From left, Kemar Bailey Cole, from Jamaica, Tyson Gay, from the US, Nickel Ashmeade, from Jamaica, and Asafa Powell, from Jamaica, cross the finish line of the men's 100m race, at the Athletissima IAAF Diamond League athletics meeting, in the Stade Olympique de la Pontaise in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday, July 4, 2013. (AP Photo, Keystone, Jean-Christophe Bott)
LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Tyson Gay ran the year’s second-fastest 100 meters Thursday, finishing in 9.79 seconds in a victory at the Athletissima Diamond League meet.
Only Gay’s world-leading 9.75 to take the U.S. nationals title has been faster this season. His latest effort comes just five weeks before the world championships in Moscow.
Usain Bolt, the Olympic champion and world-record holder, has a season’s best of 9.94, set at the Jamaican nationals last month.
Gay reacted fast to the starting gun but did not pull away from former world record holder Asafa Powell of Jamaica until the final 40 meters.
Powell clocked his season’s best time of 9.88 — bettered only by Gay in 2013 — to finish second. American Michael Rodgers was third in 9.96.
Kim Collins, the 2003 world champion from St. Kitts and Nevis, set a personal best aged 37 of 9.97 to place fourth.
The standout performance was produced by high jumper Bohdan Bondarenko who threatened the 20-year-old world record set by Javier Sotomayor of Cuba.
Bondarenko cleared a world season-leading height of 7 feet, 10 ¾ inches — topping his previous best set last Sunday at Birmingham, England — before taking aim at Sotomayor’s hallowed mark of 8-0 ½.
“I can’t explain that progression. It’s simply fantastic for me,” the Ukrainian said.
With the bar set at 8-0 ¾, Bondarenko nearly made it on his first of three unsuccessful attempts.
American Erik Kynard, the Olympic silver medalist, also cleared a personal best, at 7-9 1/4, to place second.
Two more athletes set world-leading marks on a cool and breezy evening.
David Oliver finished in 13.03 in the 110 hurdles, leading an American sweep of the first four places. World champion Jason Richardson ran his season-best of 13.20 to place second.
Olympic discus champion Sandra Perkovic extended her own 2013 mark with a throw of 226-3. A surprise winner in the women’s 200 was Mariya Ryemyen of Ukraine, surging late past a strong American entry and finishing in 22.61 seconds.
New U.S. champion Kimberlyn Duncan was third in 22.73 in her debut run in an individual race in Europe.