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Updated: September 13, 2009 02:08 IST

Gay edges Powell in 100m

AP
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Tyson Gay (L) and Asafa Powell compete in men's 100 metres during the IAAF World Athletics Final at Thessaloniki's Kaftanzoglio stadium, Greece.
AP Tyson Gay (L) and Asafa Powell compete in men's 100 metres during the IAAF World Athletics Final at Thessaloniki's Kaftanzoglio stadium, Greece.

Tyson Gay clocked 9.88 in his last major race of the season on Saturday to beat Asafa Powell in the 100 metres at the World Athletics Final.

Gay overcame a slow start to pull away from Powell, who clocked 9.90. American Darvis Patton who finished third in 10.00, with world champion and world record-holder Usain Bolt skipping the race.

“It was a tough race,” Gay said. “I think Asafa kind of relaxed ... I didn’t quit the race, even though I was far behind him.”

The American has beaten Powell four times this season, with the Jamaican winning once.

Bolt, who smashed the 100 and 200 records at last month’s World Championships in Berlin, will race in the 200 metres on Sunday.

On Saturday, the Jamaican star ran onto the track to enthusiastic applause from a crowd of 20,000 at Kaftanzoglio stadium.

Allyson Felix won the women’s 200, beating fellow American Sanya Richards in a photo finish after both runners clocked 22.29 seconds. Kerron Stewart of Jamaica was third in 22.42.

In the women’s pole vault, world record-holder Yelena Isinbayeva cleared a modest 4.80 metres for an easy win.

The Russian star, who has broken the world record 27 times in her career, then had a failed attempt at 5.07 metres. Fabiana Murer of Brazil and Poland’s Monika Pyrek shared second place with 4.60.

Isinbayeva said her win felt like “revenge” for her surprise loss last month in Berlin, when she failed to clear a height.

She rebounded days later to set a new world record of 5.06 in Zurich. She said on Saturday her aim is set much higher in the future.

“I still think that a 5.20-metre jump is possible,” she said. “This season was very up-and-down. ... I tried my best today.”

In the 400, Olympic and world champion LaShawn Merritt of the United States won in 44.93 seconds. Chris Brown of the Bahamas clocked 45.49 in second and American David Neville came third in 45.60.

The 23-year-old Merritt extended his unbeaten streak to 12 races, but was unhappy with his time after clocking 44.06 at the worlds.

“All that matters in these races is victory. I think I can be called the best 400-metre runner (this season) - I’ve earned it.”

Brittney Reese of the United States won the long jump with 7.08 meters, pushing Russian duo Elena Sokolova and Tatyana Lebedeva to second and third place with jumps of 6.81 and 6.79 respectively.

Javelin world champion Steffi Nerius of Germany announced the end of her international career after throwing 62.59 for third place.

“The journey ends here,” the 37-year-old Nerius said. “All these years I won many medals - Olympic, world, European. I achieved everything I could dream of.”

Nerius wore her trademark headband, with the words “Goodbye” written in English, Greek and German.

Maria Abakumova of Russia won the event, throwing 64.63, while world record-holder Barbora Spotakova of the Czech Republic was third with 63.45.

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