SHANGHAI, May 17- Olympic 400m champion Kirani James stormed to victory at the Shanghai Diamond League Sunday, but Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was a disappointing fifth in the 100m before her world title defence.
James powered across the finishing line on 44.66 secs, well ahead of Americans Tony McQuay in second and world champion LaShawn Merritt in third.
It was a dominant performance from James and a psychological boost as he gears up for the World Athletics Championships in Beijing in August, when he will be seeking to reclaim from Merritt the title he won in 2011.
“It is always a great atmosphere and a great field,” he said, following his second successive victory at the Shanghai meet.
“It was very tough but I am very happy,” the Grenadian added.
The women’s 100m event featured another athlete finding top form in Shanghai. Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare easily outpaced highly-decorated Jamaican sprinters Fraser-Pryce and Veronica Campbell-Brown.
Okagbare produced a season’s best 10.98 secs, with Campbell-Brown in fourth and Olympic champion Fraser-Pryce in fifth.
The result is a blow for Fraser-Pryce in her first 100m of the season, only weeks before she defends her 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay titles in the Chinese capital.
“The feeling is OK,” the 28-year-old said after the race. “I am looking forward to my next race. What comes, comes.”
Okagbare, who won the 200m and the long jump at last year’s meet in Shanghai, was ecstatic at her victory Sunday.
“It is not easy to compete with the best in the world but I won,” she said. “Shanghai loves me and the track loves me.”
In the field events, Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar won his high jump showdown with Ukraine’s Bohdan Bondarenko with a season’s best 2.38m.
The pair dominated the event last season. Bondarenko, the world champion, reached 2.42m last June before Barshim produced 2.43m in Brussels last September to clinch the Diamond League title.
The Diamond League meeting in Shanghai is the second in the 14-leg circuit.
Shanghai Diamond League results
- Aleksandr Menkov (RUS) 8.27 m
- Jeff Henderson (USA) 8.26
- Wang Jianan (CHN) 8.25
- Piotr Malachowski (POL) 64.65 m
- Robert Urbanek (POL) 64.47
- Vikas Gowda (IND) 63.90
- Mutaz Essa Barshim (QAT) 2.38 m
- Bohdan Bondarenko (UKR) 2.32
3. Zhang Guowei (CHN) 2.32
- Kirani James (GRN) 44.66
- Tony McQuay (USA) 45.54
- LaShawn Merritt (USA) 45.58
- Alonso Edward (PAN) 20.33
- Julian Forte (JAM) 20.36
- Nickel Ashmeade (JAM) 20.44
- Silas Kiplagat (KEN) 3:35.29
- Hillary Cheruiyot Ngetich (KEN) 3:35.40
- Collins Cheboi (KEN) 3:35.46
- Jairus Kipchoge Birech (KEN) 8:05.36
- Paul Kipsiele Koech (KEN) 8:11.39
- Conseslus Kipruto (KEN) 8:14.59
- David Oliver (USA) 13.17
- Orlando Ortega (CUB) 13.19
- Aries Merritt (USA) 13.25
- Gong Lijiao (CHN) 20.23 m
- Christina Schwanitz (GER) 19.94
- Tia Brooks (USA) 18.66
- Caterine Ibarguen (COL) 14.85 m
- Olha Saladukha (UKR) 14.62
- Olga Rypakova (KAZ) 14.38
- Lu Huihui (CHN) 64.08 m
- Sunette Viljoen (RSA) 63.60
- Kimberley Mickle (AUS) 63.60
- Nikoleta Kiriakopoulou (GRE) 4.73 m
- Katerina Stefanidi (GRE) 4.58
- Yarisley Silva (CUB) 4.58
- Kaliese Spencer (JAM) 54.71
- Tiffany Williams (USA) 55.27
- Cassandra Tate (USA) 55.68
- Eunice Jepkoech Sum (KEN) 2:00.28
- Milika Akkaoui (MAR) 2:00.73
- Janeth Jepkosgei (KEN) 2:01.14
- Blessing Okagbare (NGR) 10.98
- Tori Bowie (USA) 11.07
- Michelle-Lee Ahye (TTO) 11.13
- Almaz Ayana (ETH) 14:14.32
- Viola Jelagat Kibiwot (KEN) 14:40.32
- Senbere Teferi (Eth) 14:41.98