Having swept off to startling opener of 10.06 secs (2.8m/sec) the previous weekend, Wallace Spearmon set the sprinting world alight and buzzing in anticipation of his follow-up over his specialty of the 200m at the Bobby Lane Invitational, Arlington in Texas, and he could hardly hide himself that he was expecting something really special to register on the scoreboard at the far end of the race.
In so far as that he set up, along with Saucony, a competition online for fans to predict precisely the outcome just prior to his second outing of the outdoor season – and astonishingly, there were actually two to hit the bull’s eye!
The ‘Prince’ did not only turn equal to expectations but ran away with the senses of spectators as he breezed into the lead round a smooth second half of the bend and poured on the pace down the home straight to win by a mile in an electrifying 19.95 secs, even easing up towards the line.
The god of winds had allied with him to show his favour and Spearmon responded with a dream execution throughout to ride on a nearly perfect tailwind of 1.8m/sec and offer frightening glimpses into what could be anticipated on the grand floodlit stage of London in August all things equal.
Even more so when his time was the fastest ever performed at sea level at this particular early phase of the year to raise his sub 20 secs runs up to 22 over the distance and come within a mere two of the man topping the respective list at 24, great Frankie Fredericks.
Some way behind him, came home a resurgent Jeremy Wariner in a vintage display over a powerful second half to steal the runner-up spot from Canadian Jared Connaughton by a mere hundredth in 20.53 secs, his fastest ever in March, and announce that he is fully back to his very best so everyone had better pay heed.
Earlier on the day, Darvis ‘Doc’ Patton staged a rousing prelude to his partner’s lightning ride round the furlong as he roared to a searing 10.04 secs (1.1m/sec) in the 100m, fastest time in the world, for a commanding victory, stressing his own credentials as a main contender to make the US Olympic sprint team this summer.
So much so that he even let drop that he might have liked something in the 9.9 secs to figure up on the board after the race, a sign of how well he is feeling at this early stage.
But it was also a race that marked a comeback to form for ‘forgotten’ Brit Tyrone Edgar as he followed through behind in fifth place in a solid UK-leading 10.30 secs to shrug off the woes of two years in the shades, reigniting his own Olympic hopes into the bargain.
That was incidentally his fastest run in the dash since 2010 and hopefully will shape the platform to catapult back into the 10.0s and why not even faster if it comes to that, a most welcome present for his 30th birthday a few days later.
Fellow U23 Briton Lorraine Ugen followed up nicely a highly surprising, slightly windy, 6.83m in the long jump at Fort Worth a weekend earlier with a double PB showing over the sprints setting 11.68 and 24.51 secs in the 100m (1.9m/sec) and 200m (0.0) respectively, a very intriguing figure heading to the summer season.
Top of the bill in the latter came Osaka 2007 finalist La Shauntea Moore who set the third fastest time in the world so far in 22.94 secs on a 1.3m/sec tailwind in a renewed attempt to return to the hub of affairs.
Oliver storms to scorching opener
David Oliver showed over his injury worries and back into his combative mood as he went rampant over the sticks to stage an intimidating outdoor debut in Florida.
At a low-key meet in Lake Buena Vista, near Orlando in Florida, he defied a fierce headwind of -3.2m/sec in his heat to set an impressive early world-leading 13.30, translating into something in the 13.0s on a mild tailwind.
His return in the final a little later might have not been as arresting but his message was duly delivered around that he is back on business and anyone should pay attention, at least as much as a 13.37 into a strong adverse wind of 1.3m/sec can be taken lightly at this phase.
After thoroughly dominating the world stage in 2010, the American record holder never really hit his stride last summer to crash outside the medals in Daegu but now looks back to his best and determined to claim what is his.