LONDON (AP) — American sprinter Tyson Gay qualified fastest for the 100-meter final at the Diamond League meet, finishing in 10.02 seconds Friday to edge heat two winner Walter Dix by 0.06 seconds.
Gay did not make the best of starts in the first heat at Crystal Palace, but eased through the field after the 50-meter mark to finish 0.05 ahead of Yohan Blake of Jamaica. J-Mee Samuels of the United States was the third automatic qualifier in 10.21.
Gay, a former 100 world champion, beat world-record holder Usain Bolt in Stockholm last Friday. Bolt and Jamaican teammate Asafa Powell, who have both run a season-leading 9.82, are injured and aren’t competing in London.
Bolt had already planned to skip the event when he announced earlier this week that he was ending his season early due to a back problem. Powell was scheduled to be Gay’s main opposition but pulled out Thursday, also due to an ongoing back complaint.
Dix won the second heat in 10.08, ahead of Trinidad & Tobago’s Richard Thompson and U.S. teammate Mike Rodgers.
American sprinters Trell Kimmons and Wallace Spearmon qualified for Saturday’s final as the two fastest losers.
WATCH NBC SPORTS COVERAGE OF TYSON GAY:
Earlier, 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 minutes, 40.36 seconds. Farah, who won the 5,000 and 10,000 at the European Championships, was second in 7:40.75 and was the crowd’s big favorite.
“I knew he was running strongly and I’m glad I was able to run with him really well,” 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 United States 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 and was timed in 48.17.
In other results in the third-to-last Diamond League meet, Yarelis Barrios of Cuba won the women’s discus with a throw of 65.62 meters. She was followed by Sandra Perkovic of Croatia. Nadezhda Ostapchuk of Belarus easily won women’s shot put in 20.27.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.