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Canada's George third in hurdles at season-opening meet

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The Canadian Press
5/11/2012 3:00:53 PM
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DOHA, Qatar -- Canada's Phylicia George upset veterans Priscilla Lopes-Schliep and Perdita Felicien to win a bronze medal in the women's 100-metre hurdles at the season-opening Diamond League meet Friday.

The 24-year-old from Markham, Ont., raced to a time of 12.79 seconds. Former world champion Brigitte Foster-Hylton of Jamaica won in 12.60, while American Kellie Wells was second in 12.72.

Felicien, from Pickering, Ont., was fifth in 12.95 in a result that was determined by a photo finish, while Lopes-Schliep, the Olympic bronze medallist from Whitby, Ont., was sixth in the same time.

The women's hurdles promises to be the highlight of the Canadian Olympic trials next month in Calgary, with several top hurdlers gunning for the three spots available on the team for London.

Lopes-Schliep is rebounding from having a baby seven months ago while Felicien is hoping to get back to the Games after missing the 2008 Olympics in Beijing with a foot injury.

Justin Gatlin nipped Jamaica's Asafa Powell at the line to win the men's 100-metre race in 9.87.

Powell got off to the faster start but Gatlin pulled even and then managed to get his head in front as they crossed the line.

Gatlin tied Powell's world record in Doha six years ago only to see the result erased when he was caught doping a few weeks later. Gatlin had tested positive for excessive levels of testosterone, which led to a four-year ban.

Gatlin and Powell are both gearing up for the London Olympics. Olympic champion Usain Bolt skipped the meet, as did American Tyson Gay, who is recovering from injury.

"This is fastest I ever opened up my career," said Gatlin as he dedicated the win to his son Jace, who turned two Friday. "I just showed I have a lot of grit and a lot of competition in these old legs.

"I want to come back and show the world I can run to the line with the best of them."

Powell, who has lost to Gatlin seven times in 10 meetings, said he wouldn't let it happen the next time.

"I cannot complain about my time -- 9.88 is a good time," he said. "I am still feeling the jet lag so I cannot say I was 100 per cent ready ... I will surely go for gold at the Olympics."

American Allyson Felix, who is considering running the 200 and 400 metres at the London Games, showed she is starting the season in shape.

She won the 100 with a meet record of 10.92, edging her Jamaican rival and reigning world 200-metre champion Veronica Campbell-Brown by .02 seconds. Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was third, a further .06 back.

"I know my speed was coming on and I was just focused on putting it together technically so it was pretty cool to come in here and win," said Felix, who has won more races than any athlete in Doha.

Campbell-Brown, who had beaten Felix in all five of their previous 100 races, said she "could improve" and would "keep working until the Olympics."

Phylicia George (Photo: Ian Walton/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Ian Walton/Getty Images)
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