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September 2, 2009

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Gay leads US charge at British GP

SPRINTER Tyson Gay emerged from the giant shadow cast by Usain Bolt to lead the United States' domination of the British Grand Prix at Gateshead on Monday.

Gay, 27, has trailed Bolt over recent months and the Olympic and world champion's decision not to compete in Gateshead ensured an easy win for the American in the 100 meters.

On a damp track and running into a headwind, he clocked 10.15 seconds.

"It's always nice to race without Usain, but he does bring the best out of me," said Gay, who may have surgery on a groin problem.

"It wasn't about times today, though, it was about winning a race. The wind was strong, so at about 60 meters I didn't want to push too hard.

At this month's world championships in Berlin, Gay ran the third-fastest 100 time ever (9.71 seconds) but was good enough only for second place behind Bolt's stunning world record of 9.58.

Gay decided against competing in the 200, which left the way open for Shawn Crawford to triumph.

It was not easy for the 31-year-old, who beat fellow American Wallace Spearmon by one hundredth of a second in a time of 20.80 seconds.

"It was very close - too close," said Crawford.

"My body feels good, but my mind now wants to go back to the US and figure out a way to beat Bolt."

Still unbeaten

American LaShawn Merritt remains unbeaten this year after a straightforward victory in the men's 400 meters.

The Olympic and world champion, the fifth-fastest man ever over the distance, clocked 45.10 seconds to finish ahead of Britain's Martyn Rooney and American teammate Angelo Taylor.

It was equally easy in the long jump for another American, world champion Dwight Phillips, whose win was never threatened after his second round leap of 8.39 meters.

Compatriot Allyson Felix, world champion for the last three years at 200 meters, eased to a predictable success in 23.13 seconds.

Other American winners included Nick Symmonds (800 meters), David Payne (110 hurdles), Derek Miles (pole vault), Leonel Manzano (1500) and, in the women's events, Christin Wurth-Thomas (800) and Carmelita Jeter (100).

In Zagreb, Croatia, Olympic gold medalist Dawn Harper of the US won the women's 100 hurdles at the Zagreb GP on Monday, partially making up for her failure to medal at the world championships.

Harper, Olympic champion in Beijing last year, finished in 12.67 seconds, beating Britain's Delloreen Ennis London - who won bronze in Berlin - by 0.09 seconds.

Ryan Brathwaite won the men's 110 hurdles, just as he did in Berlin. Brathwaite, from Barbados, won in 13.35 seconds - 0.06 seconds faster than Olympic bronze medalist, American David Oliver.


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