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ATHLETICS

Justin Gatlin retains Prefontaine 100m title

London Olympic 100m medallist belies his 31 years to beat two other Americans in classic

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 June, 2013, 4:39am
 

Veteran sprinter Justin Gatlin turned back the clock with a victory in the 100 metres at the Prefontaine Classic athletics meet.

Gatlin, 31, won in a wind-aided time of 9.88 seconds, beating fellow Americans Michael Rodgers and Ryan Bailey.

The man who won the bronze medal at the London Olympic Games, joked afterward: "I just age like wine."

He won the Olympic gold medal at the Athens Games, but his promising career was derailed in 2006 by a positive drug test that led to a four-year ban. He has since worked hard to repair his reputation and was the defending champion at the Prefontaine last year, winning in 9.9 in a tune-up for the US Olympic trials.

"I felt like I had a pretty good start, and I brought it home pretty good," Gatlin said. "Last year, my 20 metres before the finish line wasn't as strong as I wanted it to be. That's what we've been working on."

Gatlin took longer than any other athlete on his victory lap, stopping frequently to sign autographs and pose for pictures with fans.

In the women's 400m, Olympic gold medallist Sanya Richards-Ross finished last in her first race since having surgery on her right big toe last September. The event featured all three medallists from the London Games, Richards-Ross, Christine Ohuruogu and DeeDee Trotter. "It was rough today," Richards-Ross said. "I realised I wasn't going to really push it as well as I wanted to."

Armantle Montsho of Botswana won the race in 50.01 seconds.

Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price won the women's 100m in 10.71, with American Allyson Felix slumping to seventh.

"I still have some work do," said Felix, who is preparing for the US championships later this month.

In the 5,000m, Kenyan Edwin Cheruiyot Soi won in 13:04.75, just ahead of Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah of Britain in 13:05.88.

Farah, who won gold medals in both the 5,000m and 10,000m at the London Games, was supposed to run in the 10,000m on Friday night, but withdrew from the race a day earlier because of a stomach bug.

He decided instead to run the 5,000m instead with training partner and friend Galen Rupp.

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