IAAF’s Diamond-League season’s second event of was staged in Shanghai on Sunday May 18, 2014. The meeting concluded with seven world leads and 10 meeting records in eight events. The highlight of the grand athletic night was a super sprint hurdle from Xie Wenjun of China and a great performance in men’s javelin event by Abd Ihab El Rahman of Egypt. In other brilliant performances of the cool Shanghai night; Croatian woman Sandra Perkovic hurled the discus to 70.52 meters, a new Croatian record; Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie cleared 5.92 meters in pole vault and Nigeria’s shining star Blessing Okagbare took first places in long jump and the 200m sprint for women.
In men’s 100m, the athletic fans missed the great Usain Bolt and some other top stars but regardless, the race still had its charm with seasoned campaigner Justin Gatlin of USA showing his class. The American athletic hero broke away from the pack near the finish line, finished in 9.92 seconds and collected 4 Diamond-League points. Jamaican Nesta Carter was second in 10.12, followed by USA’s Michael Rodgers, who was third in 10.18. The Shanghai crowd felt cheated as Chinese sprinter Bingtian Su missed the third spot by a mere 0.02 seconds.
Nigeria’s gifted woman athlete Blessing Okagbare lit the Shanghai night in creating two meetings records and picking up 8 Diamond-League points. In long jump, Okagbare had a big leap of 6.86m to finish first. Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic was second at 6.85m and Germany’s Sosthene Moguenara third at 6.79. Later in the night, Okagbare also won women’s 200m sprint, benefitting from the absence of Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who was forced to withdraw. Okagbare was first with a meeting record of 22.36 seconds; Bahama’s double world junior champion Anthonique Strachan was second in 22.50 and Kimberlyn Duncan of USA finished third in 22.96. Jamaica’s Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown was placed fifth.
American athletes claimed the first three places in men’s shot-put led by Christian Cantwell, who hurled his throw to 21.73m. Joe Kovacs was second with 21.52 and Ryan Whiting third with 21.31. Cantwell had done better two weeks back in Kingston, where he threw 21.85 meters. Croatia’s Sandra Perkovic was dominant in women’s discus in hurling the disc to 70.52m. Perkovic, however, had begun with a foul but regained her nerves to strike great form later. She hurled some of longest throws ever measured in Diamond-League history. Second-placed Dani Samuels, the 2009 world champion from Australia, was way behind Perkovic at 67.89 and Frenchwoman Melina Robert-Michon was third even with a poor attempt of 62.66 meters. Another Croatian Ana Simic excelled in women’s high jump in clearing 1.97m. USA’s Inika McPherson and Spaniard Ruth Beitia both cleared 1.92m but McPherson was second on the basis of count-back.
In men’s javelin, Egyptian Abd Ihab El Rahman stole the limelight with an amazing throw of 89.21m. Sweden’s Kim Amb was second with 84.14, more than 5 meters behind Rahman. Czech Republic’s Vitezslav Vesely was third at 83.80. Rahman was as shocked as his competitors in eclipsing the African record of 88.75, set by RSA’s Marius Corbett. In Pole Vault, holder of World and Diamond-League records, Renaud Lavillenie of France cleared 5.92 meters to finish first. Greek world indoor champion Konstantinos Filippidos was second at 5.62. China’s Xue Changrui also cleared 5.63 but was placed third in count-back. World champion Raphael Holzdeppe of Germany finished seventh with a very poor 5.52 meters.
Men’s 400m hurdles was won by Michael Tinsley of USA in 48.77 seconds. Senegal’s Mamadou Kasse Hanne was second at 48.86 and USA’s Bershawn Jackson third at 48.92. In women’s 1500 meters, Sweden’s Abeba Aregawi conquered with a world lead in 3:58.72 minutes. USA’s Jennifer Simpson was second at 4:00.42 and Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan, third at 4:01.19. In men’s triple jump, Russian Lyukman Adams reached 17.10m to finish first. Cuban Lazaro Martinez was second at 16.76 and Bin Dong of China third with 16.69m. Women’s 400m was won by Novlene Williams-Mills of Jamaica in 50.31 seconds, followed by Botswana’s Amantle Montsho in 50.37. Jamaica’s Stephanie Ann McPherson finished third at 50.54. Emma Coburn of USA won the 3000 meter steeplechase for women in 9:19.80 minutes. Two Ethiopian women, Sofia Assefa and Hiwot Ayalew, finished second and third in 9:25.76 and 9:27.25 respectively. In men’s 800 meters, Robert Biwott of Kenya was first in 1:44:69 minutes; Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria second in 1:44:73 and Andre Olivier of South Africa third at 1:44:85. In the 5000m race, Yenew Alamirew of Ethiopia was first with a timing of 13:04.83. Kenya’s Thomas Pkemei Longosiwa was second at 13:05.44 and another Ethiopian Hagos Gebrhiwet was third in 13:08.23
The last event of the colorful Shanghai night was men’s 100m hurdles, which gladdened the hearts of Chinese spectators as their countryman Wenjun Xie led the race in 13.23 seconds. Pascal Martinot-Lagarde of France was second in 13.26 and USA’s David Oliver third in 13.28. Xie, who finished third in Shanghai last year, was determined to outshine in an event that had three world championship medalists and world record holder Dayron Robles.
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