Shakes-Drayton is streets ahead

Brit overcomes Olympic champion in Manchester GreatCity Games as she prepares to start her season in earnest next weekend

Perri Shakes-Drayton (Mark Shearman)

Perri Shakes-Drayton gave herself the perfect confidence boost with which to kick off her 2013 campaign as she beat Russia’s Olympic 400m hurdles champion Natalya Antyukh over half their specialist distance in the BT Great CityGames on the streets of Manchester.

Her run was one of the highlights for thousands of spectators who lined Deansgate in the centre of the city either side of an elevated specially-laid track.

The time of 25.74 in the rarely run 200m hurdles will not have meant very much to Shakes-Drayton, but the margin of victory of nearly half a second over the Olympic champion clearly delighted Britain’s top one-lap hurdler.

Shakes-Drayton had clear daylight over Antyukh, who clocked 26.23 and was almost closed down by Britain’s Eilidh Child (26.27).

Considering it was into a wind of 1.1m/sec, the winning time stacks up well against the previously recorded world best for a 200m hurdles on a bend, a hand-timed 25.7, set in 1971.

Having won a 400m in Loughborough in an outdoor PB of 50.98 last weekend, she will head into her first 400m hurdles of the season in Eugene next weekend looking to be a match for anyone in her main event.

Shakes-Drayton, who will take on a top-class field in the Diamond League next Saturday, was enthused by the win but level-headed enough to realise it would not mean much with the World Championships 400m hurdles in view.

She said of beating the Olympic champion: “It gives me confidence, but that’s not the 400m hurdles so that’s not going to go to my head.”

Allyson Felix set a best in an event which is run slightly more often, the 150m. The Olympic 200m champion clocked 16.36 to go 0.14 under the time set by Carmelita Jeter in Newcastle in 2011.

However, she failed to wipe off the record books the controversial Florence Griffith-Joyner, who ran 16.10 en route to her world 200m record in 1988.

The American has 10.89 100m speed and is also one of the best in the world at 400m, so it was no surprise that she stretched away from Britain’s Anyika Onuora, who was second with 16.63, taking seven hundredths off her own British best, and American Lauryn Williams (16.64). She covered the first 100m in 11.06.

She said afterwards: “It’s fun, it’s something different. It’s more low-key, you get to interact with the crowd more. This is my third time here, the previous times were 200m which felt really really long, so 150m was a really nice change. I am very hungry this year.”

Jodie Williams, running her third race of the year after missing most of last season through injury, continues to feel her way back clocking 16.81 for fourth and last.

Britain’s Tiffany Porter split the Olympic silver and bronze medallists in the 100m hurdles. Porter was off the quickest but was caught by American London 2012 runner-up Dawn Harper, who stopped the clock in 12.94, a respectable time into a 1.9m/sec wind. Porter was timed at 13.02 ahead of American Kellie Wells’ 13.04.

In the nearby Albert Square, where a runway and long jump pit had been put down, another Olympic champion Greg Rutherford was enjoying victory too. The Brit took the lead from the first round with 7.74m and improved to 7.88m in the second and 7.99m with his fourth and final attempt. Britain’s Chris Tomlinson had a best of 7.69m for second.

South African LJ van Zyl took the 200m hurdles in 22.63, just pipping Britain’s Jack Green, who was back in form after early-season disappointments with 22.64. Olympic 400m hurdles champion Felix Sanchez was third with 22.68, while Andy Turner, the winner the last three years in this event, pulled up midway through after a good start.

Former world champion Kim Collins continued to show good form at the age of 37 as he clocked 10.26 to win the 100m despite a headwind of 1.9m/sec. Richard Kilty won the battle of the Brits with 10.34 – just 0.11 seconds outside his best – ahead of Mark Lewis-Francis and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey.

Collins was back in action later in the 150m where his 15.15 put him behind France’s Christophe Lemaitre. The Frenchman’s 14.90 was well outside the 14.36 run here by Usain Bolt in 2009, although it was into a headwind of 1.0m/sec. James Ellington and Dwain Chambers were well off the pace.

Jamaica’s Hansle Parchment took the 110m hurdles in 13.52, comfortably ahead of Britain’s William Sharman (13.78).

The action kicked off with the men’s pole vault in Albert Square as Germany’s Malte Mohr cleared 5.80m at his second attempt to beat compatriot Raphael Holzdeppe into second.

Paralympic 200m champion Alan Oliveira took his own event with 22.30, though he was well outside the 21.45 with which he took gold in London.

Britain’s Jonnie Peacock found 11.46 enough to win the IPC T43/T44 100m. The star of the London 2012 Paralympics, who clocked 10.90 for his moment of glory in Stratford, was never challenged.

Earlier Margaret Adeoye won the women’s domestic-only 100m in 11.58, beating Anyika Onuora (11.63) with the wind gauge registering 0.0.

Men
100 (-1.9): 1 K Collins (SKN) 10.26; 2 R Kilty 10.34; 3 M Lewis-Francis (GBR) 10.38; 4 H Aikines-Aryeetey (GBR) 10.54
150 (-1.0): 1 C Lemaitre (FRA) 14.90; 2 K Collins (SKN) 15.15; 3 J Ellington (GBR) 15.49; 4 D Chambers (GBR) 15.69
110H (-0.6): H Parchment (JAM) 13.52; 2 W Sharman (GBR) 13.78; 3 T Trammell 14.04; 4 A Al-Ameen 14.22
M200H: 1 LJ van Zyl (RSA) 22.63; 2 J Green (GBR) 22.64; 3 F Sanchez (DOM) 22.68; 4 A Turner (GBR) DNF
PV: 1 M Mohr (GER) 5.80; 2 R Holzdeppe (GER) 5.70; 3 K Filippidis (GRE) 5.40; 4 A Sutcliffe (GBR) 5.25; 5 K Dilla (GER) 5.25
IPC 100 (-2.3): 1 J Peacock (GBR) 11.46; 2 D Prince (USA) 11.75; 3 B Leeper (USA) 11.74; 4 R Hertog (NED) 12.14
IPC 200 (-1.9): 1 A Oliveira (BRA) 22.30; 2 D Price (USA) 23.11; 3 D Behre (GER) 24.61; 4 B Leeper (USA) 27.90
LJ: 1 G Rutherford (GBR) 7.99/1.1; 2 C Tomlinson (GBR) 7.69/-0.9; 3 R Bastian (BAH) 7.55/0.4; 4 J Bowen (PAN) 7.30/-0.9
Women
100 B (0.0): 1 M Adeoye 11.58; 2 A Onuora 11.63; 3 B Williams 11.77; 4 L Turner (11.78)
150 (0.2): 1 A Felix (USA) 16.36; 2 A Onuora (GBR) 16.63; 3 L Williams 16.64; 4 J Williams 16.81
100H (-1.9): 1 D Harper (USA) 12.94; 2 T Porter (GBR) 13.02; 3 K Wells (USA) 13.04; 4 L Smith (USA) 13.56
200H (-1.1): 1 P Shakes-Drayton 25.74; 2 N Antyukh (RUS) 26.23; 3 E Child (GBR) 26.27; 4 D Ennis (JAM) 27.15
T43/44 100m (-0.3): 1 M van Rhijn (NED, T43) 13.69; 2 S Kamlish 14.57; 3 S Reid 14.64; 4 I Pruysen 15.19
F42/44 Long jump: 1 I Pruysen (NED, F44) 9.62pts/4.78m; 2 K Cartwright (AUS, F42) 9.59/3.84; 3 S Reid (GBR, F44) 9.44/4.68; 4 M Caironi (ITA,F42) 8.82/3.55

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