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Powell edges Bailey in 100 meters at Bislett Games

ASAFA Powell overcame a poor start to win the 100 meters in a photo finish at the Bislett Games yesterday, but fell short of clocking his 50th time under 10 seconds.

The former world record-holder from Jamaica finished strongly to win in 10.07 seconds, with runner-up Daniel Bailey of Antigua given the same time.

"I didn't feel as strong as I normally do," Powell said. "I didn't get a great start. I was way behind. I got to the front somehow, but I didn't finish as strong as normal.

"But a win is always a win. I can't complain. I beat some good guys today, guys who have run under 10 seconds. I can't be too hard on myself."

It was Powell's second race after returning from an ankle injury.

"It's not 100 percent," he said. "I'm still a bit cautious. I have two more races next week. Hopefully I can do better and better in both."

Powell had hoped to join Maurice Greene of the United States as the only sprinter with 50 sub-10 second races. Greene tops the all-time list with 53.

Powell, who set four world records between 2005-07, has the second fastest time in history (9.72). His countryman Usain Bolt holds the world record at 9.69.

Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia, who has set 14 world outdoor records, won the women's pole vault at a disappointing 4.71. The competition was stopped for about an hour because of a thunderstorm.

"Three hours ... it was my longest competition," Isinbayeva said. "It was also one of the most difficult competitions of my career and one of the wettest."

Sanya Richards of the United States won the women's 400 meters in 49.23 seconds for the fastest time of the year.

Richards, who has not lost a 400 in the Golden League since Zurich 2004, also tied the Bislett Stadium record that Czech Tatjana Kocembova set in 1983.

"It was a pity that I only equaled the meet record," Richards said. "I didn't expect to have the world's best time of the year after the storm. We were worried during warm-up what would happen when we would be running."

Shericka Williams, the Olympic silver medalist from Jamaica, finished second in 49.98.

Christine Ohuruogu of Britain, the reigning Olympic and world champion, wound up a disappointing sixth in 51.19.

It was the first major race of the season for Ohuruogu.

The Bislett meet is the second of six in the Golden League series.

Five events for men and five for women will be part of the Golden League's US$1-million jackpot.

The men will compete in the 100 meters, 400, 3,000-5,000, 110 hurdles and javelin, while the women will contest the 100, 400, 100 hurdles, high jump and pole vault.

Any athlete that wins those events at each of the six Golden League meetings will claim at least part of the US$1 million jackpot.

If no one wins all six of their events, athletes with five victories will share US$500,000.


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