Gebrhiwet and Perkovic on world-leading form in New York

Hagos Gebrhiwet and Sandra Perkovic both set world-leading performances at the Adidas Grand Prix in New York while Blanka Vlasic makes a winning return to competition

Sandra Perkovic (Mark Shearman)

Conditions in New York for the third leg of the Diamond League series couldn’t have been more contrasting to the hot and humid conditions for the opening meeting in Doha at the start of the month.

Performances in the Icahn Stadium suffered as a consequence but there were still a pair of world-leading performances, including an eye-catching display from Hagos Gebrhiwet in the 5000m.

The world junior cross-country champion has been highlighted as someone who could challenge Mo Farah at the World Championships in Moscow and the 19-year-old put on an impressive display on Saturday. Despite the blustery conditions, Gebrhiwet ran aggressively and a 2km split between 2-4km of 5:11.56 pulled him clear from his rivals and even though he slowed in the final kilometre, Gebrhiwet still crossed the line in a world-lead of 13:10.03. He can surely run about 30-seconds faster in better conditions though.

Reigning world 10,000m champion Ibrahim Jeylan finished third in 13:16.46 but Dejen Gebremeskel was out of sorts, finishing sixth in 13:31.02.

Double delight for Croatia
Following on from her victory in Doha with her best ever season’s opener of 68.23m, Olympic champion Sandra Perkovic from Croatia (pictured) extended her world-leading mark in the discus to 68.48m at the start of the meet to win by the best part of seven metres. The Croat has now won 15 of her last 16 competitions.

Injuries and illnesses forced Perkovic’s team-mate Blanka Vlasic to miss the entirety of the 2012 season but the former two-time world champion was a popular winner in the high jump in her first competition since September 2011. She was never going to find her 2m-plus form straight away but a 1.94m clearance marked a solid return after more than a season of adversity.

No shocks in sprints
Veronica Campbell-Brown and Warren Weir delighted a sizeable Jamaican contingent in the Icahn Stadium with commanding half-lap victories. Campbell-Brown ran a super bend and held on to her lead in the home-straight to win in 22.53 against a headwind while Weir looked completely in control as he cruised to a season’s best of 20.11.

Amantle Montsho won her second Diamond League meeting of the season in her second sub-50 clocking. Her 49.91 performance was her twelfth sub-50 clocking of her career although she wasn’t pushed as hard as we thought she might. Sanya Richards-Ross was a late withdrawal while Christine Ohuruogu, who has started her season very brightly, had her worst run of the year finishing sixth and outside 52-seconds.

Tyson Gay rounded off the main programme with victory in the 100m in 10.02 ahead of Ryan Bailey, who set a season’s best of 10.15.

Tinsley and Brathwaite impress
Olympic silver medallist Michael Tinsley has been a figure of consistency in 2013. Despite blustery conditions, the 29-year-old improved his season’s best to 48.43 to defeat Javier Culson (48.53) and Johnny Dutch (48.78), who defeated Culson on home-soil in Ponce last week. Tinsley’s won all four of his 400m hurdles races this year and has gone sub-49 in all of them.

Ryan Brathwaite ran his fastest time since 2009, the year he surprisingly won the world title, to defeat a stellar field in the 110m hurdles in 13.19.

Aregawi and Rudisha dominate
The 1500m in New York was much more of a tactical affair compared to Doha as the field didn’t go with the pacemakers but the outcome was the same nonetheless as Abeba Aregawi produced a sub-60 final lap to cross the line in 4:03.69.

David Rudisha didn’t look threatened in the 800m although the world record-holder and Olympic champion still had to fight hard against the wind. His winning time of 1:45.14 was one of his slowest ever times but he still had a one-second ascendancy over Andrew Osagie, who battled hard for the runner-up spot in 1:46.44.

Horizontal favourites humbled
Brittney Reese had a rare off-day in the long jump and the world and Olympic champion, who sailed out to a PB of 7.25m in Doha, didn’t even make the cut after two fouls and a 5.99m second-round effort. US No.2 Janay DeLoach-Soukup took advantage, setting a meeting record of 6.79m (-1.1) with British record-holder Shara Proctor second with 6.72m (-0.9).

Christian Taylor did not enjoy the conditions either and the world and Olympic champion, who won in Doha on an abbreviated run-up, was narrowly bested in the triple jump by Benjamin Compaore with a modest 16.45m to Taylor’s 16.42m. Phillips Idowu was a non-starter.

Round-up
Ryan Whiting translated his winning form from Doha to New York and the world indoor champion was the only thrower to surpass the 21m-barrier with 21.27m in the shot put.

Lidya Chepkirui did the same in the steeplechase as she won in a fairly modest 9:30.82 with Eilish McColgan eighth in 9:45.66.

In difficult conditions, Jenn Suhr won the pole-vault with 4.63m with Holly Bleasdale sixth with 4.23m and Christina Obergfoll from Germany won the javelin with 65.33m.

» For full results click here. Find further coverage of the Adidas Grand Prix in the May 30 issue of AW.

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