Barshim, Rollins, Spencer, Didaba Light up the Starry Athletic Night at Rome Diamond League
In keeping with pre-event expectations, young Qatari sensation, Mutaz Essa Barshim jumped 2.41 meters to set a new Asian record and establish world seasonal best performance at IAAF Diamond League Meeting in Rome on Thursday night. Barshim was not alone as there were a few more world seasonal best performances in the fourth edition of 2014 Diamond League. In women’s 100m hurdles, Brianna Rollins cleared the field in 12.53 seconds; Kaliese Spencer took 53.97 seconds in women’s 400m hurdles and Genzebe Dibaba ran 5000 metres’s 14:34.99 minutes. Other notable performances at Rome came from such world-renowned athletes as; Justin Gatlin, Lashawn Merritt, Valerie Adams, Eunice Sum, Tori Bowie, Robert Harting, Will Claye and Silas Kiplagat.
World indoor champion, Mutaz Essa Barshim found himself in a star-studded field in men’s high jump, featuring; Ivan Ukhov and Andrey Silnov, both of them Olympic champions and two world outdoor champions, Bohdan Bondarenko and Donald Thomas. Barshim emerged the winner with 2.41m, equaling Bohdan Bondarenko’s 2013 DL record at Lausanne. Bohdan Bondarenko was second also with 2.41, while Olympic silver medalist American Erik Kynard, third at 2.31.
Men’s triple jump in Rome attracted Christian Taylor, Will Claye, Fabrizio Donato and Daniele Greco; 1, 2, 3 and 4 at 2012 London Olympics. Taylor is also the winner of World Outdoor gold at Daegu and Claye is credited with World Outdoor bronze medals in Daegu and Moscow in addition to a World Indoor and Olympic bronze in long jump. In Rome last night, Claye won with a leap of 17.14m, ahead of Christian in 17.11. Cuba’s Lazaro Martinez was third with a jump of 17.07. The home crowd rued the fourth finish of the Italian Fabrizio Donato, who jumped 16.89.
Women’s pole vault had all top stars led by Cuba’s Yarisley Silva, the reigning World Indoor champion, Olympic silver and World Outdoor bronze medalist. Other competitors included; Daegu’s world champion Brazilian Fabiana Murer, Germany’s Silke Spiegelburg and Elisaveta Ryzih, Greece’s Nikolita Kiriakopoulou Russia’s Anastasiya Savchenko and Czech Republic’s Jirina Ptacnikova. Expectedly, Silva was first by clearing 4.70m; Germany’s Lisa Ryzich finished second with 4.60 while another German Silke Spiegelburg was third at 4.50m.
Another celebrated event at Rome was the women’s triple jump won by current world champion Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia with a jump of 14.48 meters to register her second DL victory this season. Russia’s Yekaterina Koneva was second at 14.42 and Cuban Mabel Gay third at 14.38.
Justin Gatlin added to his Shanghai and Eugene victories by dominating men’s 100m at Rome in 9.91 seconds. Jamaica’s Nesta Carter was second in 10.02 while GBR’s Adam Gemili third in 10.07. In men’s 200m, world silver medalist Alonso Edward won narrowly against French superstar Christophe Lemaitre. Edward sprinted in 20.19s to Lemaitre’s 20.24. American Lashawn Merritt continued his superlative form in men’s 400m to finish in 44.48, ahead of Saudi Arabia’s Youssef Masrahi, who clocked 45.14 seconds. In men’s 800m, Ethiopian Mohamed Aman won in 1.44.24. Sudan’s Abubakher Kaki was second in 1:44.57 and Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski third in 1:44.60. In Men’s 1500 metres, Kenyan Silas Kiplagat brilliantly ran the last stretch to finish in 3:30.44 minutes. Djibouti’s Ayanleh Souleiman was second in 3:31.19 and Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop third in 3:31.89. Men’s 3000 m steeplechase was dominated by Kenyans with Jairus Birech winning the event in a seasonal best of 8:06.20. 2004 Olympic bronze medallist Paul Kipsiele Koech was second in 8:10.53 and Brimin Kiprop Kipruto third in 8:11.39. In men’s discus throw, world champion Germany’s Robert Harting won by hurling the disc through 68.36m. Piotr Malachowski of Poland was second with 65.86 and Viktor Butenko of Russia, third with 64.87
In women’s 100 metres, Tori Bowie won in 11.05 seconds after winning last Saturday’s 200m race at Eugene. Jamaican Kerron Stewart was second in 11.08 while another Jamaican Simone Facey was third in 11.13. Kenya’s Eunice Sum won the women’s 800m in 1:59.49 minutes, while 18-year old Cuban sensation Sahily Diago came second in 2:00. In women’s 5000m Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba reached seasonal best with 14:34.99. In second place was another Ethiopian Almaz Ayana, who clocked 14:37.16. Kenyan Viola Jelagat Kibiwot was third in 14:40.05. Women’s 100m hurdles was won by world outdoor champion Brianna Rollins in 12.53 seconds in her Diamond League debut. She edged out 2008 Olympic champion and compatriot Dawn Harper Nelson by just 0.01 seconds. Another American, Queen Harrison was third in 12.61. Three-time DL winner Jamaican Kaliese Spencer topped women’s 400 m hurdles with a world-lead time of 53.97 seconds. America’s Georganne Moline was second in 54.56 and Great Britain’s Elidh Child third in 54.62.
New Zealand’s world outdoor champion Valerie Adams recorded her 48th consecutive shot put win with a throw of 20.0m. Germany’s Christina Schwanitz was second with 19.60 and China’s Lijiao Gong third with 19.17. In women’s javelin, two-time Olympic champion Barbora Spotakova returned to athletic arena full of vigor after delivering a baby boy. She hurled the spear through 66.43m to win the event. Martina Ratej of Slovakia was second with 63.12 and Kimberley Mickle of US third in 63.05.
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