Jamaica's Omar McLeod crosses the finish line of a men's 110m hurdles race at the IAAF Diamond League athletics meeting at Charlety Stadium, in Paris, France, Saturday July 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Thibault Camus
July 01, 2017

PARIS (AP) Olympic champion Elaine Thompson overcame a sluggish start to win the 100 meters at the Paris Diamond League and maintain her unbeaten record this season.

The Jamaican runner clocked a winning 10.91 seconds at Stade Charlety to hold off Marie-Josee Ta Lou of Ivory Coast (10.96) after powering through in the last 40 meters.

''The result is not bad especially after two false starts. But this was a great preparation for the world championships,'' Thompson said. ''Coming straight from the Jamaican trials, it was important to get back to blocks, to stay focused and get as much rest as possible. In this moment I am exactly where I want to be, feeling good, feeling excited with one month to go to the world championships.''

In an upset, Olympic 110-meter hurdles champion Omar McLeod of Jamaica lost the Diamond League final to countryman Ronald Levy, who won in a personal best of 13.05.

''Things are looking good before the London championships,'' Levy said. ''I know what to do at the championships now.''

Levy finished ahead of Britain's Andrew Pozzi and Frenchman Garfield Darien, with McLeod way back in seventh place in 13.41 after clipping a hurdle.

There were more surprises.

Olympic champion Ruth Jebet, who broke the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase world record by six seconds at the Paris meet last year, fell in the last kilometer this time around and crossed the line in only fourth place.

Beatrice Chepkoech won in 9 minutes, 1.69 seconds in a Kenya 1-2-3 ahead of Hyvin Kiyeng and Celliphine Chepteek Chespol.

With a last lap of 54 seconds, Ethiopia's Muktar Edris won the men's 3,000 in 7:32.31 to hand Kenyan Ronald Kwemoi his first defeat of the season.

Near the end of the meet, Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands beat Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon of Kenya in the women's 1,500, winning in 3:57.10 with Kipyegon clocking 3:57.71.

''I pushed it too much from the beginning. The win is very important to me because there was a very strong field in Paris,'' Hassan said. ''Despite the hard start, the time is good and the victory is fantastic. It also gives me confidence which everybody needs before London.''

Sam Kendricks of the United States beat Renaud Lavillenie of France - the indoor world record-holder and a multiple world and Olympic medalist - to win the pole vault.

Kendricks, competing for the first time since clearing 6 meters at the national championships, won with a leap of 5.82 meters.

''My main goal is to jump 5.80 at every competition this year. I do not want to go under this mark,'' Kendricks said. ''Every competition with Renaud, you can expect something big. You never know if he is going to jump 6 meters.''

Lavillenie, with a personal best in outdoors of 6.05 and runner-up at last year's Olympic Games ahead of bronze medalist Kendricks, could manage only 5.62. The home favorite failed three times to clear 5.77 and finished the event sat in his chair with his head in his hands, and a towel over him.

There was no stopping Olympic champion Christian Taylor of the United States, however, as he won the triple jump with a second-round effort of 17.29 meters.

Countryman Will Claye was second in 17.18.

''I just know I need to jump further. I am very glad for my teammate (Claye) to make a championships standard today, so it was a good competition,'' Taylor said. ''For London, I hopefully show 18.29 plus. I know I can go for it, it is in my heart.''

In other men's events, Ramil Guliyev won the 200 ahead of Dutchman Churandy Martina; Nijel Amos of Botswana beat Kipyegon Bett of Kenya to win the 800; Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar won the high jump for his fourth Diamond League win this season, and Johannes Vetter of Germany took the javelin.

In other women's events, Jamaica's Novlene Williams-Mills won the 400 ahead of American Courtney Okolo, and China's Gong Lijiao won the shot put.

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