Powell cruises to Diamond League win
Jamaican Asafa Powell eased to victory in the 100m with a wind-assisted time of 9.81 seconds in the inaugural IAAF Diamond League meeting in Doha.
Powell, 27, who ran 9.75 in the heat, made a slow start before cruising to a time aided by a following wind of 2.6m per second - beyond the legal limit.
Kenya's David Rudisha ran a season's best of 1:43.00 to win the 800m, with Briton Michael Rimmer sixth in 1:45.96.
Fellow Briton Christine Ohuruogu posted 50.88 to finish fifth in the 400m.
Olympic and world champion Ohuruogu appeared not to have settled in her blocks as the starter fired the gun and she struggled over the lap against a high quality field.
Allyson Felix, the three-time 200m world champion, won the 400m in 50.15, a world leading time this season.
Earlier, Powell showed his class in his first race of the night with an impressive 9.75, albeit wind-assisted, before racing to 9.81 in the final.
Another Jamaican Nesta Carter was second in 9.88 with American Travis Padgett third in 9.92.
DIAMOND LEAGUE 2010
14 May: Doha, Qatar
23 May: Shanghai, China
4 June: Oslo, Norway
10 June: Rome, Italy
12 June: New York, USA
3 July: Eugene, USA
8 July: Lausanne, Switzerland
10 July: Gateshead, UK
16 July: Paris, France
22 July: Monaco
6 August: Stockholm, Sweden
13/14 August: London, UK
19 August: Zürich, Switzerland
27 August: Brussels, Belgium
"I'm quite happy with my performance. It is a very good time for the first race of the season," said Powell.
Rival Usain Bolt, the Olympic and world champion, is scheduled to make seven appearances on the circuit, with his first in China, and is likely to meet close rival and world silver medallist Tyson Gay at least three times.
At least one from Bolt, Gay or Powell will be scheduled to run at every Diamond League meeting.
In the women's 1500m, Colchester's Stephanie Twell finished eighth in a time of 4:06.10 behind winner Nancy Jebet Langat who won in 4:01.63.
American runners Lolo Jones and Bershawn Jackson won their hurdles events.
Jones looked impressive, holding off the challenge from Priscilla Lopes-Schliep of Canada, to win the women's 100m hurdles in 12.63, while Jackson recorded 48.66 to beat fellow American Kerron Clement in the men's 400m.
Total prize money for the 14 meetings will top US$6.63m (£4.47m) and, along with promotional fees, will be used to set up a number of mouth-watering head-to-heads with the sport's biggest stars engaged with central contracts.
The new circuit was devised by the world governing body the IAAF in an attempt to rejuvenate interest in athletics, which is facing increased competition from other sports, and in an economic climate of dwindling income.
DIAMOND LEAGUE FACTS
When: May - August 2010
Total budget: Around US$50m (£33.72m)
Prize money: US$6.63m (£4.47m)
Top prize: Trophy with four carats of diamonds for season leader in each of the 32 events
Disciplines: 32 (all except men's and women's hammer) with 15 per meeting with three exceptions
Three exceptions: 27 at London with Zurich and Brussels each staging 16 season-ending finals
Other innovations in the new league will see athletes from 32 different events taking part, with all disciplines having equal prize money. Each meeting will have prize money of $416,000 (£250,000).
There will also be a IAAF 'Diamond Race' in each event, with points available throughout the season.
Athletes with the most points at the end of the series will be awarded a four-carat diamond worth around $80,000 (£49,000).
The action will take place across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the United States, with Britain hosting two events (Gateshead on 11 July and London on 13/14 August) in the build-up to the 2012 Olympics.
Ohuruogu fails to shine as Felix wins 400m