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August 30, 2009

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Isinbayeva scales new high, Bolt hot

RUSSIAN pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva bounced back from losing her world title by setting a world record at 5.06 meters at the Weltklasse meet in Zurich on Friday, while Usain Bolt came from behind to win the 100 meters.
Isinbayeva set the mark in her first attempt at the Golden League meet, improving on the 5.05 she set at Beijing a year ago in winning her second Olympic gold medal. She has broken the world outdoor and indoor marks 27 times.
The Russian lost her title at the world championships in Berlin last week when she failed to clear a height.
"I was fresh, I was aiming for the record," Isinbayeva told the crowd at Letzigrund Stadium.
Isinbayeva passed the first five heights, then cleared 4.71 in her first attempt and did the same at 4.81, which assured her of victory over Anna Rogowska of Poland, who won gold in Berlin but had to settle for second at 4.76.
"I was surprised it was so easy," Isinbayeva said. "I feel great. It's really unbelievable just after such a great defeat in Berlin but I'm happy that I was defeated otherwise I wouldn't be so hungry for the world record."
Isinbayeva said her biggest thanks belonged to her coach Vitaliy Petrov, "who gave me the best advice after what happened in Berlin."
"It was just a problem with myself. It was necessary to repair my brain to see the sport from the other side because when you're always on top it's hard to analyze. It was very useful for me to lose."
Bolt, the world record-holder, shook off Jamaican teammate Asafa Powell to win the 100 in 9.81 seconds. He was well off his world record of 9.58 set less than two weeks ago at the worlds.
In his first meet since then, Bolt trailed former record-holder Powell halfway into the race then used his huge stride to pull ahead and even eased up in the last couple of meters. Powell finished in 9.88, followed by Americans Darvis Patton in 9.95.
"I would say this was a shaky race," said Bolt.
Respond well
"My body was sitting at the start, I was a little bit tired through the race. All things considered, the time is not bad. I needed to pick up my speed as my body did not respond well to the race."
Bolt had enough in him to later lead Jamaica to victory in the 4x100 relay. Bolt had a lot of ground to make up but overtook Wallace Spearmon, the US anchor runner. Jamaica clocked 37.70 and the Americans 37.73.
World champion Sanya Richards of the United States stayed in the hunt for the US$1 million Golden League jackpot by powering home for an easy victory in the 400.
Richards won in 48.94 seconds, the fastest time in the world this year. Compatriot Allyson Felix, the 200 world champion, was second in 49.83, and Shericka Williams of Jamaica, the 400 silver medalist, was third in 50.40.
Richards needs to win the 400 in the last Golden League meet in Brussels this week to be one of the jackpot winners.
The jackpot goes to the athlete or athletes who win their event in all six of the Golden League meets. The Weltklasse is the fifth of six meets.
By winning the pole vault, Isinbayeva stayed in the jackpot hunt, as well as Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia, who cruised to victory in the 5,000 in 12:52.32, the fastest time this year. Bekele won the 5,000 and 10,000 double in Berlin, after doing the same at the Olympics.
Kerron Stewart of Jamaica lost her chance for a share of the jackpot by losing the 100. Carmelita Jeter of the US won instead in 10.86, while Stewart finished second in 11.04.
LaShawn Merritt, also the Olympic champion, won the 400 in 44.21, once again pushing fellow American Jeremy Wariner into second place. Renny Quow of Trinidad and Tobago was third.


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