Vlasic extends record while Liu Xiang back to victory

14:04, May 16, 2011      

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Croatia's high jump "queen" Blanka Vlasic kept her unbeaten record in the Diamond League while China' s icon hurdler Liu Xiang recovered victory in the 110m hurdle on Sunday in the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix, the second of 14 meetings of the 2011 IAAF Diamond League.

Vlasic, gold winner of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, enjoyed a perfect Diamond League journey in 2010, winning all the seven competitions in her way of pocketing the Diamond Prize. The Croatian continued her winning streak on Sunday, clearing the height of 1.85m, 1.90m and 1.94m, all with just one attempt, before she stopped at 1.97.

Vita Styopina of Ukraine, Nadezhda Dusanova of Uzbekistan and Zheng Xingjuan of China shared the silver as the trio all finished with one attempt to clear 1.90m.

Different from Vlasic's perfect record, Liu Xiang grabbed his first Diamond League victory as he edged American David Oliver to win his season opening outdoor race in 13.07 seconds.

The victory is of special importance for Liu, whose Achilles tendon injury had forced him to withdraw from defending his title at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, as the all-conquered champion has been working on taking seven, instead of eight steps, to the first hurdle, which is a technique employed by many high level hurdlers including Oliver and Cuba's world record holder Dayron Robles.

Oliver was 0.11 second lagging and his countryman Aries Merritt took the bronze in 13.24.

China's Gong Lijiao claimed the women's shot put title with a mark of 19.94 meters, which is also Gong's season best in 2011.

Liu's and Gong's triumphs were cheered by jubilant local spectators and the Chinese fans also applauded for the Jamaican sprinting star Asafa Powell as the former world record holder won the men's 100m in 9.95 seconds.

Michaek Rodgers of the United States took the silver in 10.01s. And the bronze went to Mario Forsythe, also from Jamacia, who finished 10.12.

In the women's 100m event, Jamaicans also enjoyed a comfortable dominance with Veronica Campbell-Brown, whose honors mainly came from 200m events, finished the 100m dash in 10.92s.

"This is my birthday gift," said Campbell-Brown, who celebrated her 29th birthday on Sunday. "My aim is to train hard and stay healthy before the world championships in Daegu."

Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica also excelled in the women's 400m hurdles, winning the one-lap race in 54.20 seconds. Spencer's compatriot Melaine Walker grabbed the bronze while the silver went to Lashinda Demus of the United States.

Jamaica showed strong performance in sprinting events while Kenya enjoyed the Lion's share in middle and long distance races.

Brimin Kiprop Kipruto lead a podium sweep for Kenya in the men' s 3,000m Steeplechase and renewed the meeting record. His countrywomen Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot clocked 14 minutes 31.92 seconds to cruised to the 5,000m top podium.

Nixon Kiplimo Chepseba won his second straight 1,500m gold in Diamond League by breaking the meeting record in Shanghai. The Kenyan also claimed 1,500m title in the Diamond League season opener in Doha early this month.

Sandra Perkovic of Croatia and Australia's Mitchell Watt also renewed the meeting records as they triumphed in women's discus and men's triple jump respectively.

Source: Xinhua
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