FAR FROM BEST: Posts poor time but still too good for rest of the field
OLYMPIC champion Sanya Richards-Ross eased to victory in the women's 400m at the Stockholm Diamond League meeting on Friday as post-London blues crept into international track and field.
Sanya, whose win at the Games ended a 28-year wait for gold for the United States in the 400m, timed a mediocre 49.89 seconds, the only athlete to go below 50s.
Meanwhile, Charonda Williams took advantage of Olympic gold medallist Allyson Felix's decision to skip the event to claim victory in the 200m while American compatriot Dawn Harper won the 100m hurdles in 12.65s ahead of Kellie Wells.
Australian Olympic champion in the event, Sally Pearson was another absentee suffering a back injury.
The men's 100m was also missing its Olympic stars as America's Ryan Bailey took victory in 9.93s.
Olympic 3,000m steeplechase champion Yuliya Zaripova clocked a season's best time of 9min 05.02sec to win her event.
The Russian finished ahead of Tunisia's Habiba Ghribi, the silver medallist at the London Games, who timed 9:10.36s, with Etenesh Diro Neda of Ethiopia running a personal best of 9:14.07s to take third place.
Yuliya, 26, had set the previous best for the season in winning Olympic gold on Aug 6 in a time of 9:06.72s. Ethiopia's Sofia Assefa, the bronze medallist in London, failed to finish.
America's Jennifer Suhr, the Olympic pole vault champion, returned to the circuit with a resounding bump when she failed to register a height, flopping three times at 4.55m.
Cuba's Yarisley Silva, the Olympic silver medallist, won the competition with 4.70m ahead of Germany's Silke Spiegelburg on 4.55m.
Bahrain's Maryam Yusuf Jamal made the most of the absence of Turkish gold and silver medal winners from London, Asli Cakir Alptekin and Gamze Bulut, to claim victory in the 1,500m in a time of 4:01.20.
America's Michael Tinsley also took revenge for his Olympic defeat, turning the tables on gold medallist Felix Sanchez in the 400m hurdles, winning in 48.50s.
Sanchez was second in 48.93sec, 1.30sec slower than his Olympic-winning time.
"My legs are tired and my body is on automatic pilot," said Sanchez, who was also Olympic champion in 2004.
"But I am happy because I am in good health and not injured after this superb season."
Elsewhere, there were wins for Olympic champions Valerie Adams in the shot and Sandra Perkovic in the discus. AFP