ZURICH: Olympic and world champion Usain Bolt outsprinted fellow Jamaican Nickel Ashmeade and American Justin Gatlin to win the 100 metres 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 metres 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 Sept.6.
American world champion LaShawn Merritt defeated Grenada’s 2011 world gold medallist Kirani James in the men’s 400 metres to add $40,000 to his bank balance.
Ukrainian world high jump champion Bohdan Bondarenko, who has been edging closer this season to Javier Sotomayor’s world record of 2.45 metres, 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 metres.
Meseret Defar produced a telling sprint finish to hold off a strong challenge from fellow-Ethopian Tirunesh Dibaba and win the 5,000 metres in the Diamond League meet in Zurich on Thursday.
Defar, the world champion and double Olympic gold medallist, finished in 14min 32.83sec, with the beaten Dibaba trailing in in 14:34.82 in the penultimate Diamond League meet of the season.
Dibaba, 28, the triple Olympic champion tried to break clear too early after her sister Genzebe had upped the pace at the four-kilometre mark. But despite covering the final 1,000m in 2:40.68, Dibaba could not shake off Defar and lost the run-in on the home straight when Defar kicked for the line.
The victory gives Defar a 15-11 head-to-head advantage over her arch-rival in 5,000m contests.