Diamond League: Justin Gatlin powers to men's 100m title

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Diamond League: Justin Gatlin wins 100m and 200m double

Olympic gold medallist Justin Gatlin recorded the fastest time in the world this year to claim the men's 100m Diamond League title in Brussels.

The 32-year-old sped away from a strong field that included fellow American Tyson Gay and Jamaican Asafa Powell to win in a time of 9.77 seconds.

That saw him usurp compatriot Michael Rodgers, who came second in the race in 9.93secs, at the top of the standings.

American Allyson Felix won the women's 200m race to take the overall title.

The 28-year-old, who won gold in the event at London 2012, led Blessing Okagbare by two points coming into Friday's meeting but produced a 2014 world-leading run of 22.02 to beat her Nigerian rival, who finished the race in a disappointing sixth.

BBC Sport's athletics correspondent Mike Costello on Justin Gatlin:
"It's highly significant. Every time I talk to someone about Gatlin on tour at the various Diamond League events, the vast majority say that every win he records is a stab to the heart of the sport. Yet somehow, because of various stipulations, he's allowed back in. The big, big fear is that Gatlin - if he holds onto his form - could be crowned Olympic 100m champion in Rio in two years' time. The king of the games, the sexiest title of them all, could go to one of the biggest drug cheats of all time."

Dafne Schippers, who won the sprint double at the European Championships in Zurich in August, was third in Friday's race and also took third place in the overall standings.

The story of the night was Gatlin, though.

Not content with blowing the field away in the men's 100m, the controversial American, who has previously served a four-year ban for doping, came back an hour later to produce another dominant performance in the 200m, winning in a superb time of 19.71.

Mutaz Essa Barshim
Barshim recorded the second best high jump in history in Brussels

In a gripping men's high jump contest, Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar and Ukraine's Bohdan Bondarenko both attempted a new world-record height of 2.46m as the battle between the two for the Diamond went right down to the wire.

Both narrowly failed but 23-year-old Barshim took the Diamond title as his height of 2.43m - the second highest of all time - gave him the win on the night and overall victory.

Male pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie and women's shot putter Valerie Adams created history, having already secured the Diamond Race title for their respective events.

The Frenchman won with 5.93m on Friday and is the only athlete to win five Diamond Race trophies, having won the event each year since its inauguration in 2010, while New Zealander Adams threw a winning 20.59m to become the only athlete to win all seven Diamond League fixtures in any discipline.

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Diamond League: five dramatic moments

Jamaica's Kaliese Spencer underlined her dominance in this Diamond League season by winning the women's 400m hurdles in a time of 54.12 to take her to the 30-point mark. Britain's Eilidh Child was third to give her second in the overall standings.

Britain's European and Commonwealth silver medallist Lynsey Sharp was joint second in the women's 800m, running the same time as the already crowned Diamond champion, Eunice Jepkoech Sum of Kenya.

It means Sharp finishes third in the overall standings behind winner Sum and American Brenda Martinez, who won Friday's race in 1:58.84.

There was also a world-class performance in the men's steeplechase, where Jairus Birech of Kenya, already guaranteed the Diamond title, did not ease up and became only the 11th man in history to go under eight minutes with victory in a time of 7 minutes, 58.41 seconds to end the season with a massive 28 points.

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