Great Britain’s Phillips Idowu beat world champion Christian Taylor in an inspiring start to his outdoor season at Shanghai’s Diamond League meeting. The Londoner, 33, every time leapt over 17 metres in heavy rain and high wind to win with a best mark of 17.24m. Jamaica’s Asafa Powell, fourth fastest in the world this year, conquered the 100m to finish clear in 10.02 seconds.
Liu Xiang excited the home crowd – his electric 12.97 in the 110m hurdles beat David Oliver and Jason Richardson. Idowu’s victory in the event’s finale was all the more impressive considering the fact he coped best with the hard conditions. Taylor struggled throughout, registering four no jumps before recording 16.96m on his final effort to come third, behind fellow-American Will Claye.
The 22-year-old won the World Championship in Daegu last year with a leap of 17.96m, which put him fifth on the all-time list, and he is expected to be one of Idowu’s main challengers at London 2012. “I am in great shape,” said Idowu. “My timing was a little off and my technique was not perfect, but this was the first one of the year and I feel great.”
Great Britain’s Shara Proctor could not match Idowu’s success, though, as she ended an unsatisfactory eighth in the women’s long jump with a best of 6.31m. In the 100m, the United States’ Mike Rogers, who received a back-dated suspension for failing a drugs test in July but remains available for Olympic selection, finished strongly to take second in 10.08 – ahead of Powell’s compatriot Nesta Carter.
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