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Powell and Jones on song in Paris

10 July 2006

Jamaica's Asafa Powell won the men's 100m at the Paris IAAF Golden League with an impressive time of 9.85sec.

Powell, 23, currently shares the world record time of 9.77sec for the event with America's Justin Gatlin. He believed he was ready to go as low as 9.6 seconds at the Stade de France after last month equalling at Gateshead in England the world-best time he first clocked in Athens in July last year.

But Powell fell just short and said: "I was disturbed by the false start, but it was a great race, even if I'm a little disappointed with the time."

Powell claimed before the Paris event that Gatlin was running scared of a head-to-head meeting and he continued to taunt his rival here by saying: "Before Justin ran 9.77 I had already done it and I've done it again. That means unless he can do it again, I will be the fastest."

However in six days time in Rome, Powell will find a faster track and probably a warmer evening to give him a chance of once and for all claiming the record all on his own.

Meanwhile, American Marion Jones broke the 11-second barrier for the first time since 2002 to win the women's 100m.

Jones, the Sydney 2000 triple gold medallist, recorded a time of 10.92s to go close to the 10.90s she ran in Madrid in September 2002.

Jones, 30, was making a rare appearance in Europe after several event organisers had snubbed her following allegations linking her with the BALCO drugs scandal in the United States.

Although never convicted of a doping offence, she was effectively declared persona non-grata in Europe last season after being linked to the doping scandal at the Californian sports laboratory.

World and Olympic 400m champion Jeremy Wariner of the USA won in a time of 43.91s but the ultimate target for the 22-year-old Texan is the legendary world record of 43.18s of Michael Johnson.

"I hope to manage around 43.5 by the end of the year, maybe even 43.3," said Wariner, who beat his own personal best by 0.02s and was more than a second in front of American champion Andrew Rock.

Other performances of note were the women's 1500m won by Russia's Yuliya Chizenko in 3:55.68, American Terrence Trammel's 13.06s over 110m hurdles, Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele, who ran 12:51.32 in the men's 5,000m and women's polevaulter Yelena Isinbayeva, who cleared 4.76m, which were all world best performances this year.

Those still in with a shot of sharing the $US1 million ($A1.34 million) Golden League jackpot are Powell, Wariner, Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba, who won the women's 5000m, and America's Sanya Richards in the women's 400m.

Australian pole vaulter Tatiana Grigorieva was the only Aussie in action following the withdrawal of Craig Mottram from the 5,000m.

Grigorieva jumped 4.51m to finish fifth behind World Champion Russian Yelena Isinbaeva who cleared a meet record 4.76m.

Grigorieva’s performance is just 5 centimetres from her personal best and her highest clearance for the season.

In other competitions around the globe - Kym Howe won the pole vault (4.45m), Scott Martin won the shot put (19.70m) and Clinton Hill placed second in the 400m (45.67s) in Luzern, Switzerland.

In the Canary Islands, Fabrice Lapierre 8.10m (1.8) finished second in the men's long jump going within 2cm of his personal best and Jane Saville (14:15.3) finished fourth in the women's 3km walk.

AFP and Athletics Australia

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