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Page last updated at 21:15 GMT, Friday, 13 August 2010 22:15 UK

Tyson Gay sets best 100m time of 2010 at Crystal Palace

Diamond League - London Grand Prix
Venue: Crystal Palace Dates: 13-14 August
Coverage: Watch Live on BBC 2 (Friday 1800-2100 BST), BBC 1 (Saturday 1300-1630 BST) and BBC Sport website (UK users only); full commentary on 5 live sports extra on Friday, updates on Radio 5 live on Saturday Full details

By Tom Fordyce
BBC Sport at Crystal Palace

Tyson Gay leaves the field trailing

Gay sets Crystal Palace ablaze in 100m

Tyson Gay lit up a chilly London evening to win the 100m at the Diamond League meeting with one of the great displays of sprinting Britain has seen.

Gay ran a blistering 9.78 seconds, the fastest time in the world this year and a stadium record at this famous old venue, to confirm his position as the best sprinter in the world this year.

In the absence of his injured Jamaican rivals Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell, Gay tore the field apart, exploding from the blocks and streaking away from the rest of the field to win by two metres.

On the first of two sold-out days at the London Grand Prix, many of the British stars from the European championships found it hard to replicate their stunning form of a fortnight ago.

Conditions were difficult - the track was deluged by rainstorms just before the start, and the temperatures dropped as the evening wore on - but it was clear that the exertions and emotions of Barcelona had taken their toll.

Gay, however, ignored the cold and a headwind of 0.4ms to produce a masterclass in 100m running. Yohan Blake's personal best of 9.89 seconds left him well adrift, with Olympic silver medallist Richard Thompson a distant third.

Fist of Fury

Having beaten Bolt in Stockholm last week and Powell in Gateshead a month ago, Gay will end the season as the number one-ranked 100m man on the planet.

He said: "I wasn't expecting to go that fast in these conditions, but I knew I was in good shape.

"I wasn't necessarily sending a message to Usain and Asafa, but I think there's more to come. It's great to be on top of the world - that's important to me."

Britain's golden boys from Barcelona found their homecoming difficult. Mo Farah, double gold medallist in the 5,000m and 10,000m in Barcelona, was forced to play second fiddle to the great Bernard Lagat in the 3,000m.

Mo Farah chases Bernard Lagat

Farah outpaced by Lagat in London

The pair are friends who regularly text and Tweet each other, and when Farah got himself onto Lagat's shoulder coming into the finishing straight, the home crowd roared their approval.

But Lagat, twice world indoor 3,000m champion and former world 1500m champion, had the speed to out-sprint his younger rival and cross the line in seven minutes 40.36 seconds, with Farah second in 7:40.75 and Mark Kiptoo third.

Chris Thompson, silver medallist behind Farah over 10,000m in Barcelona, was sixth in a huge personal best of 7:43.34.

Phillips Idowu struggled perhaps more than most in the triple jump, his best of 16.54m well over a metre down on his gold medal-winning leap in the Estadio Olimpico and good enough only for sixth in the field of eight.

Idowu looked flat throughout and despite a fantastic reception from the Crystal Palace crowd saw former Olympic champion Christian Olsson triumph with his third round leap of 17.41m, a season's best.

Teddy Tamgho, the French tyro who went third on the all-time lists with 17.98m in the New York leg of the Diamond League but found himself eclipsed by Idowu in Barcelona, was 20cm down in second.

Olsson said: "It's fantastic to be able to jump without any problems. It's been four years since I competed in London - I had 17 months off with hamstring problems, including five ruptures - so I'm just say happy to be back."

Dai Greene was forced to settle for third in the 400m hurdles as the US's Bershawn Jackson stormed away to pip Javier Culson to the victory in 48.12 seconds.

Blanka Vlasic
Croatia's Vlasic was well clear of the field in the high jump

Jackson, the 2005 world champion, held off the challenge of 2008 world silver medallist Culson coming off the final hurdle.

Greene, who clocked 49.09 seconds, said: "It's been very hard to lift myself after the highs of Barcelona. I wouldn't have come to this meet unless it was in the UK. Hopefully we've got a golden era of British athletics ahead of us and I can be part of that."

Lisa Dobriskey ran a solid 1500m to finish third behind Olympic champion Nancy Langat and Russia's Anna Alminova.

In a slow race Dobriskey found herself in fourth with 200m to go but found space on the inside to come through in the final 50m, with Langat a second clear of Alminova.

"It's been a really tough season," Dobriskey said. "Coming off the Europeans I felt pretty tired."

Michael Rimmer also looked to have little left in his legs in the 800m. Despite silver at the Europeans he trailed home ninth behind the dominant Abubaker Kaki's 1:44.38, with his British compatriot Darren St Clair setting a personal best in fourth.

Mark Lewis-Francis failed to qualify for the final of the 100m, having trailed home sixth in his heat in a disappointing 10.30 seconds.

Afterwards he hit back at Olympic great and now BBC pundit Michael Johnson for the criticism he received in the aftermath of his 100m silver a fortnight ago.

He said: "I have two young kids watching that on television, and he went out there and disrespected me. I apologised if I offended anyone, and maybe it's time he did the same.

"Having the high last week it was tough to get up for this. I did the best that I could do but it was very hard to raise my game again."

Priscilla Lopes-Schliep

Lopes-Schliep wins thrilling hurdles

Until Gay's run, Priscilla Lopez-Schliep had produced the performance of the night to storm past Australia's Sally Pearson and arch-rival Lolo Jones to win the 100m hurdles in 12.52 seconds, the fastest time in the world this year.

The Canadian was down by a metre to Pearson at 50m but came powering through off the final two barriers. She said afterwards: "My personal best was set in the pouring rain, so I never know what's going to happen."

Blanka Vlasic confirmed her undisputed position as world number one in the high jump with a second attempt clearance of 2.01m, while Allyson Felix and Tirunesh Dibaba were similarly untouchable over 200m and 5,000m respectively.

Felix, double world champion, glided away from a fine field including Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie and Sherone Simpson to win by more than half a second in 22.37 seconds.

Vlasic failed at 2.04m but was still 10cm clear of her nearest rival, and celebrated with her trademark dance-moves in front of the crowd at the far end of the stadium.

Britain's number one pole vaulter, Steve Lewis, finished ahead of world and Olympic champion Steve Hooker and European champion Renaud Lavillenie on an evening when the early thunderstorms left conditions far from ideal.

But Lewis's 5.31m was good enough only for sixth behind winner Lukasz Michalski.

The meeting continues on Saturday.

David Weir tries to find a way past Marcel Hug

Weir outpaced in wheelchair 1500m

see also
Injured Powell to miss London GP
12 Aug 10 |  Athletics
Injured Bolt misses rest of 2010
10 Aug 10 |  Athletics
Robles out of London Grand Prix
10 Aug 10 |  Athletics
Gay powers past Bolt in Stockholm
06 Aug 10 |  Athletics
Bolt beats rival Powell in Paris
16 Jul 10 |  Athletics
Athletics on the BBC
21 Apr 11 |  Athletics

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