Wayde van Niekerk won his first international race of the year on Sunday‚ but Akani Simbine was edged into his first 100m defeat of the year.
Racing in the 200m straight at the Boston street meet in the US‚ Van Niekerk‚ the 400m world record-holder and Olympic champion‚ cruised home in 19.84 seconds on an especially built elevated track on Boston’s Charles Street that enabled fans to watch up close.
He defeated American BeeJay Lee by 0.33 seconds in the five-lane race.
“It was challenging‚” Van Niekerk told reporters.
“To be honest I thought I did a 400. It was a bit tough.”
The Olympic 400m champion was tuning up to run both the 200 and 400 at August’s world championships in London.
“I’ve still got a lot of work to do and have a lot of areas I need to look into‚” he said. “But it was a positive win for me today.
Simbine‚ recording his slowest 100m of the season to date‚ was edged on the line by Keston Bledman of Trinidad and Tobago‚ with both being credited with times of 10.21.
However‚ Bledman got the nod over the South African by one-thousandth of a second.
This was Simbine’s eighth 100m race of the year‚ and only the second time he had failed to break 10 seconds.
Simbine probably lost it by not holding his line throughout the race‚ drifting towards the left edge of his lane and back to the centre.
Bahamian Olympic women’s 400m gold medallist Miller-Uibo wiped out American Allyson Felix’s 200m straightaway world best with another runaway victory.
She finished in 21.76 seconds in taking out Felix’s 2010 best of 22.55 seconds at the Manchester‚ England‚ street meet.
Typically‚ 200m races are run around a bend and only those are recognised as world records.
Jamaica’s Usain Bolt has the men’s record of 19.19 seconds and American Florence Griffith Joyner holds the women’s mark at 21.34.
Bowie‚ a double sprint medallist at Rio‚ took down another Felix world best in the women’s 150m straightaway‚ running 16.30 seconds.
Felix set the previous best of 16.36 at Manchester in 2013.
London Olympic champion Jenn Suhr was upset in the women’s pole vault by Canadian Alysha Newman‚ who cleared 4.60 metres.
Suhr claimed second with a vault of 4.50. – TMG Digital/TMG Sport