Annual Adidas Grand Prix at New York on June 14, 2014 was also an IAAF Diamond League event, after Oslo DL on June 11. The week also had several other world athletic events, bunched close together and top athletes made choices of their own on where to go. Justin Gatlin didn’t turn up at New York since he had set his eyes on the Ostrava Golden Spike meet at Czech Republic on June 17, 2014. Besides Ostrava, athletic actions also took place at IAAF World Combined Events Challenge during June 14-15 at Kladno; Portland Track Festival on June 15; NCAA Track League at Helifax, Canada; Meeting Sotteville-les-Rouen in France and NCAA Division outdoor championships in Eugene and Hayward. Regardless, the New-York meet still attracted world’s best athletes and instantly became famous for the amazing feats of two of world’s best high jumpers; Bohdan Bondarenko and Mutaz Essa Barshim.
In a stunning display, Bohdan Bondarenko of Ukraine and Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar achieved a record height of 2.42m on US soil. The duo had the fans on their feet, applauding everything they did. They also tried 2.46m to break the 21-year old 2.45m world record of Cuban jumper Javier Sotomayor, set in July, 1993. But Bondarenko and Barshim couldn’t succeed at New York. While both cleared 2.42 meters, Bondarenko ended up winning the event on technicalities.
In other major events at New York, Kenya’s David Rudisha won 800m to announce his return from a knee injury he suffered last year. The Olympic gold medalist and world record-holder Rudisha finished in 1:44.63 but his timing was far below his world record of 1:40.91. Mark English of Ireland was second in 1:45.03 and USA’s Duane Solomon third in 1:45.13. Jamaica’s world title holder Yohan Blake also signified his comeback from injury by finishing runner-up to Nesta carter in 100m sprint. In a field devoid of top stars, Carter clocked 10.09 seconds while Blake took 10.21. Trinidad & Tobago’s Keston Bledman was third in 10.23
Men’s 200m was won by Jamaican Warren Weir in world-lead time of 19.82 seconds, with compatriot Nickel Ashmeade coming second in 19.95. Panama’s Alonso Edward was third in 20.06. In men’s 400m hurdles, Javier Culson of Puerto Rico won in 48.03 seconds beating America’s Michael Tinsley, who clocked 48.57. Third place went to Cornel Fredericks of South Africa in 48.58. LawShawn Merritt of US continued his dominance in 400m with a run of 44.19 seconds, followed by Wayde Van Niekerk of South Africa in 44.38 and Bahrain’s Christopher Brown in 44.61. Germany’s Olympic gold medalist, Robert Harting hurled the discus to 68.24m for a new meet record. Poland’s Piotr Malachowski was second with 65.45 and Iran’s Ehsan Hadadi third with 65.23. In another new meet record, American Jeff Henderson won the long jump at 8.33m. Henderson’s compatriot Christian Taylor was second with 8.06 and South Africa’s Rushwal Samaai third with 8.00.
In major women’s events, Linda Stahl was first in Javelin, hurling to 67.32m. Australia’s Kathryn Mitchell finished second in 66.08 and Latvian Madara Palameika third in 64.86. Women’s pole vault was won by Fabiana Murer of Brazil by clearing season’s best height of 4.80 meters, followed by America’s Jennifer Suhr with 4.70. Cuba’s Yarisley Silva finished third. In shot put, the unassailable New-Zealander Valerie Adams won with 19.68 meters. USA’s Michelle Carter was second in 19.51 and Trinidad & Tobago’s Cleopatra Borel, third with 19.04. It was the 50th consecutive victory for Adams.
In women’s 100m, America’s Tori Bowie clocked 11.07 seconds to leave two Jamaicans on her wake. Samantha Henry-Robinson was second in 11.13 and Schillonie Calvert third in 11.15. Ethiopia’s Sofia Assefa won the steeplechase in 9:18.58. Two Kenyans Prity Kiui (9:23.43) and Lidya Chepkurui(9:27.42) were second and third respectively. In another meet record, Sweden’s Abeba Aregawi finished 1500m in 4:00.13, being closely challenged by Ethiopian 17-year old Dawit Seyaum in 4:02.66. Jennifer Simpson of USA was third in 4:02.54. USA dominated women’s 200m sprint claiming the first four spots. Tianna Bartoletta was first in 22.68 seconds, Natasha Hastings second in 23.06 and Bianca Knight third in 23.17. In women’s 400m, America’s Francena McCorory clocked 50.15. Jamaicans Stephenie Ann McPherson and Anastasia Le-Roy were second and third in 51.20 and 51.49 respectively. Americans dominated 100m hurdles with Queen Harrison coming first in 12.62 seconds followed by Dawn Harper-Nelson and Lolo Jones in 12.63 and 12.77.
Other than Bondarenko and Barshim the New York diamond league threw up an amazing performance from America’s 10-year-old Jonah Gorevic, who won the Boys’ Youth Mile in 5:01.55. No boy in that age has ever run that distance faster in athletic history.