Usain Bolt overcame his "worst start of the season" to win the 100m at the Weltklasse Zurich Diamond League meeting – but Adam Gemili was left ruing a stumble out of the blocks as he was unable to slip under the 10-second barrier.
Bolt had to grind his way from fourth at halfway to cross the line in 9.90sec, a half stride ahead of Nickel Ashmeade in 9.94 with Justin Gatlin in third in 9.96. Gemili ran a season's best of 10.06 – only 0.02 behind his personal best – but it was only good enough for eighth.
"I think the longer the season goes, the worse my starts get," admitted Bolt. "I said after Russia that I wasn't in the shape I wanted to be in, and I'm tired but luckily so is everyone else. I'm happy I came out victorious."
Gemili, who was hoping to become the first British athlete to go under 10 seconds for the 100m and under 20 seconds for the 200m, was disappointed with his start, but not his time. "It was a very bad race for myself," he said. "I fell outside the blocks a little bit and had to pick myself up so I think I lost maybe a tenth of a second. But it's a season's best so I'm happy, and nearly a PB too, so I am cool."
Elsewhere, Shara Proctor jumped 6.88m to win the women's long jump ahead of the world championship silver medallist Blessing Okagbare. The result puts her top of the Diamond Race standings, earning her a $40,000 (£26,000) bonus.
But it was a disappointing night's work for most of Britain's other athletes in Zurich. William Sharman, who was fighting a cold, finished last in the men's 110m hurdles, as did Nigel Levine in the men's 400m and Robbie Grabarz in the men's high jump.
There was slightly better news – but only just – in the men's 800m where Britain's Michael Rimmer finished sixth and Andrew Osagie seventh behind the American Nick Symmonds who won in 1min 43.56sec.
However, the race of the night came in the women's 5,000m where Ethiopia's Meseret Defar, the world champion, faced off against her bitter compatriot and rival Tirunesh Dibaba, the reigning Olympic and world 10,000m champion for only the third time in four years. The pair were locked together until the final 100m before Defar eased clear with a last lap of 58 seconds.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010
image: © thor_matt83