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London – Sleep-deprived double Olympic champion Mo Farah was almost caught napping during the two-mile race at a Diamond League meeting in Birmingham, England on Sunday before easing to victory to the delight of a sellout crowd.
Britain's Farah, whose wife gave birth to twin girls on Friday, had to produce his trademark turn of speed on the final lap when Italian Daniele Meucci suddenly attacked on the outside.
The London Games 10,000 and 5,000 metres champion kicked and pulled away from the field, sending the stadium wild, to win in eight minutes 27.24 seconds.
There was relief for American sprinter Tyson Gay after he safely negotiated his first competitive 200 metres for two years.
The former world champion started well but tightened up down the home straight and finished behind Jamaica's Nickel Ashmeade, who won in 20.12.
“It was pretty good, interesting,” Gay, second in 20.21, told the BBC.
“It was my first race in two years and it feels good to finish,” added the Olympic 4x100m silver medallist, who had concentrated on the short sprint in recent seasons after being suffering a series of injuries.
Carmelita Jeter got the better of the woman who beat her to the Olympic 100 title, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, for the second time in four days with victory in a meeting record of 10.81.
Twice Olympic champion Fraser-Pryce, wearing a black and yellow ribbon in her plaited hair, was second in 10.90.
Racing next to each other, American Jeter eased ahead of her Jamaican rival early on and never looked like being caught by Fraser-Pryce, who also finished second best in Lausanne on Thursday.
There were no nervous twitches from Aries Merritt in the 110 hurdles as the Olympic gold medallist, who was disqualified for a false start in Lausanne, held off world champion Jason Richardson for victory in 12.95.
Merritt, who had said before the meeting he was targeting Cuban Dayron Robles' world record of 12.87 still found fault with his run.
“I made a lot of technical errors. It wasn't the best race for me,” Merritt said. “It was my first race since the Games.” – Reuters