SPORTS

Canada's George 3rd in Diamond League hurdles

09/08/2011 03:41 EDT | Updated 11/08/2011 05:12 EST

Canadian Phylicia George reached a Diamond League podium for the first time in her career on Thursday, finishing third in one of the deepest events in track and field.

The Toronto native crossed the line in 12.84 seconds to finish third in the women's 100-metre hurdles at the Weltklasse meet in Zurich.

World champion Sally Pearson won Thursday's race in 12.52, with Beijing Olympic winner Dawn Harper of the United States finishisng second.

George ran a career best 12.73 seconds last week in the semifinals at the world championships in Daegu, South Korea. She then endured a disappointing final, dealing with a cramp en route to finishing seventh.

Nikkita Holder of Pickering, Ont., also in the world championship final last week, was sixth in Thursday's race.

Jamaica's Blake wins men's 100

All swagger after his gold medal at the world championships, Yohan Blake ran a personal-best 9.82 seconds to win the men's 100 metres.

The 21-year-old Jamaican stumbled slightly out of the blocks and had no wind assistance on a still night. He beat his best time by 0.07 seconds.

"I knew I had this in me. I wanted to show people I can do it and run under pressure," said Blake, who seized the world title last week in Daegu, South Korea, after training partner Usain Bolt was disqualified for a false start. "I feel fast. I feel like I can lift up a mountain, but being a champion that is how you feel."

Asafa Powell of Jamaica was second in (9.95) and Walter Dix of the United States was third in 10.04.

World champs shine

Another young world champion to shine in a star-studded Diamond League lineup was Kirani James in the 400. The 19-year-old from Grenada ran a personal-best 44.36 to repeat his Daegu victory over Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt of the U.S.

Other world champions to win included Pearson in the 100 hurdles, Mariya Savinova of Russia in the 800 and Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya in the women's 5,000.

Yelena Isinbayeva was beaten again in the pole vault, finishing third after a single clearance at 15 feet, 1¾ inches. American Jennifer Suhr won at 15-5¾.

Yet it was Blake in centre stage just 10 days after he was almost unknown to all but track aficionados. He had won the gold medal in 9.92 into a headwind to set his previous season best.

Blake's dash in his first individual race since was the fourth fastest time this year without wind. He will run his final 100 of the season at Berlin on Sunday.

Powell was running with a hip injury that caused him to miss the world championships. He led halfway through but stood up straighter in the closing strides as he looked left at Blake's winning surge.

Powell was followed by Dix, a worlds silver medallist . Worlds bronze medallist Kim Collins of Saint Kitts and Nevis was fifth in 10.09.

In the 400, James lowered his previous lifetime best from the Daegu final by 0.24, and was just 0.01 outside Merritt's world-leading time.

"I executed the race perfectly," said James, dismissing talk of a sub-44 run soon. "I will be happy to run at least 44.35 next year."

Merritt lost his world title by 0.03 last week but trailed by 0.31 this time.

Robles rebounds

Dayron Robles proved a point in the 110 hurdles after his worlds disqualification. The Cuban world-record holder ran his season-best time of 13.01, as gold medallist Jason Richardson of the U.S. trailed by 0.09 in second.

"Great satisfaction for me after Daegu," Robles said.

Carmelia Jeter again beat American teammate Allyson Felix in the 200, winning in 22.27. World champion Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica was one of the few gold medallists to miss Weltklasse.

In a thrilling finish to the women's 800, Savinova outlasted Alysia Montano of the U.S. to cross in 1 minute 58.27 seconds. Caster Semenya of South Africa was fifth.

Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya, who swept the worlds 5,000 and 10,000, ran 25 seconds faster than her Daegu time winning the 5,000 in 14:30.10 seconds.

World champion Ezekiel Kemboi won the 3,000-meter steeplchase in 8:07.72, and Kenya also took the men's 1,500. However, gold medallist Asbel Kisrop was seventh as Nixon Chepseba won in 3:32.74.

Jamaica's Kaliese Spencer reversed 400 hurdles form after being fourth in Daegu. Spencer clocked 53.36 to edge silver medallist Melaine Walker into second, with world champion Lashinda Demus of the U.S. third.

Ngonidzashe Makusha of Zimbabwe, the worlds bronze medallist , won the long jump with an opening leap of 26-3. Four-time world champion Dwight Phillips of the U.S. was fourth, at 25-10.

Dimitrios Chondrokoukis of Greece had a lifetime best leap of 7-7¼ to win the high jump, and two-time world champion Robert Harting of Germany won the discus. Christina Obergfoell of Germany won the javelin at 228-3.

The Weltklasse meeting started Wednesday evening in the entrance hall at Zurich's main train station where the shot put events were staged, won by women's world champion Valerie Adams of New Zealand and Canada's worlds silver medallist Dylan Armstrong.

The Diamond League season ends Sept. 16 with the second half of the finals program at the Van Damme Memorial meet in Brussels.

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