Jeremy Wariner sets world’s fastest 400-meter time this year, clocks 44.13 at Weltklasse meet

By Graham Dunbar, AP
Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wariner sets world’s fastest 400 time this year

ZURICH — Jeremy Wariner of the United States ran the world’s fastest 400 meters this year at the Weltklasse Diamond League meeting on Thursday, while Tyson Gay helped the Americans set a meet record in the 400-meter relay.

Wariner finished in 44.13 seconds to take 0.27 off the season’s best time, set by Jamaica’s Jermaine Gonzales at the Monaco Diamond League meet last month. Wariner ran in lane three and paced himself off Gonzales, who went out fast from lane four and still led off the final bend.

“Another world lead, that was my plan,” said Wariner, the former Olympic and world champion who has one more race scheduled this season at Split, Croatia. “I would describe my season as improving with every race. Next year I should be even better.”

Wariner went to the front with 60 to go and quickly went clear, earning himself a $20,000 bonus from Weltklasse organizers for setting a world-leading time. He also collects $40,000 for winning the season-long points standings in Diamond League 400 races.

Gonzales was second in 44.51 and Angelo Taylor of the U.S. finished third in 44.72.

David Oliver of the U.S. failed in his latest attempt to take down Cuban Dayron Robles’ 110 hurdles world record of 12.87 seconds. Oliver started poorly before blazing through the middle section to finish in 12.93 on Thursday, and he slapped the ground afterward in frustration.

“I know I’m not the perfect hurdler. That’s why I’m missing the world record,” said Oliver, who won his event’s Diamond League season title. “I cannot ask for more. I’m running fast times, winning the diamond.”

The Weltklasse meet was missing some of track and field’s biggest stars, despite crowning Diamond League champions in 16 events. The remaining 16 finals are staged in Brussels next week.

Gay skipped the individual 200 race, but ran the third leg of the 400-meter relay for an American quartet that set a world’s best time this year. Gay, Trell Kimmons, Wallace Spearmon and anchor Michael Rodgers finished in 37.45 seconds to beat a Jamaica quartet by 0.31.

Usain Bolt also skipped the 200 after shutting down his season because of a back injury, putting Spearmon in the spotlight. He finished in a meet-record time of 19.79 seconds to edge Jamaica’s Yohan Blake. Ryan Bailey of the U.S. ran a personal best 20.10 in third.

Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown won the women’s 100 in a photo finish with Carmelita Jeter of the U.S., as the two timed 10.89. Another American, Marshevet Myers, was third in 10.97.

“My shoulder was a little bit in front so I had the feeling just after the line that I could be the winner,” Campbell-Brown said.

Jeter said she lost the race out of the blocks, but still earned the season-long title.

“My start was not that good, second part better,” Jeter said, adding that she plans to give her Diamond League trophy to her parents.

Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica saved her best for last in an excellent season of 400 hurdles races. Her fourth straight Diamond League victory in 53.33 took 0.15 seconds off her personal best, and was more than a second faster than Czech runner-up Zuzana Hejnova.

Christina Obergfoell of Germany set a Weltklasse meet record in the javelin with a winning throw of 67.31. In a men’s 100 run outside the Diamond League program, Kimmons won in a personal best of 9.95 seconds.

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