LONDON: Australia’s red-hot Olympic favourite Sally Pearson suffered her first defeat of the season in 100m hurdles as Games medal hopefuls found the going tough at a cold and wet London Grand Prix on Saturday.
World champion Pearson, winner of 15 of her 16 races last year and unbeaten in 2012, led until the final two hurdles before she was overhauled by American Kellie Wells who won in a time of 12.57 seconds. Pearson was two hundredths of a second behind.
There was also a shock in the women’s 100 metres with Nigerian Blessing Okagbare winning the race in 11.01 seconds, 0.02 ahead of world champion Carmelita Jeter. Olympic gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce appeared to stumble slightly at the start and finished last.
Women’s javelin world record holder and Olympic champion Barbora Spotakova of the Czech Republic came off second best to Britain’s Goldie Sayers who won the event with a national record of 66.17 metres.
But the news was less good for Beijing silver medallist Phillips Idowu and high hurdler Tiffany Porter with both Britons suffering injury scares with a little under three weeks to the start of the athletics at the London Games. In the Londoner’s absence American world champion Christian Taylor had a comfortable win with a best distance of 17.41 metres but he did not discount the challenge he faced from Idowu at the Olympics.
France’s Christophe Lemaitre won the men’s 200 in a season’s best time of 19.91. Britain’s Christine Ohuruogu battled through a torrential downpour to overtake world gold medallist Amantle Montsho for victory in the women’s 400 in 50.42.
Kenyan Silas Kiplagat burst to the front off the final bend
to win the men’s mile in 3:52.44 after the race had been subject to two false starts, which were put down to a technical problem.