World champions Dai Greene and Mo Farah last night found themselves overshadowed by British team-mate Perri Shakes-Drayton in the Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace.
Olympic team captain Greene had been hoping to break Kriss Akabusi’s 20-year-old British record of 47.82 seconds in the 400 metres hurdles, but could only finish second behind Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson in 48.10secs.
And although Farah enjoyed a comfortable victory over 5,000m, the performance of the night came from Shakes-Drayton in the women’s 400m hurdles, with the Londoner storming to a surprise win in 53.77s.
Former Olympic champion Sally Gunnell is the only British athlete to have run faster and Shakes-Drayton’s time was also joint second fastest in the world this year, taking 0.41s off her personal best set when winning European bronze in Barcelona two years ago.
European champion Irina Davydova of Russia was second and Jamaica’s Kaliese Spencer third, with Beijing Olympic champion Melaine Walker more than 1.7s behind Shakes-Drayton in fourth.
The 23-year-old, who had been ranked just 21st before the race, said: “I’m over the moon with the time. I thought it was an opportunity to race the best girls which I haven’t had this year.
“I thought ‘Come on girl, pull your socks up, you have to go for it’, and I sure went for it. I just believed in myself and reminded myself what I’ve done. I’ve had a good day at the office.
“It gives me confidence knowing that my training is going well but I’m not going to let it get to me too much. I’m still going to remain level-headed because it’s not finished yet.”
Greene had looked back to his best in Paris last week, clocking a new personal best of 47.84 to miss Akabusi’s record by just 0.02s, but he again had to settle for second place behind Culson.
“I wanted a bit more, I would have loved to get the win before a home crowd,” he said.
Britain’s Jack Green was fourth in the same race, while Lawrence Okoye had earlier finished third in the discus with a best of 63.33m.
American Tyson Gay won the 100m final in a time of 10.03s into a headwind of 1.2 metres per second, with Ryan Bailey and Jamaican Nesta Carter in second and third.
British quartet Dwain Chambers, Mark Lewis-Francis, Andrew Robertson and Simeon Williamson had all failed to advance from the earlier heats, with Chambers the quickest in 10.35s.
Britain’s Julia Bleasdale recorded a new personal best of 15:10.06 in the women’s 5,000m, although she was a distant sixth as Vivian Cheruiyot led a Kenyan 1-2-3-4.
Middlesbrough’s Chris Tomlinson recorded a season’s best of 8.26m to finish second in the long jump, just two centimetres behind Australian Mitchell Watt.