DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Two-time Olympic 100 metres champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce led her compatriot Sherone Simpson in a 1-2 Jamaican finish in the 200 metres at the Diamond League meet here yesterday.
The diminutive sprinter, who clocked 22.48 yesterday, is expected to compete in the 200m at the World Championships in Moscow in the summer.
Fraser-Pryce was runner-up over the distance in London.
“Overall, I’m just happy to come away with a win,” Fraser-Pryce said. “Today I didn’t run according to how I wanted, but still came out with a victory. That made me happy. There is a lot more room for improvement in the 200, and I’m looking forward to more races to see how best I can put a complete race together,” she said.
Meanwhile, World and Olympic champion David Rudisha cruised to victory in the 800 metres and Justin Gatlin clocked the second fastest time of the year to win the 100 metres on a strong night for the Americans.
Rudisha’s time of 1:43.87 was significantly slower than the 1:40.91 he ran to break the world record at the 2012 London Olympics.
After the pacemaker retired midway through the race, Rudisha surged to the front and was never threatened. He beat Mohammed Aman by more than a halfsecond, avenging a loss to the Ethiopian at a Diamond League event in Zurich last year.
“I feel good. I was relaxing today,” Rudisha said. “It was the beginning of the season and it was the first race, so there was no pressure. (Aman) defeated me in the last race of the season, and it was good to do something at least in the beginning of the season to give me more confidence.”
Gatlin started slowly out of the blocks but came home in the final 20 metres to edge out compatriot Mike Rodgers at the line with a time of 9.97. The line-up was weaker than in previous years, with Yohan Blake pulling out injured and Usain Bolt not scheduled to compete.
Gatlin’s countryman Tyson Gay holds the year-leading time of 9.86, while Bolt opened his season by running 10.09 in the Cayman Islands earlier this week after recovering from a minor hamstring strain.
American athletes won six of the 16 events and there were meet records for Olympic women’s long-jump champion Britney Reese and Ryan Whiting in the men’s shot put. Reese leapt 7.25 metres, and Whiting threw 22.28 metres in an event in which Olympic gold medallist Tomasz Majewski finished sixth.
The only setback was Allyson Felix, whose 10-race winning streak in Doha came to an end when she came second in the 400m behind Amantle Montsho of Botswana. Felix hadn’t run the 400 since the 2011 World Championships, a race she also lost to Montsho.