Glasgow – Kenya's David Rudisha fired a warning to his Commonwealth Games rivals as he won the 800m in blistering time at the Glasgow Grand Prix on Saturday.
Rudisha recorded the fastest 800m run anywhere in the world this year to claim the $10,000 (EUR7,350) first prize at the Diamond League meeting at Hampden Park.
Beset by knee problems last year, Rudisha showed he is back to his best as he made his first appearance in Britain since breaking the world record on his way to winning Olympic gold at London 2012.
And with less than a fortnight to go before Glasgow 2014, he declared he is ready to go even faster than the 1min 43.34sec he recorded at the Games warm-up event.
“It was really good today. I am happy to have run a world-leading time here. That was what I was expecting to do,” Rudisha said.
“I pushed on the back straight in the second lap but I didn't have a lot of power. But if I have good couple of weeks of training I think I will get there.
“I'm very happy ahead of the Commonwealth Games. To come here and run that time is a good experience. I hope to run 1:42 come the Games - that is the target.”
Rudisha's performance was a rare highlight for the 15,000 fans at Hampden following a disappointing meet marred by the withdrawal of a number of top names.
Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford had been one of the big stars willing to travel north, but saw his hopes of a morale-boosting win ended before the action had even got underway as he injured his knee in the warm-up.
Rutherford's absence cleared the way for Jeff Henderson of the United States to claim victory with a leap of 8.21 metres.
There was little to cheer for the home fans from the performance of Eilish McColgan, despite the Scot putting in her fastest 3,000m steeplechase of the year.
Her time of 9:44.69 was only good enough for 12th place as she finished almost 35 seconds behind Ethiopian winner Hiwot Ayalew.
“I'm really disappointed,” McColgan said. “If two months ago someone said to me, 'Don't worry, you'll get down to running 9:44
and feel good doing it', I'd have taken it. But to be just outside that qualifying mark? I couldn't be any more gutted.”
Much was hoped for in the women's 800m as Scottish hopefuls Lynsey Sharp and Laura Muir went head to head.
But it was England's Jessica Judd who finished third behind American Ajee Wilson, as Sharp and Muir had to settle for sixth and ninth place respectively.
Britain's world and Paralympic champion Jonnie Peacock lost by just one hundredth of a second in the men's T44 100m as world record-holder Richard Browne of the United States triumphed with a season's best time of 10.96sec.
And Trinidad's Michelle-Lee Ahye, the fastest woman in the world this year, gave another impressive demonstration of her capabilities as she held off double Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica to win the women's 100m A race in 11.01sec. – Sapa-AFP