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Powell lights up the Midlands

WINNER: Asafa Powell

NOT EVEN heavy rain could dampen the spirits and sprinting talent of Jamaica’s Asafa Powell who won Birmingham’s first ever Diamond League 100m event on Sunday night in a time of 9.91 seconds.

From lane four Powell reeled in Nesta Carter to stamp his class on the race. Michael Frater made it a Jamaican 123.

Powell has been beaten nine times out of the last ten occasions he has raced Usain ‘Lightning’ Bolt but on this form he has a chance to get the great man thinking at the next month’s World Championships.

Powell cruised to victory in his initial heat in 9.95 seconds, the 70th time he has dipped under ten seconds in the event.

It was a commanding display which saw Powell’s compatriot Carter come home second in 10.08 seconds with Trinidad’s Richard Thompson and Keston Bledman taking third and fourth to claim their final berths.

As usual Jamaica were dominating the short sprint as Michael Frater won the first 100m heat in 10.09 seconds.

Britain’s sprinters struggled in both heats. Only Marlon Devonish managed to make the final.

Mark Lewis-Francis, Christian Malcolm and Harry Aikinnes-Aryeetey all bit the dust in the opening skirmishes.

But the day was all about Powell, who in the absence of his nemesis Bolt shone like a beacon in the gloom at the Alexander Stadium.

Distance runner Mo Farah put a smile on British fans’ faces with a stunning 5,000m display.

The European champion clocked 13:06.14 seconds to confirm his outstanding form. The 28 year-old is a genuine contender for a gold medal in Daegu.

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