GATESHEAD, England (Reuters) - Tyson Gay won his much anticipated 100 meters showdown with Asafa Powell at the Diamond League meeting in Gateshead on Saturday, edging the Jamaican on the line in a time of 9.94 seconds.
Powell, who has the fastest time in the world this year along with world record holder Usain Bolt, finished 0.02 of a second behind the American.
Gay, the second-fastest man this season, showed no signs of the hamstring injury that has hampered his season in his first competitive outings over the 100.
He had comfortably won his heat, running 9.96 into a headwind on a warm, overcast day.
“I feel good. (Powell) He’s one of my favorite competitors and I managed to get him today,” Gay told reporters.
“I really had to stretch to the finish line and he didn’t see me coming today so I got the victory.
“The hamstring is still tight and that is something I am going to have to work on.”
Powell, who has fond memories of Gateshead after equaling his then world record of 9.77 on the track in 2006, blamed his loss on the fact he had eased off after a blistering start.
“I don’t feel that bad. I was pushing through to the line and started to ease up a bit too much,” the 27-year-old Jamaican said.
“I relaxed too soon and he got me on the tape. It’s no set back though because I know what shape I’m in. I know I’ll be ready for Bolt next week (in Paris).”
Walter Dix continued his strong showing over 200 meters after beating Gay at the Prefontaine Classic, holding off Wallace Spearmon on the line for his fourth Diamond League victory of the season in 20.26.
World heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis, back in action after a virus, finished a disappointing last in the 200 meters but was happier with her throw of 46.15 in the javelin as she continued her build-up to the European championships in Barcelona this month.
In a stadium only half full, Briton Ennis went backwards in the home straight of the 200 and finished almost a second behind winner Bianca Knight of the U.S. in 23.55.
“I’m a bit disappointed with the time to be honest,” said Ennis who has a personal best of 23.15 at the distance.
“I’ve missed a bit of work and I need to catch up a bit, so it was good to just come and run here and see where I’m at. I think it’s going to take a little bit just to get some shape back but by the time I get to Barcelona I should be ready to go.”
World leader Lolo Jones of the United States was a class above the rest of the field in the 100 hurdles, taking the lead after the first couple of barriers and remaining untroubled for victory in 12.79.
Czech world record holder Barbora Spotakova struggled to get over 60 meters in the javelin, finally finishing third with a best of 62.02 on her final throw. South African Sunette Viljoen won the event with 64.32.
World champion Phillips Idowu enjoyed a better time in the triple jump, winning with a leap of 17.38 to give himself a confidence boost ahead of the European championships.
Idowu, who could manage only third in New York when France’s Teddy Tamgho produced the third longest jump ever with 17.98, said he had been ill but was on the road to recovery.
“I am coming out the back end of a pretty bad virus so as I recover from that my performances are slowly coming together,” the Briton said.
Kenya’s Olympic champion Asbel Kiprop pulled away on the home straight to beat compatriot Augustine Choge in the men’s 1,500 meters in 3:33.34.
Poland’s Olympic and world silver medalist Piotr Malachowski set a national record of 69.83 meters to win the discus.
Editing by John Mehaffey