ZURICH (Reuters) - Olympic and world champion Usain Bolt outsprinted fellow Jamaican Nickel Ashmeade and American Justin Gatlin to win the 100 meters at the Zurich Diamond League meeting on Thursday.
Bolt, running into a slight headwind, made his customary sluggish start before accelerating away from the field to win in 9.90 seconds.
Ashmeade was second in 9.94 with former Olympic and world champion Gatlin two hundredths of a second further back. Gatlin finished second behind Bolt at this month’s Moscow world championships.
“I am tired,” Bolt told the BBC. “But the good thing is that everybody else is tired. But I’m happy, I’ve come out victorious and I’m continuing winning.”
Another Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who became the first woman to sweep the world 100, 200 and 4x100 sprint titles in Moscow, won the 200 meters in 22.40 seconds.
Fifteen Diamond Race trophies were awarded along with the $40,000 first prize accompanying them before a capacity crowd of 26,000. The second of this year’s Diamond League finals will be held in Brussels September 6.
American world champion LaShawn Merritt defeated Grenada’s 2011 world gold medalist Kirani James in the men’s 400 meters to add $40,000 to his bank balance.
Meseret Defar won the battle of the Ethiopians in the women’s 5,000 meters, beating compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba to the finish in 14 minutes 32.83 seconds.
Dibaba took the 10,000 gold medal in Moscow, but opted out of the 5,000 which Defar won with ease.
On Thursday, Dibaba took the lead with 600 meters to run only to see Defar ease past her on the final bend.
Ukrainian world high jump champion Bohdan Bondarenko, who has been edging closer this season to Javier Sotomayor’s world record of 2.45 meters, failed with an attempt on the Cuban’s mark after winning the event on a countback with 2.33. It was his 11th attempt in the past two months to break the record which has stood since 1993.
New Zealand’s world and Olympic champion Valerie Adams won the women’s shot put which was staged in the city’s main railway station on Wednesday.
Adams set a meeting record and a year’s personal best of 20.98 meters.
Writing by John Mehaffey in London; Editing by Tom Bartlett and Sonia Oxley