By Gary Smith, World-Track
ATHENS — World champion Veronica Campbell-Brown won the women’s 100m at the IAAF Athens Grand Prix Tsiklitiria 2009 meeting at the Olympic Stadium in Greece on Monday.
Seasonal best for Campbell-Brown
The Jamaican, however, looked a bit discomfort after the event as she held the back of her right hamstring and moving with a slight limp.
She revealed though that the pain was nothing too serious.
"I am very satisfied with my performance. My injury is not serious," she said. "It looks like a cramp. There is enough time till Berlin."
American champion Carmelita Jeter finished second in 11.02, with Bahamian Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie finishing third in 11.04.
Ivory Williams, running with a following wind of +2.1m/s won the men’s race in 9.95secs.
He defeated fellow countrymen, Mark Jelks (9.99) and Travis Padgett (10.09).
Mike Rogers, who won at the American Championships last month finished fifth in 10.10.
Compressing another solid performance this year was Jamaica’s Isa Phillip who won first place over the men’s 400m hurdles, the last race of the meeting.
Phillips clocked 48.09 seconds to win the event, brushing aside the challenge from South Africa’s L.J. van Zyl (48.18). Danny McFarlane, a silver medallist at this venue at the 2004 Olympics was third in 48.53.
"It was a good race but not the best I could have done," Phillips said.
Former World and Olympic champion Felix Sanchez from the Dominican Republic came home fourth in a time of 48.78.
Solid Merritt wins again
Olympic 400m champion LaShawn Merritt continued his dominance over the distance this season with a 44.54secs performance here today as he visions his Beijing feat in Berlin.
"I didn’t expect to run under 44.60 because I felt a little tired at the last meters. I will be ready in Berlin," The American said.
Running relax for the most part of the race, Merritt opened up a sizable lead in the last quarter of the event to coast home ahead team-mate David Neville, second in 45.14 and Congo’s experienced quarter-miler Gary Kikaya (45.29). A good run also came from
Belgium’s record holder and collegiate champion Jonathan Borlée, at 45.56.
The women’s race went to Jamaica’s world bronze medallist Novlene Williams-Mills in a seasonal best of 50.05.
Finishing behind the Jamaican were American Monica Hargrove, at 50.39 and Senegal’s Amy Mbacke Thiam in 50.72.
Beijing silver medal winner Asbel Kipruto Kiprop captured the men’s 800m with a smart 1:43.48 run to be Sudan’s Ismail Ahmed Ismail (1:43.82) and reigning world silver medallist Gary Reed of Canada (1:43.95).
In the women’s 1500m race, defending world champion Maryam Yusuf Jamal from Bahrian continues to look like the one to beat in Berlin when she sprinted away from the field win in 3:58.72.
"This gives me strength for the World Championships where I aim for the gold," a delight Jamal said, adding "this is the 12th time in my career that I run under 4 minutes."
Russian Oksana Zbrozhek posted 4:02.40 for second place with Ethiopia’s Kalkidan Gezahegne (4:02.98) following.
Elsewhere on the track, American Mark Jelks ran a personal best of 20.28 to win the men’s 200m ahead of Stéphane Buckland (MRI, 20.33) and former Olympic champion and current U.S. champion Shawn Crawford (20.42).
Kenya’s Brimin Kiprop Kipruto ran 8:03.17 to top the men’s 3000m Steeplechase field, while Russian Olympic winner Gulnara Galkina eased home to victory in the women’s race in 9:17.86 and American Joel Brown won the men’s 110m hurdles with a wind-aided 13.18secs over Ryan Brathwaite (13.22).
In field event competition, Fabrice Lapierre of Australia produced a final round 8.24m jump to break the hearts of the home supporters and Greek favourite Loúis Tsátoumas, who led until the last round with his 8.21m effort.
Meanwhile, Ivan Ukhov of Russia cleared the bar at 20.34 to take the men’s High Jump; the women’s Triple Jump went to Cuba’s Yargelis Savigne in a world leading 15.00m; Belarus’ Nadzeya Ostapchuk (19.68m) edged Germany’s Nadine Kleinert (19.67m) for the women’s Shot; while Latvia’s Vadims Vasilevskis threw 88.33m to win the men’s Javelin and Kazakhstani’s Marina Aitova (1.99) won the women’s High Jump.