BRUSSELS, September 6 – Pamela Jelimo scooped the Golden League million dollar jackpot Friday, after winning the 800m to record her sixth successive win of the season.
The 18-year-old Olympic champion, one of a family of nine, recorded a time of 1min 55.16sec in the wet conditions at the Brussels meeting to take the prize, awarded to the athlete who wins all of their six Golden League outings.
Earlier it looked as if former world junior champion would have to share the pot with high-jumper Blanka Vlasic, but the Croatian failed to win Friday’s event.
Jelimo became the first ever Kenyan woman to win a track and field Olympic gold when she clinched the 800m final in Beijing in a world junior record of 1min 54.87secs on August 18.
Meanwhile, triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt won the 100m, beating compatriot Asafa Powell in a time of 9.77sec to bring the curtain down on his record-shattering season.
The Jamaican flyer’s winning time was well outside his world record of 9.69sec set in Beijing last month, but was enough to see off the challenge of Powell, who on a wet and windy night, could only clock 9.83.
Nesta Carter made it a Jamaican clean sweep, placing third in 10.07sec.
"Asafa is a great guy and I warmed down with him after the race," said Bolt of his rival who sprang out of the blocks to take an early lead, which the fastest man in the world only wiped out in the last 10m.
"We are adversaries on the track but also the best of friends.
"It’s great to finish the season with a victory. I had a bad start (his reaction time of 0.223sec was the worst of the nine runners) so I have to be satisfied with 9.77 especially in these wet conditions.
"Without doubt, I would have had the legs to have run faster had the conditions been better.
"Now I will go back to Jamaica. I’ll rest and think about next season. I’m going to keep working harder and harder and improve my start, that’s the most important thing."
Powell, who beat Bolt in Stockholm in July, added: "I had an excellent start, but Usain gives up nothing."
The former world record holder, who ran the second-fastest 100m of all time in Lausanne on Tuesday, said he was already planning ahead to 2009 where winning gold at the world championships in Berlin would be a priority.
"I was close to Usain but he beat me. I’m not that far off but now I will have to work hard," said Powell.
"It’ll be important not to get injured over the winter and to start 2009 in the best condition. Next year, the objective will be to take gold in Berlin.
"Reclaiming the world record would be great but once you have a medal you can’t lose it."
Bolt, who lit up the Beijing Games last month winning three gold (100m, 200m and 4x100m relay) and notching up a hat-trick of new world records, will now head home for a well-earned rest.
Friday’s race should also have featured world champion Tyson Gay but the American pulled out on Thursday, opting to concentrate on his recovery from a hamstring injury.