(Reuters) – Russian Yelena Isinbayeva broke her own women’s world pole vault record on Tuesday when she cleared 5.04 metres at her third attempt at the Monaco grand prix.
Isinbayeva, who bettered her previous mark of 5.03 metres set at the Rome Golden League meeting on July 11, recorded her 13th outdoor world record and 23rd overall on a warm, still night in the principality.
The Olympic and world champion had come close to vaulting 5.04 metres last Friday in London, where she cleared the bar with her third attempt but brought it down during her descent.
Former world record holder Asafa Powell had earlier won his third consecutive 100 metres race of the season in his last major meeting before the Beijing Olympics starting next week.
The Jamaican Commonwealth champion clocked 9.82 seconds, his best time this year. Only compatriot Usain Bolt, who took the world record from Powell on May 31, and American world champion Tyson Gay have run faster in 2008.
Neither Powell nor Gay were in Tuesday’s race where American Darvis Patton finished second in 9.98 while Powell’s compatriot and training partner Nesta Carter took third place in 10.02.
“I still have work to do on my finish and I can do better than that,” Powell told reporters. “I’m not really surprised by my time. There was no wind at all and with a slight headwind, it might have been faster. I’m feeling well, fresh.”
“I believe I can,” Powell added when asked whether he thought he could recapture the world record of 9.72 seconds set by Bolt in New York on May 31 this year.
The women’s 100 metres was also won by a Jamaican runner, Kerron Stewart, in 10.94. She narrowly outsprinted compatriot Sherone Simpson, who came second in 10.95. American Torri Edwards, the leading 2008 performer with 10.78, was third in 11.02.
Britain’s Martin Rooney profited from the absence of U.S. 400 metres masters Jeremy Wariner and LaShawn Merritt to win over one lap in a personal best 44.72 seconds.
Daniel Kipchirchir Komen set a year’s best of three minutes 31.49 seconds for the men’s 1,500 metres, narrowly beating compatriot Shedrack Kibet Korir, who came second in 3:31.94.
Jamaica’s Melaine Walker repulsed the challenge of American Tiffany Ross-Williams to clock a year’s best 53.48 seconds for the women’s 400 metres hurdles. Ross-Williams finished a close second in 53.54 with compatriot Sheena Tosta third in 53.58.
Portugal’s Naide Gomes also set a year’s best in the women’s long jump, with a leap of 7.12 metres, eight centimetres further than the previous top mark she shared with Russia’s Lyudmila Kolchanova.
by: Etienne Ballerini
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