Olympic champion hurdler Dayron Robles remained perfect in four races this season at the Aviva Grand Prix on Saturday, while injury-hit Christian Olsson won his first triple jump competition in three years.
Although beaten out of the blocks by Dutch hurdler Gregory Sedoc, Robles pulled away to victory in 7.44 seconds. Petr Svoboda of the Czech Republic took second in 7.57.
“That was very good for me today,” the Cuban said. “I am getting better and better with every race and feeling very confident. I’m sure there is more to come. It’s looking good.”
Hampered by a foot injury after the 2004 Olympics, Olsson has taken a long time to come back after considering retirement. It paid off against a quality field when he took the lead in the third round with a leap of 17.32 meters.
Olsson’s only other legal leap in the competition was 16.97 in round two, but his best was enough to beat Yoandri Betanzos of Cuba by two centimeters.
“I’m really happy with that performance — 17.32 is my longest jump in all my injuries,” said Olsson, whose best was a world-record equaling 17.83 at the 2004 indoor worlds.
With athletes warming up for the indoor worlds in Doha next month, American sprinter Carmelita Jeter edged rival Laverne Jones in the 60 meters despite both clocking 7.06.
“I’m still working out some kinks but it was a great run,” said Jeter, who was beaten out of the blocks but caught Jones at the line. “Last year, my personal best was 7.11.
“First, I have to make the team for Doha and we have our trials next week, and then after that I think there’s going to be some great times in Doha. I feel good but I can never feel over confident because that’s when you lose.”
Michael Rodgers held off Daniel Bailey of Antigua to win the 60 meters in 6.57 seconds, while fellow American Mark Jelks finished sixth.
Marcin Lewandowski of Poland won the 800 in 1:47.50, while Deresse Mekonnen of Ethiopia won the 1,500 in 3:33.10. American distance star Bernard Lagat finished fourth in 3:35.49.
In other women’s races, Danielle Carruthers of the United States won the 60-meter hurdles in 7.95 seconds, holding off Anay Tejeda of Cuba. Ebonie Floyd finished third in the 400 behind Jamaica’s Novlene Williams and Christine Amertil of the Bahamas.
Tirunesh Dibaba, the Olympic 5,000-meter and 10,000 champion, ran the second fastest indoor two miles ever in a thrilling victory over Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot and Ethiopian countrywoman Sentayehu Ejigu.
With the lead changing twice over the closing four laps, Dibaba pulled to the front and held off a late charge by Cheruiyot to finish in 9:12.23. Cheruiyot was 0.12 seconds back.
The fastest two miles by a woman is 9:06.26 by Meseret Defar of Ethiopia last year.