Wariner, Powell break Olympic Stadium record
Asafa Powell of Jamaica and American Jeremy Wariner broke stadium records at the DN Galan meet on Tuesday. On a warm and humid evening, Powell took the 100 meters in 9.86 seconds.
Powell, who shares the world record of 9.77 with Justin Gatlin, topped Maurice Greene's old Olympic Stadium record of 9.87 set in 1999.
Wariner, the Olympic and world champion, eased up at the finish but still clocked 44.02 to break the old mark of 44.57 set by Alvin Harrison in 2002.
For setting the stadium marks, Powell and Wariner each received a 1-carat diamond worth euro8,300 ($10,000).
Powell finished ahead of three Americans, Tyson Gay (9.97), Marcus Brunson (10.09) and Shawn Crawford (10.14). Xavier Carter, another American who goes by the nickname 'X-Man,' was sixth in 10.27.
"I felt good," said Powell, who led all the way. "I was out for the win and I thought the record was very easy to break. All I worried about was running against the clock and did not mind anybody else in the race."
"I guess I'll have to save the diamond for a wedding ring some time."
It was the seventh race of the season for Powell, who equaled the world record at Gateshead, England, last month. He set the mark last year.
Earlier this year, Wariner ran a season and personal best 43.62, showing that he is the closest to threatening Michael Johnson's world record of 43.18.
Johnson, the former Olympic champion who now serves as Wariner's agent, won two diamonds in the Swedish capital.
"I got out good, felt very strong on the back stretch, worked the bend and kicked in with 100 to go," Wariner said. "My goal today was a sub-44 and the diamond. I've been sick since Monday, so I can't complain."
Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele, the world 5,000 and 10,000 record holder, won the 109th edition of the Dickson Trophy at 1,500, clocking 3:33.08.
"It was my first 1,500 and it was not easy because I was not prepared for this distance," Bekele said.
Also setting stadium records were Meseret Defar of Ethiopia in the women's 3,000 (8:24.66); Sherone Simpson of Jamaica in the women's 200 (22.00); Kipsiele Paul Koech of Kenya in the men's 3,000 steeplechase (8:00.29) and Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway in the men's javelin (89.78 meters).
Defar ran the fastest 3,000 in four years, improving the stadium record by more than 16 seconds.
"The race was perfect, this is my best time ever," said Defar, the 2004 Olympic 5,000 champion.
American Aries Merritt missed won the men's 110 hurdles in 13.17. "It was a solid race," he said. "I got out well, but I had some problems in the middle. I was hoping for a stadium record."
Stockholm's Olympic Stadium, built for the 1912 Games, is the world's oldest Olympic venue still in use. The stadium also hosted the equestrian events for the 1956 Olympics because Australia had a quarantine that prevented the horses from traveling to host city Melbourne.