• Diamond League, Zurich

Blake sets PB with defeat of rival Powell

ESPN staff
September 8, 2011
Yohan Blake replicated his Daegu success in Zurich © AFP

Yohan Blake reiterated his world champion status with an important and impressive victory over compatriot Asafa Powell in the 100m at the Diamond League meeting in Zurich.

Blake, who profited from Usain Bolt's shock disqualification at the final in Daegu to go on and claim gold, was involved in a war of words with Powell during the week - when the more experienced man inferred that 'boy' Blake had only won due to his absence through injury.

But the 21-year-old made Powell eat his words on Thursday, running a personal best of 9.82 seconds to comprehensively beat his rival, who came home in a more sedate 9.95s.

"I feel fast. I wanted to show people I could do it and run under pressure," Blake said afterwards.

Blake was beaten out of the blocks by Powell and had work to do with 50m remaining, but came on strong over the final phase of the race to take the win comfortably - pointedly running on round the track to make sure his rival, who admittedly has only recently returned from injury, got the message.

"I didn't want to try to push and injure myself," said Powell. "It was a good race for [Blake]. He had a good start."

Walter Dix rounded out the podium with a time of 10.04s, although Powell at least had the satisfaction of topping the overall standings in the event for the year.

Elsewhere, a number of Team GB athletes were in action - with Jenny Meadows the most successful as she came third in the women's 800m.

Meadows was pipped by world champion Mariya Savinova and American Alysia Montano, but nevertheless ensured she topped the overall Diamond standings for the season - earning a trophy and cash prize - that surely will not make up for a poor showing in South Korea. Olympic champion Caster Semenya finished fifth.

World bronze medallist Andy Turner was forced down to fifth in the 110m hurdles, as Cuban Dayron Robles made up for his controversial Daegu disqualification - pipping the American duo of Jason Richardson and David Oliver - while Goldie Sayers finished in the same position in the javelin after a throw of 62.25m.

Australia's Sally Pearson was another athlete to confirm her status as the world's best with a follow-up victory in the women's 100m hurdles - while perhaps the performance of the night came from Grenadian teenager Kirani James.

James set a new personal best (and national record) of 44.36s as he outlasted American LaShawn Merritt over the closing 100m to take another impressive victory.

In the final event of the night Great Britain came second in the 4x100m relay, but only after Mark Lewis-Francis saw a near five-metre advantage run down by Jamaica's Michael Frater.

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