Powell sets third fastest time

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/a/athletics_ap.jpg' class='caption'> The 100 metres is so often the highlight event of any athletics meet, and on Saturday once against it provided some of the biggest excitement at the World

Updated: September 25, 2007 06:37 IST
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The 100 metres is so often the highlight event of any athletics meet, and on Saturday once against it provided some of the biggest excitement at the World Athletics Final in Stuttgart.

And once again, it was world record holder Asafa Powell who was delighting the crowds.

Following two false starts and against a strong headwind the Jamaican ran the third fastest 100 metres of the year, clocking 9.83 seconds - within .09 seconds of his own record.

Jaysuma Saidy Ndure of Norway was second behind Powell in 10.06, and Michael Frater of Jamaica was third in 10.11. World champion Tyson Gay did not compete.

In the women's pole vault there had been hopes that world champion Yelena Isinbayeva might create a new world record.

However she was happy to come away with a victory in the end. The Russian and Monika Pyrek of Poland were tied for first after clearing 4.82 metres.

Both then missed three times at a higher height, and could not be divided on a countback, so it went to a jump-off.

Isinbayeva cleared 4.87 on her first attempt but Pyrek failed. Svetlana Feofanova was third with 4.82.

Blanka Vlasic took the women's high jump event for her 17th win out of 18 competitions this year.

The world champion was the only one to clear 2 metres but failed three times at 2.05, still 4 centimetres under the world record height.

On a day that saw several problems with the starting gun, the women's 200 metres only got underway on the fifth attempt.

The surprise winner was Muriel Hurtis-Houairi of France in 22.73, ahead of Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie of the Bahamas.

There were also problems with the women's 100 hurdles event with a number of false starts and three disqualifications, including one for Susanna Kallur of Sweden.

Once the race started at the fourth attempt, Michelle Perry won for the first time since the final at the world championships. Her time of 12.68 seconds was 0.02 seconds faster than runner-up Josephine Onyia of Spain.

Marek Plawgo of Poland held on for a good win in the men's 400 metre hurdles, taking the event in 48.35.

Reigning world champion Kerron Clement was awarded the same time with James Carter finishing .01 seconds back in an extremely tight fight to the line.

In the absence of world champion Jeremy Wariner, LaShawn Merritt proved again that he is the second best in the world in the men's 400 metres.

After silver in Osaka, Merritt won the last clash of the season in 44.58, with Tyler Christopher of Canada second in 44.87 and Angelo Taylor of the United States
third in 44.92.

The US shot putters staged a repeat of the result from the world championships, with Reese Hoffa throwing 20.98 metres to beat Adam Nelson by just 3 centimetres.

While in the triple jump, Walter Davis got some revenge for his bronze in Osaka, winning with 17.35 metres, one centimetre more than Aarik Wilson.

World champion Nelson Evora was third, five centimetres behind. The season-ending World Athletics Final has $3 million in prize money, with an extra $100,000 for every world record.

The competition continues on Sunday.

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