Updated: July 16, 2010, 6:46 PM ET
Bolt beats Powell in 100 meters
SAINT-DENIS, France -- Olympic and world champion Usain Bolt recovered from a poor start to win the 100 meters at the Paris Diamond League meet in 9.84 seconds Friday.
Bolt set a new meet record and beat fellow Jamaican Asafa Powell, who finished second in 9.91. Jamaican Yohan Blake was third in 9.95.
"It wasn't the best race I've ever had in my life," said Bolt, who returned to competition in Lausanne, Switzerland, on July 9 following an Achilles tendon injury.
"My first part was awful. At the 50 meters, I thought he [Powell] had me. I had to work a little bit harder to get back in the race," he said.
Bolt, the world record-holder in the 100 and 200, pulled away in the final meters to stay unbeaten at 100 for 14 consecutive finals.
"It's all about determination," he said. "I want to be the best, to stay on top. When you run against the best, it always pushes you to do your best all the time. I'm happy, I escaped injuries and I won the race."
Bolt and Powell, who share the fastest time this year at 9.82 seconds, met for the first time this season. Powell is the last man to have beaten Bolt in the 100, two years ago in Stockholm.
American David Oliver posted the fastest time this year in the 110-meter hurdles, clocking 12.89 seconds, just 0.02 short of Dayron Robles' world record.
It was enough, though, to take the American national record outright from Dominique Arnold, who ran 12.90 in 2006. Oliver had equaled that mark at the Prefontaine Classic in Oregon two weeks ago.
Under perfect weather conditions, with mild temperature and a slight tail wind, Oliver enjoyed a strong start and pulled away to win ahead of fellow American Ryan Wilson, who finished in 13.12. American Ronnie Ashe was third in 13.21.
"The run overall was OK," Oliver said. "I hit a few hurdles. I sat down on one of the hurdles, my hips dropped, that's a waste of time."
He insisted he didn't regret missing the world record so narrowly.
"You can't be frustrated," he said. "I'm winning, man. That's the most important thing -- you're never frustrated when you win.
"I won Paris, I get four more Diamond League points. I want to be the Diamond League champion, that helps my goal. I just want to win. If you don't win, you can't be great. I want to be great," he said.
Robles, the defending Olympic champion and world record-holder in the 110 hurdles, pulled out of the meeting because of leg problems.
The powerfully built Oliver had already clocked the previous season's best time, of 12.90, at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore.
No world record has ever been set on the fast Stade de France track.
American Jeremy Wariner extended his unbeaten record in the Diamond League this season to four races, setting a season best of 44.49 seconds in the 400.
"It feels great. I'm getting back to where I was a few years ago," Wariner said. "That's a big confidence boost for me right now."
The 2004 Olympic champion, who had knee surgery last September, easily won ahead of Jermaine Gonzales of Jamaica, who finished in 44.63 to beat his personal best. Belgium Jonathan Borlee was third with 44.77.
Wariner, who is hoping he will be able to run under 44 seconds before the end of the season, had set the previous season best of 44.57 last week in Lausanne.
"I'm two months behind schedule in training because of the injuries I've had early on," he said. "For me, to come out here and still win four Diamond League races and have the world-leading time, that's a great confidence thing for me."
Olympic champion Brimin Kipruto beat the previous season best he set in Lausanne, winning the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 8:00.90 seconds, while Abubaker Kaki of Sudan won the 800 in 1:43.50 ahead of world champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, who clocked 1:44.11.
"Good weather, good pace, my personal best," Kipruto said. "You can't ask for more."
After taking the U.S. 100 and 400 in Eugene, American Allyson Felix won the 200 in 22.14 ahead of fellow American Shalonda Solomon, who finished in 22.55.
"It's a decent time, but I wanted to go a little bit faster," Felix said. "But without Veronica Campbell-Brown in the race, it's always hard to push myself."
Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot won in 14:27.41, a world lead this season and a meet record. She won ahead of Sentayehu Ejigu of Ethiopia and double Olympic silver medalist Elvan Abeylegasse of Turkey.
American Brittney Reese won the long jump with a mark of 22 feet, 3½ inches, and Nadezhda Ostapchuk of Belarus won the shot put with a throw at 68-2¼, another meet record.