Jamaica's Asafa Powell, the world's fastest man at 100m, and Sherone Simpson, the fastest woman for both 100m and 200m in 2006, were in impressive form at 400m at the University of West Indies (UWI) Invitational at the National Stadium East complex on Saturday (17).
World 100m record holder Powell won yesterday's event in 47.17 seconds, improving on his personal best of 47.67 which he set at his season opener at the Queen's/Grace Jackson Invitational on 27 January.
"I feel a lot stronger … though I don't know really how to run it (400m) yet, because I am a little bit scared as to how (in what condition) I am going to finish the race," said the Commonwealth Games 100m champion.
"If I run it this year or next year, I hope to break the 47 seconds barrier," added Powell.
“Running the 400m is mainly for strength work … to run 100m or 200m races you need that strength to finish strong in the last 50 or 100m. The season is a very long season, so the stronger you are, the better you finish the season."
Two World Championship 100m silver medallists were also in action at 400m, Michael Frater (2005) finishing in 49.13 while his MVP Track Club teammate, Darrell Brown (2003) ran 51.10.
In the women's 400m, Simpson secured top honours in 52.65, also a personal best (previous 53.24 – 2006), which erased the meet record of 54.78 held by Nadia Cunningham. Brigitte Foster-Hylton was second in 53.81, while Aleen Bailey finished third in 54.43.
"I think it was a good time," said the Commonwealth Games 200m champion. "It was very hard, but I am happy that I could run 52 seconds. I have run more 400 metres than I did last season. I could run 10.82 (in the 100m) and 22.00 flat in the 200m. So I know that come Osaka (World Championships) it (my performance) will be very good.
"I know the 400m will help me in the 200m," she said. "I definitely want to run faster than 10.82 and 22.00."
Meanwhile, Foster-Hylton said she was growing to love the one-lap event. "I kind of like it. It's no real pressure, you just relax and run. But all of this is part of my training and that is probably why I am having so much fun because I know in the long run it's going to pay off and it's going to enhance my running," said the World Champs 100m Hurdles silver (2003) and bronze (2005) medallist.