Dawn Harper-Nelson of the US celebrates after winning the Women’s 100m Hurdles race at the IAAF Diamond League meeting. RIGHT: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica waves to the fans after winning the 200m race.
DOHA: American sprinter Dawn Harper-Nelson yesterday produced a world leading time to win the Diamond League season’s first 100m hurdles race while Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce chalked up an impressive run to seal victory in the 200m final.
Running with her trademark finesse, Harper-Nelson led an American sweep in the 100m hurdles as the 28-year-old posted a world leading time of 12.60 seconds.
Kellie Wells finished in second spot with a time of 12.73 seconds while Queen Harrison ended in third spot with 12.74 seconds.
In another world leading performance, Botswana’s Amantle Montsho surprised star sprinter Allyson Felix of the US to win the 400m final.
Also yesterday, Brittney Reese of the US stuttered on her way to winning the long jump final with a world leading distance of 7.25m.
Sprinter Harper-Nelson was delighted with her win in the 100m hurdles.
“I am so excited with my race today,” Harper-Nelson said.
“I have started the season really well. We have worked with my coach on my weakest points, especially my beginning of the race,” she added after her race in Doha.
Wells, who managed a season-best time, said: “It is getting better race-to-race. I am happy with that and with my performance but not with the second place but it is okay now. My next competition is in Beijing. I love Doha and I like running here.”
Earlier, Jamaica’s Fraser-Pryce produced an error-free run to win the 200m ahead of compatriot Sherone Simpson.
Second-placed Simpson clocked a time of 22.73 seconds while France’s Myriam Soumare was third with a time of 22.81 seconds.
Fraser-Pryce clocked a time of 22.48 seconds but the Jamaican said winning was a better option than posting a record time.
“The most important thing for me today was to start with a win in the Diamond League series and not run faster than my previous season best,” Fraser-Pryce said. “The reason is that the trip from Jamaica made me feel tired but I really enjoyed the atmosphere,” she added.
“It reminded me of the cheering spectators in Jamaica,” Fraser-Pryce said.
“The people of Qatar made me feel very comfortable and I would like to thank them,” she added.
Simpson, who finished second, said: “I am satisfied with my performance today. I want to stay healthy and move on for a good season.”
In the 400m final, Montsho clocked a time of 49.88 seconds to finish ahead of Felix (50.19 seconds).
In third place was Britain’s Christine Ohuruogu (season best 50.53 seconds).
Montsho said: “The Doha Diamond League is such a fantastic meeting. The fans helped me run that fast. This season I trust I can run below 49 seconds and I aim to retain my world championships title in Moscow.”
Just a couple of jumps were sufficient for record holder Reese to pick up the gold in the long jump event with a world leading score.
The 26-year-old messed up her first two attempts but was quick to gather herself when she managed the winning distance of 7.25m on her third attempt which also proved to be a new meet record.
Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria picked up the silver (7.14m) while American Janay Deloach Soukup bagged the bronze (7.08m).
Reese later said there was room for improvement.
“I will try to beat the US record this season and today’s 7.25 makes me feel pretty confident,” Reese said.
She added: “I know I am right there. I had some problems with my run today because of the wind and that is why I fouled in my first two attempts.”