By Kurt Morris, added details by Gary Smith
CARSON — American Kerron Clement ran a well judged race to hold off the determine Angelo Taylor and Dominican Republic’s Felix Sanchez and win the men’s 400m hurdles at the 2009 adidas Classics Grand Prix, on a windy afternoon here at The Home Depot Center on Saturday.
Clement, who got off to a slow start to his season, after being pushed down the pack at the Jamaica Invitational – ran 48.38seconds to hold off countryman and Olympic champion Taylor, second in 48.70.
Clement was happy for the victory but was upset the hurdle on the 8th row was not properly assembled.
"I’m really happy to come out and compete against the top guys like Angelo (Taylor) and James Carter. I just stayed focused on myself and came up with the win," Clement said.
"I knew something was wrong after the 7th hurdle. I just took it regardless. I was a 110 hurdler so I know how to adjust. I just didn’t let it affect me at all.
Sanchez, coming back to his strides after suffering several injuries, pushed Clement all the way before fading at the last metres to finished third in a solid 48.95.
Clement’s winning time is faster than the world-leading 48.42seconds ran by Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson, who won again today at the Ponce Grand Prix on home soil in 48.43.
The time, however, will not be recorded on list because of an error with the a row of hurdles.
Meanwhile, Americans LaShawn Merritt and Jeremy Wariner both recorded impressive victories as they look to continue their intense rivalry in 2009.
Merritt first blew a super field away to win the men’s 200m in a world-leading 20.07, bettering his own 20.17 and then said he will not attempt the 200/400m double for Berlin.
Wariner, running the last race on the chart, took the men’s 400m by a distance, as no one stood a chance after he left the half-way mark.
The World champion posted 44.66, leaving Bahamian Chris Brown (45.03) and Trinidadian Rennie Quow (45.05) in his trails.
Elsewhere, Allyson Felix clocked 22.66 to win the women’s 200m; Darvis Patton won the men’s 100m in 10.12, while Carmelita Jeter won the women’s race in 11.09.
Jamaica’s Novlene Williams was chased down by Natash Hastings in a very competitive women’s 400m dash, won by the American in 51.46.
In the field events, Dwight Phillips looks to be returning to form after he won the long jump, while Jenn Stuczysnki, cleared 4.76m to win the women’s pole vault.