Shanghai, China (4E Sports) – Justin Gatlin dominated the 100-meter event with a performance of 9.92 seconds — the fastest time in the world this year – at the Shanghai Diamond League meet Sunday.
Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic champion, pulled away from the field to beat Jamaica’s Nesta Carter by 0.2 seconds back while American Michael Rodgers finished third.
“I have much more left in the tank,” Gatlin said. “I cruised at 9.92 with no wind. I felt I made it look easy.”
Gatlin was the only sprinter to beat Jamaican star Usain Bolt last year, edging him at the line in the 100 in Rome last June. However, the American couldn’t match that feat when it mattered, falling to Bolt at the worlds in Moscow two months later.
Bolt didn’t compete in Shanghai this year, but Gatlin believes he sent the defending world and Olympic champion a message with his impressive time on Sunday.
“I think a lot of people take the off-year (between the Olympics and worlds) for granted. They want to use it as a rest year, just show their face, but I think this year is the year where you really show your talent,” Gatlin said.
Meanwhile, Chinese hurdler Xie Wenjun shocked world champion David Oliver in the 110-meter hurdles.
With injured 2004 Olympic hurdling champion Liu Xiang watching in the stands, Xie held off a fast-charging Oliver and Pascal Martinot-Lagarde of France to win the hurdles in a personal-best time of 13.23 seconds.
Martinot-Lagarde was second in 13.26, 0.2 seconds ahead of Oliver.
“I didn’t expect I could finish first in today’s race because all my rivals are world-class athletes, like David Oliver,” Xie said. “So it’s a great surprise and great pleasure for me to win at home.”
Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare got a double victory in Shanghai, winning the women’s long jump with a leap of 6.86 meters on her first attempt and then capturing the 200 in 22.36 seconds.
Other winners were Novlene Williams-Mills (women’s 400), American Michael Tinsley (men’s 400 hurdles), Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie (pole vault), Abeba Aregawi (women’s 1,500) and Christian Cantwell (shot put).