(AFP) – May 18, 2008
LOS ANGELES (AFP) — World 100- and 200-meter champion Tyson Gay swept both sprint events here Sunday at the Adidas Track Classic while Jenn Stuczynski set an American record in the women's pole vault.
In his US season debut, Gay edged fellow American Darvis Patton to win to 100 in 10.05 seconds and slowed near the finish in winning the 200 in 20.08 with his and the world's second-best time of the year, with Xavier Carter next in 20.30
The victories were a key boost for Gay with the US Olympic trials barely a month away and the Beijing Olympics coming in three months.
"It helps a lot because it's about the victory," Gay said. "The more I win, the more comfortable I am."
Into a headwind of 0.3m a second, Gay shrugged off two 100m false starts and got out of the blocks well when it mattered to edge Patton, second in 10.06, with 2007 world runner-up Derrick Atkins of Bahamas third in 10.16.
"Considering this was my first race of the year, that made me nervous," Gay said of the false starts. "I had to refocus and refocus at the blocks."
"Me and (Patton) got off the blocks together. I was a little surprised but I held on for the win."
With a tailwind of 1.7m in the 200, Gay cruised from the start and eased up at the end in the 200, serving notice he will be a double title threat again in Beijing as he was at last year's worlds in Osaka.
Stuczynski improved her personal best to 4.90m but failed in three attempts at a world record.
"I had some good wind on the American record and I got some headwind at the world record on the first one," she said. "I just ran out of gas at the end there. It does a lot for me to have a performance like this.
"I had some good attempts. I just didn't turn the pole correctly. Next time."
World and Olympic 400m champion Jeremy Wariner, feeling better after pulling out of Doha with sore hamstrings, won the 400 in 44.42 seconds with Canada's Tyler Christopher second in 44.71 and Chris Brown of Bahamas third in 44.94.
"I got out slower than I'm used to," Wariner said. "I wanted to make sure I didn't pull nothing before trials. My hamstrings felt fine. I missed a few days of training but nothing major.
"My goals (for Beijing) are to defend my title, maybe get the world record."
Reigning world champion Veronica Campbell of Jamaica won the women's 100 in 11.14 seconds, edging 2005 world champion and 2007 world runner-up Lauryn Williams by .01 of a second with Jamaica's Kerron Stewart third in 11.16.
"It was a great race," Campbell said. "I'm glad I executed. I got off to a great start."
Jamaica's Novlene Williams-Mills won the women's 400 in 50.38 seconds with American Mary Wineberg second in 50.41 and Jamaican Shereefa Lloyd third in 50.93.
Kenyan-born US standout Bernard Lagat, who achieved a 1,500 and 5,000 double at last year's worlds, won the 1,500 Sunday in 3:35.14 with New Zealand's Nick Willis second in 3:35.75 and Canada's Kevin Sullivan third in 3:35.78.
"I'm pleased with my performance," Lagat said. "That means my training is going well. I want to get into the top three in three events at the trials and get myself in top shape for the Olympics themselves."
Christian Cantwell, a two-time world indoor champion and 2008 world leader, won the shot put at 21.39m with two-time Olympic runner-up second in 21.13.
Reigning Olympic champion Joanna Hayes won the 100 hurdles in 12.64 seconds, edging fellow American Candice Davis by .07 of a second with a 0.6m/sec tailwind.
"It felt good," Hayes said. "I finished really strong. I'm happy with it."
American Muna Lee won the 200 in this year's fastest time in the world, 22.30 seconds, to edge compatriot Carmelita Jeter by .17 of a second.
Shannon Rowbury won the women's 1,500 in 4:01.61, the best time in the world this year and the fastest by a US woman in the event in five years.
"I just decided early on I have to take charge of it," she said.
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