk an injury, so I just ran for the victory.”

Kenyans Prisca Jepleting (15:04.10) and Isabella Ochichi (15:04.80), the Olympic silver medallist in the event, finished 2-3.

Wariner is comfortable

Olympic 400m champion Jeremy Wariner didn’t approach the sub-45 second territory the near-capacity crowd was expecting, but did manage a comfortable 45.58 win over Leslie Djhone (45.97) of France in his European circuit debut.

“I could have gone under 45 today, but it just wasn’t my day,” Wariner said, adding that the cold weather coupled with an early warm-up may have slowed him. “It’s something that I need to work on. I got out well, which helped, but I didn’t work the turn as much as I should have.” Jamaican Davian Clarke was third in 46.00.

Local hero

Among the crowd favorite outcomes was Jiri Muzik’s narrow come from behind victory over South African Ockert Cilliers in the 400m Hurdles. The 24-year-old South African broke fast from the gun, building a clear lead by the first hurdle, a margin he maintained until the final bend when fellow South African Llewelyn Herbert and Muzik gradually chipped away at the gap. The Czech, whose relentless finishing surge was propelled by the enthusiastic crowd, caught Cilliers with this final stride to win by the narrowest of margins. Each was credited with a 48.93 performance. Olympic bronze medallist Naman Keita of France was third (49.37).

In the women’s full-lap race, South African Surita Febbraio too jumped to a quick lead, one which, despite tying up dramatically just before reaching the final hurdle, she held for a 56.64 win. Fast-finishing Czechs Alena Rucklova (56.71) and Zuzana Hejnova (56.94 –PB) were second and third.

Close fought sprint hurdles

The women’s 100m Hurdles was a close race from the outset between Jamaican Brigitte Foster, American Danielle Caruthers and Pole Aurelia Trywianska. Trywianska built a slight lead heading towards the final barrier, but a minor clip of the hurdle caused a slight stumble, providing ample room for Foster (12.97) and Carruthers (13.00) to beat her to the line. Trywianska was credited with a 13.03. In the men’s sprint hurdles, Mateus Inocencio of Brazil beat back the strong finish of fellow-Athens finalist Maurice Wignall to claim a 13.51 to 13.56 win.

When the two pacemaker’s duties were over, Kenyan John Litei took command in the 800m and managed to hold off the late race charge of Dmitry Bogdanov to win in 1:46.16 to the Russian’s 1:46.46.

Sammy Kipketer and Robert Kipngetich kicked past Mushir Salem Jawher in the final 200 metres to produce a Kenyan 1-2 finish in the men’s 5000. Kipketer, the reigning Commonwealth champion, reached the line in 13:19.46 ahead of Kipngetich’s 13:21.01. Abraham Chebii struggled in the final lap to finish sixth (13:22.53), just ahead of 19-year-old Moses Masai’s personal best 13:24.36.

Quality High Jump is dampened by rain

The steady rains severely impacted action on the infield.

The rain drenching the high jump apron dampened what was the finest men’s field assembled yet this year. Six managed 2.20 clearances while only Jaroslav Rybakov negotiatied 2.25 with a pair of attempts. Czech Jaroslav Baba and world-leader and reigning World champion Jacques Freitag were second and third respectively, with American Jamie Nieto, repeating his Athens finish, taking fourth.

Belonog makes best of the wet

The wet circle in the Shot put wreaked havoc with the throwers as well, though Olympic champion Yuriy Belonog managed a third-round season’s beast 20.49 to seal the win. Slovak Mikulas Konopka was second, with a pair of 20.37 efforts, with Joachim Olsen of Denmark (20.01) the only other putter to reach 20 meters.

Olympic Decathlon champion Roman Sebrle won a triathlon event over Alexandr Pogorelov, besting the Russian by 73 points. With performances that clearly pleased the crowd, the 10-event world record holder won the high hurdles in 14.35 and long jump with a 7.28 leap, and ended the evening with a 15.24 toss in the shot put, 15 centimeters shy of Pogorelov’s best.

In the women’s Discus Throw, Vera Cechlova was another Czech winner, producing a season’s best 65.98 toss in the final round to top world leader Natalya Sadova’s 65.66. Exhibiting solid consistency, Cechlova reached 65.97 in the third round.

In the Pole Vault, Czech record holder Pavla Hamackova was best at negotiating the slick runway, winning with a third-attempt clearance of 4.40 before bowing out with three tries at 4.50. Canadian national record holder Dana Buller was second with a 4.30 best. Rounding out the field events, Slovak Dana Veldakova took the triple jump with a 13.93.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF

Click here for FULL RESULTS

This time it looked Powell ran a still relaxed, but full race without visible holding back or stopping before finish line. But the conditions were so terrible (rainy, surely under 54 F !!!) I never expected ANYBODY to go faster than 10.10.
That 9.85 is worth sg.! If you consider the conditions probably the fastest race ever…if nothing goes wrong Powell is surely capable of a 9.75 this year. If he wasn’t so dissapointing last season in Athens I’d put a lot of money on that :wink: