September 1, 2010
Yohan Blake beats Justin Gatlin in 100m
Yohan Blake, of Jamaica, sits on the track after winning the men's 100 metres in 10.06 seconds at the athletics meet in Rovereto, Italy yesterday. - AP
Jamaica's young sprint star, 20 year-old Yohan Blake, clipped American Justin Gatlin in the men's 100 metres at the Palio della Quercia meet in Rovereto, Italy, yesterday.
Blake clocked 10.06 seconds to finish three-hundredths of a second ahead of the American who was clocking his best time since his recent return from a four-year doping ban.
A second Jamaican, Marvin Anderson, was fourth in 10.48. The race was marred by the disqualification of two runners - Ryan Bailey of the United States and Fabio Cerutti of Italy - for false starts.
Gatlin said he injured himself slightly during the race.
"It was a good practice for me and I bettered my time as well," Gatlin said. "I tweaked my quad just a little bit coming home and had to slow a little bit but all in all it was a good race, going against good competitors."
Gatlin added that he hopes to go under 10 seconds at his next meet in Padua on Friday.
"Every time I run I get faster, I get more comfortable with myself, I get more comfortable with my race, so I still think I pose some kind of a threat in the long (run)," Gatlin said. It was a one-two finish for Jamaica in the men's 100 metres "B" race. Former national junior representative Romeldo Rose who is making a comeback after being dogged by several injuries in recent years, captured the event in 10.46 seconds , getting the better of another former junior representative, Ramone McKenzie, 10.47.
In the women's 100 metres Aleen Bailey of Jamaica was fourth in 11.29 seconds behind winner, Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Trinidad and Tobago, who won in 11.13.
In the men's 400 metres, Jamaica's Allodin Fothergill clocked 46.04 seconds for fifth as the one-lap event was won in 45.77 by Italy's Marco Vistalli.
In the women's 800 metres World champion Caster Semenya of South Africa finished a surprising ninth.
In her fifth race following an 11-month gender dispute, Semenya clocked a dismal 2 minutes, 7.16 seconds.
Elisa Cusma Piccione of Italy, who openly questioned Semenya's gender at last year's worlds in Berlin, won in 2:00.37.
It's Semenya's second consecutive loss after she placed third at the Diamond League meet in Brussels on Friday.
Semenya stood third to last after the first lap and never made a move to the front, giving the impression she was just out for a casual jog.
"Nothing happened. I ran the race, I ran slow. Nothing happened. It's part of the game," Semenya said. "Sometimes you need to go according to your body."
Afterward, Semenya walked over to Cusma Piccione and congratulated the Italian.
"It was a nice gesture," Cusma Piccione said. "I know she hasn't trained much and it's not easy to keep up your form. Maybe she's tired."
Cusma Piccione called Semenya "a man" when she lost to her at worlds.