Jamaica’s Steve Mullings edged American Tyson Gay in a photo-finish in the men’s 100 meters at the New York Diamond League meeting on Saturday.
Both were timed in 10.26sec, but the review gave the victory to Mullings over the experienced American.
“Sure, I thought he might have caught me — another step and he would have,” Mullings said. “I know he’s got that strong finish.”
The duel between Mullings and Gay, who train together, came a week after Gay posted the fastest 100m of the season with a 9.79 at a low-key meeting in Florida.
That was the same day that Mullings clocked 9.80 to win the 100m at the Diamond League meeting on the opposite US coast at Eugene, Oregon.
Chilly, rainy, breezy weather meant those times were unlikely to be challenged at the sixth meeting in the elite Diamond League series.
But the meeting produced plenty of nail-biting finishes, and the men’s 100m, run in a headwind of -3.4m/seconds, was a prime example.
Tensions rose from the start of the men’s 100m as three runners were disqualified by false starts — first Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago, followed by Americans Travis Paddgett and Rae Edwards.
“They are part of the game. You deal with it,” Gay said of the starts. “Keep your own focus. You can’t play those games anymore.”
Mullings, the rising Jamaican sprint star who hopes to challenge compatriot Usain Bolt this World Championships season, burst out of the blocks.
Gay admitted his own start was “a little sluggish” but he reeled in Mullings in the closing 50m.
“I knew it was going to be close,” Gay said. “I thought I might have got him, but never sure, either.”
Mullings certainly wasn’t sure when he crossed the line.
“When they gave me the flowers [presented to each winner], I guess that made it official,” he said.
American Danielle Carruthers won a narrow victory in the women’s 100m hurdles, holding on for the victory in 13.04 with fellow American Kellie Wells second in 13.06. Britain’s Tiffany Ofili-Porter was third in 13.11, while Jamaica’s Brigitte Foster-Hylton failed to finish.
Three-time world champion Allyson Felix of the United States won the women’s 200m in 22.92, with Bianca Knight second in 22.96 and Shalonda Solomon third in 23.03.
Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the reigning Olympic and World champion at 100m, was seventh and last in 23.52.
Diamond League leader Jeremy Wariner edged Jamaica’s Jermaine Gonzales at the line to capture the 400 meters in 45.13, .03 in front of his Caribbean rival with Grenada’s Rondell Bartholomew third in 45.17.
“Felt great around the turn. Tough race at the end,” Wariner said. “I ran against a great field. For me to go out there and win is great.”
South African Oscar Pretorius, running on metal prostetics after having his lower legs amputated when he was 11 months old, finished fifth in 45.69.
Although he was still off the 45.25-second World Championships standard he expects he must meet to reach next year’s London Olympics, he was pleased to improve on his disappointing last-place finish at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting a week earlier.
“I’m unbelievably happy,” Pistorius said. “It’s raining down. It’s not the best conditions to run today. It’s my second quickest time this year [and] in the wet.
“It’s about .4 of a second to get down but I’m very confident. I think my time is going to come down this year.” – AFP