MONTEGO BAY, St James — World Championships triple gold medallists Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce recorded contrasting wins yesterday at the Weltklasse Zurich Diamond League meeting in their first outing since the World Championships in Moscow.
Bolt recovered from a poor start to win the 100m in 9.90 seconds just ahead of compatriot Nickel Ashmeade, while Fraser-Pryce dominated the 200m to win easily in 22.40 seconds with the Ivory Coast's Murielle Ahoure taking second, the same spot she got in Moscow.
With the points from yesterday's race being doubled, Fraser-Pryce won the Diamond race to pocket the 'diamond' and the US$40,000 award, a year after winning the 100m title.
She scored 15 points, three more than Ahoure who came into the meet with the lead, and had to beat the Jamaican to take her first diamond.
Sixteen Diamond Races were decided yesterday with another 16 to be decided at next week's final Diamond League event in Brussels as the international season winds down.
Yesterday, after American Tiffany Townsend false started and was disqualified, Fraser-Pryce got off to her trademark bullet start and had the field covered before they got off the curve, then ran away from the field.
Ahoure who ran 22.66 seconds edged Ukrainian Mariya Ryemyen, who was third in 22.67 seconds.
The 100m race, that had six of the eight finalists from the World Championships, was billed as one of the top events of the day and lived up to it. Bolt got left in the blocks as Jamaicans Ashmeade and World Championships bronze medallist Nesta Carter got off to fast starts and led for the first 40 metres.
Bolt's long legs eventually drew him level with the field at about 60 metres, before he separated himself in the final third of the race to win comfortably, having time to look around at the end.
Ashmeade, who was fourth in the World Championships 200m and fifth in the 100m, was second in 9.94 seconds, while American Justin Gatlin was third in 9.96 seconds to win the overall Diamond race with 14 points, four more
Carter finished in sixth place in 10.01 seconds, beating Kemar Bailey-Cole (10.02 seconds).
In another eagerly anticipated race, American World Champion LaShawn Merritt won the men's 400m race, beating Olympic champion and former World champion Kirani James into second place.
It was a much-improved performance from James after his shock seventh place in Moscow, but he was no match for the in-form Merritt, who won in 44.13 seconds to the Grenadian's 44.32 seconds, with the Czech Republic's Pavel Maslak third in 44.91.
Also yesterday, World Champion Zuzanna Hejnova completed a brilliant unbeaten season in the women's 400m hurdles, dominating from the first barrier to win in 52.32 seconds to take the Diamond race with an astounding
Jamaican Kaliese Spencer, who won the previous three Diamond races, was second yesterday in a season's best 54.22 seconds, and second in the overall race with seven points, 25 behind Hejnova with another Czech runner Denisa Rosolova third in 54.99 seconds.