Rome Diamond LeagueWith a sensational 17.96m leap, Cuban triple-jump super-star Pedro Pablo Pichardo broke Jonathan Edwards’ Golden Gala Pietro Mennea Rome DL meeting record. In the prestigious 100m sprint, USA’s Justin Gatlin smashed Usain Bolt’s 2012 meeting record by 0.01 sec as he breasted the tape in an eye-popping time of 9.75 seconds. But Gatlin missed his own personal best of 9.74s that he recently created at Doha. Another feature of Gatlin’s superb achievement was his third successive victory at Rome Diamond League meeting that began on June 04, 2015. The coveted event also threw up 5 World-Lead performances, of which 4 came in middle-distance races and one in women’s high jump. Ethiopia’s Mohamed Aman ran 800m in 1:43.56s; another 17-year old Ethiopian Yomif Kejelcha covered 5000m in 12:58.39; USA’s Jennifer Simpson ran 1500m in 3:59.31; Kenya’s Hyvin Kyeng excelled in 3000m steeplechase in 9:15.08 and Spain’s Ruth Beitia leapt 2.00m in women’s high jump.

Pedro Pablo Pichardo of Cuba broke two records with one jaw-dropping 17.96m triple-jump leap at Rome DL meeting. The 21-year old Cuban was quite far away from Jonathan Edwards’ long-standing world record of 18.29m but he broke the Englishman’s 1998 Golden Gala Pietro Mennea meeting record of 17.60m. That sensational leap from Pichardo also accounted for Bulgarian Khristo Markov’s stadium record of 17.92, during 1987 IAAF World Championships. There were expectations of the first ever 18m-plus leap in the stadium but Pichardo couldn’t make it despite his four successive victories this season that ended with winning marks of 17.94m, 18.06m, 18.08m and 17.96m. Other than Jonathan Edwards in 1995 and 1998, no triple-jumper had won more than two competitions beyond 17.94m in the same season. Pichardo’s dominance can be gauged by the fact that his countryman Alexis Copello was the only other athlete, who went beyond 17m in finishing second with 17.15m. Athletic community will await Pichardo’s next effort on June 13 the New York DL meeting.

Justin Gatlin 9.75s finish in 100m at Rome was another proof of his terrific sprinting abilities. Although, Gatlin was 0.01 seconds slower than his 9.74 personal best in Doha a few days ago; his effort was enough to break Usain Bolt’s 2012 Rome DL record of 9.76. The 33-year old Gatlin’s reaction and pick up was faulty until 40 meters but he broke away after the halfway mark to finish 2 meters clear of Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut, who took second place in 9.98.

In men’s 800 meters, Ethiopia’s Mohamed Aman powered his way ahead of Olympic silver medalist Nijel Amos of Botswana to win with a world-lead of 1:43:56. Amos finished second with 1:43:80. In 5000m, Ethiopia’s 17-year old Yomif Kejelcha repeated his first-place finish at Eugene last Saturday with a world-lead time of 12:58.39. Kenyan Paul Tanui was second with 12:58.69. In women’s 1500 meters, American 2014 DL winner Jennifer Simpson recorded her second consecutive DL triumph after Eugene with world’s fastest time of 3:59.31 this year. Netherland’s Sifan Hassan was second at 3:59.68. In 3000m steeplechase for women, Kenya’s Hyvin Kyeng set world-lead with 9:15.08 beating Doha winner Virginia Nyamura, who clocked 9:15.75. The fifth world-lead at Rome was created in women’s high jumpy by Spain’s reigning European champion Ruth Beitia, who leapt 2.00m . Croatia’s Blanka Vlasic finished second with 1.97m. In women’s 100m hurdles, Olympic champion Sally Pearson of Australia suffered a wrist injury as a result of a fall. USA’s Sharika Nelvis won the event in 12.52 seconds, with another American Dawn Harper-Nelson taking the second pace in 12.59.

In men’s pole vault, Frenchman and Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie won in Rome for the third time with 5.91 in his first attempt. After Pichardo’s great performance in triple-jump, Lavillenie came tantalizingly close to breaking the legendary Sergey Bubka’s meeting record of 6.01m but he touched the bar in his second attempt. In men’s Javelin, Czech Republic’s world champion Viteszlav Vezely threw 88.14m in his second attempt to finish first. Kenya’s Julius Yego was second with his personal best of 87.71m. In men’s 110m hurdles, Russia’s European champion Sergey Shubenkov won in 13.23s to edge out Frenchman Garfield Darien with the same time. In 400m hurdles for men, USA’s Johnny Dutch clinched his second Rome DL win in 48.13s after finishing first at Eugene last week. His compatriot Michael Tinsley finished second in 48.34s. In men’s shot-put, Germany’s David Storl won his second DL competition after Doha by hurling the Iron-ball through 21.46m with USA’s Jordan Clarke finishing second at 21.28m.

In women’s competitions, USA’s Georganne Moline won the 400m hurdles in 54.47s ahead of Jamaica’s Janeive Russell, who clocked 54.83. In 200m, American Janeba Tarmoh won in 22.77 with Jamaican Kerron Stewart coming second at 22.88. In 400 meters, world Indoor champion Francena McCorory of USA won in 50.36s to record her second DL triumph after Doha. Jamaica’s Stephanie Ann McPherson finished second in 50.53s. In the long jump, Russia’s Dariya Klishina leapt through 6.89m to finish first with Britain’s Shara Proctor finishing second at 6.85m. In discus, Olympic, World, European and triple DL champion Sandra Perkovic of Croatia recorded her second DL win with 67.92m ahead of Australia’s Dani Samuels at 66.47m.