Blake upstages Bolt, Grabarz equals UK high jump record in Lausanne

Yohan Blake moves to No.2 on the world all-time list with a 9.69 100m victory, while Usain Bolt runs 19.58 in the 200m and Robbie Grabarz clears 2.37m in the high jump

Yohan Blake

It is a sign of the quality of a meeting that Usain Bolt can run a meeting record of 19.58 in the 200m and it’s not the best performance of the night.

But up until the final half hour of the Athletissima in Lausanne – the 11th leg of the Samsung Diamond League series – it looked set to be an anti-climactic post-Olympics meeting. That all changed though in the men’s 100m.

Bolt and his training partner, Yohan Blake, were both in action in Lausanne but in different races. But it was Blake, competing in the 100m, who stole the show.

Up against US record-holder Tyson Gay and Olympic finalist Ryan Bailey, Blake was never seriously challenged. He already had an advantage at halfway before pulling clear of Gay in the closing stages and stopping the clock in 9.69, into a marginal -0.1m/s headwind.

Not only did it smash Bolt’s meeting record of 9.82, but it moved Blake to second on the all-time list, equal with Gay. Former world champion Gay was second in 9.85 with Nesta Carter dipping under 10 seconds in third with 9.95.

Little more than 20 minutes later, it was Bolt’s turn to shine. The two-time triple Olympic champion certainly did not disappoint, improving by 0.01 his own meeting record with a winning run of 19.58 as two other men – Churandy Martina (19.85) and Nickel Ashmeade (19.94) – broke 20 seconds.

But despite producing his second-fastest time of the season, even Bolt himself knew that tonight was all about Blake.

It was also about the men’s high jump. Olympic champion Ivan Ukhov was in top form, but so too were Olympic bronze medallists Robbie Grabarz and Mutaz Essa Barshim.

21-year-old Barshim led through 2.30m with a clean card. But Ukhov took the lead at the next height, 2.33m, with a first-time clearance. Britain’s Grabarz also went over first time to stay in the competition as Barshim needed three tries.

Ukhov then sailed over 2.35m and 2.37m, both with first-time clearances, while Grabarz nailed 2.37m with just one jump to equal the outdoor UK record. Barshim needed a couple of attempts, but the Qatari athlete saved his best til last.

On his second attempt at 2.39m, Barshim went clear to steal the victory in the closing stages with an Asian record. Ukhov and Grabarz could not respond, as for just the third time ever outdoors three men went clear at 2.37m in the same competition.

400m hurdlers bounce back, Merritt misses chance at record attempt

The top three spots in the women’s 400m hurdles were filled by athletes who were out for redemption. Kaliese Spencer, who missed out on the medals in London, was a convincing winner with a season’s best of 53.49. Former Olympic champion Melaine Walker and leading Briton Perri Shakes-Drayton – neither of whom made the Olympic final – were in good form here, finishing second (53.74) and third (53.83) respectively. Olympic champion Natalya Antyukh finished down in seventh with 55.82.

There was talk of a potential world record in the men’s 110m hurdles. With the pressure of London 2012 now behind him, Olympic champion Aries Merritt – who has this year notched up more sub-12.95 clockings in one season than any other man in history – can now turn his attention to attacking the world record. But lining up on a track that has played host to a sprint hurdles world record in recent years, Merritt false-started and was disqualified. It left world champion Jason Richardson an easy path to victory and the American won in 13.08.

Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce once again clashed with world champion Carmelita Jeter in the 100m, with the American getting the verdict in an extremely close finish. Fraser-Pryce had the better start, but Jeter maintained her form better and won it on the dip by 0.001 as both were timed at 10.86.

Dawn Harper won by a couple of metres in the women’s 100m hurdles. The Olympic silver medallist produced the second-fastest run of her life to win in 12.43 with Queen Harrison (12.62) a distant second.

Big wins from Adams and James

Two-time Olympic champion Valerie Adams was a clear winner in the shot, smashing the meeting record with 20.95m to win by more than a metre from USA’s Michelle Carter (19.60m).

World and Olympic champion Kirani James was another hugely impressive winner in the men’s 400m. The young Grenadian timed his finish to perfection to win comfortably in 44.37 as no other athlete broke 45 seconds. Olympic silver medallist Luguelin Santos was second (45.03).

After surrendering her Olympic 800m title to Mariya Savinova in London, Pamela Jelimo was back on top in London. The Kenyan saved enough for the home straight to hold off the Russian and win in 1:57.59 to Savinova’s 1:58.10.

Less than 1.5 metres separated the top five in the men’s discus, with Olympic bronze medallist Gerd Kanter finishing on top with 65.79m. Britain’s Lawrence Okoye was his closest challenger with his 65.27m in a series that included three other throws over 64 metres. Olympic silver medallist Ehsan Hadadi was down in seventh (62.67m).

After a disappointing showing at the Olympics, Silas Kiplagat rebounded with a 1500m victory here. His 3:31.76 was just enough to hold off Ethiopia’s Mekonnen Gebremedhin (3:31.86) as USA’s Matt Centrowitz set a PB of 3:31.96 in third.

Kenyan athletes filled the top six spots in the men’s 3000m steeplechase with Paul Kipsiele Koech posting his fourth victory of the Diamond League series this year, winning in 8:05.80.

Elsewhere, Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie won the pole vault on countback with 5.80m as Britain’s Steve Lewis cleared the same height to finish third. Yelena Sokolova won the long jump with 6.89m as Olympic champion Brittney Reese was just fifth (6.66m) behind Britain’s Shara Proctor (6.68m). Olympic champions Barbora Spotakova (67.19m) and Olga Rypakova (14.68m) won the javelin and triple jump respectively.

2 Responses to “Blake upstages Bolt, Grabarz equals UK high jump record in Lausanne”

  1. Mark Casella says:

    Great evening of athletics, and a fantastic results for Robbie Grabarz, Laurence Okoye and Steve Lewis. Even though I'm a fan of the distance events, its good to see field events getting a push, not just track …

    • Kevin O'Neill says:

      I agree totally, but it would have been good to see a bit more of the field events and a bit less of Bolt sitting around. But, of course, this will never happen. Still, it all helps to ease my Olympic withdrawal symptoms!

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