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Powell runs season-best 9.82 in Monaco

Monaco Athletics
Asafa Powell of Jamaica, left, competes in the men's 100-meters during the Herculis athletics meeting in Monaco.Claude Paris / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Asafa Powell ran his fastest 100 meters of the season Tuesday and Yelena Isinbayeva broke her own record in the women’s pole vault to highlight the Herculis Super Grand Prix meet.

Powell had no help from the wind on a humid night, winning his event in 9.82 seconds — six-hundredths faster in Stockholm, Sweden, a week ago.

“I was very impressed with my race,” the 25-year-old Jamaican said. “It was a nil wind reading so if I had a plus-one I would have run even faster.”

The time was eight-hundredths of a second slower than his previous best of 9.74, which set a world record in Reiti, Italy, in September.

That record was surpassed by fellow Jamaican Usain Bolt, who ran 9.72 in New York two months ago.

Powell beat Bolt at Stockholm and appears to be reaching his peak form 17 days before the Olympics athletics program begins in Beijing.

He was third out of the blocks but powered past the field, taking the lead midway and pulling away by the finish.

Darvis Patton of the United States, who also will compete in the Olympic 100 meters, was second in 9.98. Nesta Carter of Jamaica was third in 10.02.

“Of course, there is still a lot of room for improvement,” Powell said. “I’m not as strong as I should be so I’m still working on my strength.

“Going into Beijing I feel very good, very fresh. I’m definitely in world-record shape.”

Isinbayeva cleared 5.04 meters, succeeding with her third and final attempt to break the mark she set in Rome earlier this month by one centimeter.

She failed at the record height at London last weekend, and again brushed the bar as she went over. This time it wobbled and stayed put.

“I’m in the form that I must keep until the games,” the reigning Olympic champion said.

The 26-year-old Russian increased her total of world indoor and outdoor records to 23, winning a car for her performance.

“I hoped to break a world record here in my hometown and it’s the first competition since I moved to Monaco,” Isinbayeva said.

Besides Powell, Jamaicans also scored victories in the women’s sprints at the last major European meet before the Aug. 8-24 Olympics.

Kerron Stewart won the women’s 100 in 10.94, beating countrywoman Sherone Simpson in a photo finish. American Torri Edwards was third in 11.02.

“Overall it was a good race,” Stewart said. “The Jamaican team speaks for itself. The plan in Beijing is to go 1-2-3.”

Jamaica also prevailed in the women’s 400 hurdles, where Melanie Walker ran the fastest time in the world this year, 53.48 seconds. Americans Tiffany Ross-Williams (53.44) and Sheena Tosta (53.58) were second and third.

Walker, who also won at London, broke her personal best by more than a half-second, overtaking the Beijing-bound American pair in the straight.

“I felt great during the race,” the 25-year-old Walker said. “I won relaxed and I’m happy about it. It’s good for the future.”

World indoor champion Naide Gomes set an outdoor season best of 7.12 meters in the women’s long jump, a Portuguese national record. Britney Reese of the United States was second with a leap of 6.76.

“I’m on the way. I hope I’ll do better in Beijing,” Gomes said. “It will be necessary to jump more than 7 meters to have a medal.”

Daniel Komen ran the fastest 1,500 meters in the world this year at 3 minutes, 31.49 seconds, beating Shedrack Korir to give Kenya a 1-2 finish.

Olympic champion Yuriy Borzakovskiy of Russia won the 800 with a late burst to beat Yusuf Saad Kamel of Qatar at the line in 1:42.79. Gary Reed set a Canadian record with a fourth-place finish in 1:43.68.

Yimer Ayalew of Ethiopia ran the fastest women’s 3,000 of the year, winning in 8:35.50, more than 2 seconds ahead of Spain’s Dolores Checa.

Jamaican veteran Brigitte Foster-Hylton won the 100 hurdles in 12.49, her best time of the season and just four-hundredths slower than her career best at age 33.

Sally McLellan was second in 12.53, lowering the Australian record she set in Lucerne, Switzerland, two weeks ago by five-hundredths of a second.

American Olympic hopeful David Oliver took advantage of the absence of Cuban world record holder Dayron Robles to win the 110 hurdles in 13.11.

“We’ll run against each other in the important race and that is at the Olympics,” Oliver said.