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Athletics - 14. July 2009.

Richards, Harper & Vessey conquer in Rome

Sanya Richards, Dawn Harper and Maggie Vessey all were winners in their respective events Friday at the 2009 Golden Gala, AF Golden League meet in Rome, Italy.

2008 Olympic bronze medalist Sanya Richards stayed alive in the Golden League competition with her victory in the women's 400 meters, finishing in 49.46 seconds. 2008 Olympic silver medalist Shericka Williams from Jamaica was the runner-up in 50.31, with two-time Olympic silver medalist and two-time defending World Outdoor 200m champion Allyson Felix finishing fifth in 50.94.

2008 Olympic 100m hurdles gold medalist Dawn Harper was victorious in her specialty, stopping the clocks in 12.55 seconds. Harper's nearest pursuer was runner-up and 2008 Olympic Games fifth-place finisher Delloreen Ennis-London of Jamaica, who finished in 12.67, with fellow Jamaican and Olympic finalist Brigitte Foster-Hylton third in 12.68.

USA Outdoor Championships fourth-place finisher Maggie Vessey won the women's 800 meters in a dramatic finish in 2:00.13, which bettered her previous career best time of 2:00.18 from her win at the 2009 Nike Prefontaine Classic.  The 2005 NCAA Outdoor runner-up while at Cal Poly SLO, Vessey finished just ahead of Italy's Elisa Cusma Piccione, who finished in 2:00.14. Spain's Mayte Martinez was third in 2:00.21, with reigning U.S. champion Hazel Clark finishing seventh in 2:01.41.

Elsewhere, 2008 USA Outdoor Championships women's 1,500m runner-up Christin Wurth-Thomas finished second in her specialty and cracked the four-minute barrier for the first time in her career with her finish in 3:59.98. Wurth-Thomas bettered her previous personal best of 4:01.72 from her fifth-place finish June 7 at the Nike Prefontaine Classic.

Also setting a personal best was 2008 NCAA 1,500m runner-up and 2009 USA Outdoor Championships third-place finisher Dorian Ulrey, who finished 12th today in 3:35.23.

For more information on the 2009 Golden Gala, including complete results, visit: www.iaaf.org.


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