Felicien, Johnson stamp their authority in hurdles

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Canada's Perdita Felicien and Allen Johnson of the United States made impressive sprint hurdle victories at the IAAF Super Grand Prix in Stockholm.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:04 IST
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Canada's Perdita Felicien and Allen Johnson of the United States put down markers for the upcoming Olympic Games on Tuesday, with impressive sprint hurdle victories at the IAAF Super Grand Prix in Stockholm, Sweden. The Olympic Stadium in Stockholm, home to the 1912 Olympic Games, was the venue for the IAAF Super Grand Prix, with USD 10-thousand 1-Carat diamonds on offer to the Athletes who could beat the meeting record. Edith Masai was the only one to do it, in the Women's 3000 metres. Her time, 8 minutes 40.03 was good enough to beat the previous record, set the only other time the 3000 has been run in this meeting, some years ago. Alice Timbilil and Iness Chenonge made it a one-two-three for Kenya. Heavy rain prevented any more meeting records falling, but therre was still plenty of action for the bumper crowd to enjoy. Impressive run-up The women's long jump went the way of the home favourite, Carolina Kluft, who improved throughout the competition to retain the title she won last year. Her sixth round leap of 6.85 metres beat her closest rival, Grace Upshaw of the United States, by 14 centimetres with Australia's Bronwyn Thompson taking third place. However, Kluft will be concentrating on the Heptathlon in Athens, an event in which she is the current world champion. The women's 100 metres hurdles was dominated from start to finish by Canada's Perdita Felicien. The world outdoor and indoor sprint hurdle champion was given a decent enough challenge in the first 50 metres by the Jamaican pair Brigitte Foster and Delloreen Ennis-London. But Felicien pulled away in the final strides to win comfortably in a time of 12.61 seconds, just one hundredth slower than her winning performance at the Golden League meeting in Paris at the weekend. The men's equivalent was won in equally fine style by Allen Johnson of the United States. The 33 year-old former Olympic hcmapion and four-time world champ thudded into his first and third hurdles and at one stage was fifth, but powered home in 13.31seconds to lay a marker down for the Athens Games. Hot favourites Both Felicien and Johnson must be two of the hottest favourites for Athens gold. Kenya's Kipsiele Paul Koech, the fastest man in the world this year, stormed down the home straight to win the 3000 Steeplechase metres by a distance, his time of 8 minutes 03.10 seconds less than three seconds away from securing the second diamond prize of the night. Koech's fellow countryman Julius Nyamu beat Morocco's Ali Ezzine in the sprint for the minor places. The most dramatic twist of the night came in the men's 5000 metres, where some bizarre behaviour from race favourite Saif Saaeed Shaheen, once of Kenya but now running out of Qatar, crashed out on the penultimate lap following what appeared to be an attempt to toy with his former compatriots in the field. Boniface Songok took advantage, coming from deep to win in 13 minutes 01.47 seconds, ahead of Ahmed Abdullah of Qatar and Bahrain's Mushir Salim Jahwer. (AP)