Lexington's Tyson Gay scorched to victory in the 100m on Friday in 9.77sec, leaving fierce rival Asafa Powell in his wake as he set the fastest time of the year at the Rome Golden League meeting.
Gay's run was his first over the distance this season and proved that the 2007 world champion over 100m and 200m is in scintillating form ahead of the defence of his titles next month.
Powell, who had been suffering from an ankle problem recently, ran his best time of the year to come home second in 9.88sec.
But it was Gay's race that really set the pulses racing, equalling his own personal best and American record and running 0.09sec faster than Olympic champion Usain Bolt's best time this year.
But with just a month to go to the World Championships in Berlin, this race proved that there should be a mouth-watering clash between the three fastest men on the planet.
Set alongside Bolt's 9.86sec in Kingston, Jamaica, last month, the times ran by both Gay and Powell here suggest that Bolt's 9.69sec world record could come under serious threat in Germany.
Gay's time came despite Daniel Bailey false starting, but he said he wasn't reading too much into it.
"I've been learning how to refocus at the start (after false starts) and that's what I've done," said the American.
"I dont know if it is a message to Bolt, it's not 9.69, but I'm pretty sure he knows I'm training and working hard."