Updated: Saturday, 19 July 2014 04:53 | By Agence France-Presse

Gatlin storms to season-leading 200m Monaco triumph

Justin Gatlin stormed to the fastest 200m of the year at the Monaco Diamond League meeting on Friday as the American's impressive season reached new heights.

Gatlin storms to season-leading 200m Monaco triumph

US sprinter Justin Gatlin reacts after winning the 200m men event during the IAAF Diamond League Herculis meeting at the Stade Louis II on July 18, 2014 in Monaco - by Jean Christophe Magnenet

The 32-year-old won in a time of 19.68sec, just two weeks after he clocked a season-leading 9.80sec in the 100m at Lausanne. Only six men have run faster in the blue riband event.

Gatlin was the 2004 Olympic gold medallist in the 100m and 200m world champion in 2005 before he served a four-year doping ban.

But in the injury-enforced absence of world record holder Usain Bolt this season, the American veteran has seized his opportunity to dominate global sprinting in 2014.

Gatlin finished ahead of Jamaica's Nickel Ashmeade (19.99sec) and Christophe Lemaitre of France (20.08). 

In perfect conditions in Monaco, there were a host of other season bests.

In the men's 800m, Botswana's Nigel Amos, the Olympic silver medallist, won in 1min 42.45sec, improving the previous best mark of the year of Kenya's Asbel Kiprop by over a second.

Kenya's Silas Kiplagat took victory in the 1500m, winning in 3min 27.64sec although Hicham El Guerrouj's world record of 3min 26.00sec, set 16 years ago, remained intact.

Kiprop, who had been expected to attack the Moroccan's long-standing record, was second Friday in 3:28.45 with Ronald Kwemoi, another Kenyan, in third in 3:28.81.

Tori Bowie of the United States set the world's best women's 100m time of 10.80sec, finishing ahead of Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown (10.96sec) and Ivory Coast's Murielle Ahoure (10.97). 

Colombia's Caterine Ibarguen recorded a season best in the women's triple jump with 15.31m.

The world champion and Olympic silver medallist succeded with her sixth and final attempt improving her personal best of 14.99m.

It was the fifth best performance of all time in the event.

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