Tyson Gay runs 100 in 9.78 seconds

LONDON -- Tyson Gay ran the fastest time in the world this year to win the 100-meter final at the Diamond League meet on Friday, finishing in 9.78 seconds to blitz a field missing injured Jamaican rivals Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell.

Gay, the 2007 world champion, led from start to finish on a wet track to set a record time at the Crystal Palace event. Yohan Blake of Jamaica was second in 9.89, with Richard Thompson of Trinidad & Tobago third in 10.05.

"I wasn't expecting to go that fast in these conditions but I knew I was in good shape and was going to go fast," Gay said. "I wasn't necessarily sending a message to Asafa and Usain -- I was just running my own race.

"There's more to come. It's great to be on top of the world, that's important to me," he said.

Bolt and Powell, who were both out with back injuries, had previously held the world's fastest time in 2010 at 9.82 seconds.

Last Friday in Stockholm, Gay ran 9.84 for his previous fastest time of the year in his first victory over Bolt. It was Bolt's second loss in the 100, and the world record-holder later said he would sit out the rest of the season to be ready for next year's world championships.

Powell pulled out of the meet on Thursday, saying he hadn't recovered from the nagging back problem that forced him out of the Stockholm race.

Gay had qualified in 10.02 for Friday's final, the quickest time from the two heats but giving no indication he was ready to run so fast on a track that was wet after a heavy downpour just before the start of the meet.

In the final race of the night, Gay stormed out of the blocks to lead comfortably by the 70-meter mark. He then pulled clear at the end despite a slight groin injury.

"I was hobbling a bit at the end -- my groin is a little sore but I'm sure it's OK," he said. "My coach said that I can run 9.7 in any conditions, and I think I showed that tonight."

In the women's 100 hurdles, Priscilla Lopes-Schliep of Canada produced the world's fastest time this year of 12.52. She blew away a strong field to finish well clear of Australia's Sally Pearson, who had been quickest out of the blocks before timing 12.61. Lolo Jones of the United States was third in 12.66.

"I feel that my mental strength gave me the edge. I just felt very good," Lopes-Schliep said. "My warm-up went good, I just knew it was going to be a brilliant day."

Allyson Felix maintained her superb form this season with an easy victory in the 200. The American finished in 22.37 to claim a fifth Diamond League win this year. Three have come in the 200, and she has only lost once in any event all season.

Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie was second in 22.88 and Sherone Simpson was next in 23.04.

"I was really focusing on executing the race and not so much on time because conditions weren't that great," said Felix, a three-time 200 world champion.

Bernard Lagat won the 3,000 after breaking clear in the home straightaway ahead of two-time European champion Mo Farah of Britain. Lagat, a Kenyan-born American, overcame a wet track to win in 7:40.36. Farah, who won the 5,000 and 10,000 at the European Championships, was second in 7:40.75 and the crowd's big favorite.

"I knew he was running strongly and I'm glad I was able to run with him," Lagat said.

Mark Kiptoo of Kenya was third on a day when heavy rain stopped just before the race but conditions made fast times unlikely.

Bershawn Jackson of the U.s. won a tight 400 hurdles in 48.12. He finished just ahead of Javier Culson of Puerto Rico, who was narrowly in front after the final hurdle in 48.17.

In other results, Blanka Vlasic of Croatia claimed her sixth successive Diamond League victory in the women's high jump, leaping 2.01 meters to beat Ruth Beitia of Spain.

Lukasz Michalski of Poland won the men's pole vault after the four favorites all failed to make a successful attempt.

Renaud Lavillenie of France has won four Diamond League events this year but couldn't clear 5.51 after three attempts. Steven Hooker of Australia, Ukraine's Maksym Mazuryk and Italy's Guiseppe Giblisco also failed to land a vault.

Cuba's Yarelis Barrios won the women's discus with a throw of 65.62 meters, and Nadezhda Ostapchuk of Belarus threw 20.27 to finish a comfortable winner in the women's shot put.