(Reuters) - Olympic sprint champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was upstaged on her indoor debut by Ivory Coast’s Murielle Ahoure who took victory over 60 meters at the Birmingham grand prix on Saturday.
Britain’s double Olympic champion Mo Farah had a better start to his season with a comfortable victory over 3,000 meters.
The London Games 5,000 and 10,000 gold medalist was untroubled throughout the race but put on a turn of speed over the final lap to the delight of the crowd to win in seven minutes 42 seconds.
Farah, 29, will compete in the New Orleans half marathon next week and then run the first half of April’s London marathon as part of his build-up to the world championships in Moscow in August.
“It was brilliant. It was important that I tried to win my only indoor race. Definitely looking forward to the outdoor season,” Farah told reporters.
The anticipated 60 meters matchup between two of the world’s top sprinters, Jamaican Fraser-Pryce and American Carmelita Jeter, who finished second to her in the Olympic final, failed to materialize as Ahoure pulled away with surprising ease to win in 6.99 seconds.
Fraser-Pryce, whose appearance in the earlier heat had been her first race over the distance, was second in 7.09, with Jeter fourth in 7.18.
“I had a wonderful time, it was a great experience,” Fraser-Pryce told the BBC. “The track was really good. I didn’t have any problems with anything today.”
Ahoure, who finished seventh in the London Games final last year, was surprised by her sub-seven second time.
“We didn’t really plan to run indoors at all. My goal is the world championships outdoors so I’ve just been training for the 100. It’s great to come here in the middle of training and drop a time like that,” she said.
American Michael Rodgers held off fast-finishing Olympic 100 meters relay gold medalist Nesta Carter of Jamaica to win the men’s 60 final in 6.53.
Genzebe Dibaba, younger sister of three-times Olympic champion Tirunesh, faded over the final lap to fail in her attempt to break the world 1,500 indoor record.
Dibaba, 22, took over from the pacemaker at the halfway stage and, clear of the field, was inside world-record pace with 200 meters to go. But grimacing down the home straight she clocked 4:00.83, missing Russian Elena Soboleva’s world mark of 3:58.28.
Olympic champion Ivan Ukhov had to settle for third in the high jump behind fellow Russian Aleksey Dmitrik, who cleared 2.33 meters for victory.
London pole vault silver medalist Yarisley Silva finished second to Britain’s Holly Bleasdale on a countback after both athletes cleared 4.70 meters.
Writing by Alison Wildey in London; Editing by John Mehaffey