An incredible high jump battle part of action-packed adidas Grand Prix
A world high jump record was attempted in New York on Saturday as both Bohdan Bondarenko and Mutaz Essa Barshim cleared 2.42m and then tried to go higher in an incredible battle over the bar.
There was no shortage of top performances at the adidas Grand Prix as numerous meeting records were broken and world leads set, but as the bar moved higher all eyes were on the field as world champion Bondarenko went head-to head with world indoor champion Barshim, who was fresh from his Asian record and equal world lead of 2.41m to beat his Ukrainian rival in Rome just over a week ago.
With Bondarenko’s compatriot Andriy Protsenko out with a personal best of 2.35m, the bar moved to 2.38m and was cleared by Barshim on the first time of asking for a meeting record. Bondarenko chose to go straight to 2.40m, a height he cleared on his second go, with Barshim matching that achievement to make it the first time in history that two men have cleared 2.40m or higher in the same competition outdoors.
Barshim was the first to attempt 2.42m and the Qatari soared over the bar well clear on his first go to improve his own area record and set an overall Diamond League record. Bondarenko responded by also clearing the height on his first go to equal the area record and, having chosen not to attempt 2.44m, was eventually victorious on countback when both men failed at the what would have been world record height of 2.46m. Javier Sotomayor’s record 2.45m from 1993 survives for now, as Bondarenko and Barshim go to equal second on the all-time list behind the Cuban.
David Rudisha returned to his winning ways in New York. The world 800m record-holder had finished seventh in Eugene as he continues to find his form post-knee injury, but on Saturday he ran 1:44.63 for a clear victory ahead of Ireland’s Mark English with 1:45.03 as 1:42 man Duane Solomon finished third with 1:45.13. Further back and Britain’s Michael Rimmer ran a season’s best 1:46.75 for tenth. Earlier on the women’s event was won by Jamaica’s Natoya Goule in 2:00.28 as Marilyn Okoro ran 2:01.57 for third.
The men’s 200m was won by Olympic bronze medallist Warren Weir in a world-leading 19.82 as his fellow Jamaican Nickel Ashmeade also dipped under 20 seconds with 19.95. Former world long jump champion Tianna Bartoletta won the women’s event in 22.68. The women’s 100m was the final Diamond League race of the evening and long jumps specialist Tori Bowie continued the sort of form which saw her claim 200m victory in Eugene and a win over 100m in Rome clocking personal bests of 22.18 and 11.05 respectively. She ran 11.07 in New York, making up ground in the closing stages to pip Samantha Henry-Robinson, the quickest in the field so far this year, with 11.13. The men’s race – not a Diamond League event here – was won by Jamaica’s Nesta Carter in 10.09 as his compatriot Yohan Blake stumbled out of the blocks and could only recover enough to clock 10.21 for second.
Having lost to Kirani James in Eugene, LaShawn Merritt returned to his winning ways in Rome and continued that form to clock a meeting record 44.19. Behind him Wayde van Niekerk worked hard to run a South African record 44.38, his time also putting him top of the African under-23 400m all-time list. World indoor 400m champion Francena McCorory – runner up in Eugene – ran a season’s best 50.15 for victory in New York as Britain’s Shana Cox finished sixth with a 52.11 SB. World champion Christine Ohuruogu left herself with too much to do and couldn’t demonstrate her usual finishing power to make up for it, clocking 53.14 for eighth.
Adams extends winning streak
Despite initially sitting second behind Michelle Carter’s 19.51m thrown in the first round of the shot competition, Valerie Adams reasserted her dominance in the fourth round to eventually win with a best of 19.68m from her fifth throw – the four-time world champion and two-time Olympic gold medallist extending her winning streak to an incredible 50.
World and Olympic bronze medallist Sofia Assefa took almost 10 seconds from the 3000m steeplechase meeting record, clocking 9:18.58 to finish well clear of the rest of the field, which only featured nine athletes. World 5000m silver medallist Mercy Cherono dominated the 3000m event, though with around one lap to go it did look as though the Kenyan might be caught but she held on to clock 8:39.84 for victory ahead of her compatriot Betsy Saina. Britain’s Olympic 5000m and 10,000m finalist Julia Bleasdale ran 8:48.90 for sixth, her time a couple of seconds off her PB of 8:46.38 set when she last ran the event in 2012.
There was also a meeting record in the first event of the evening – the men’s discus. World and Olympic champion Robert Harting threw a best of 68.24m in the final round to secure his victory in style, with Moscow Worlds silver medallist Piotr Małachowski again runner up behind Harting with 65.45m. Jeff Henderson called it a day after his personal best leap of 8.33m in the fourth round of the long jump. It proved to be enough for the win, and was also a meeting record, as his compatriot Christian Taylor – the Olympic triple jump champion – proved his versatility with a best of 8.06m (+2.2) for second.
There was also a world leading performance from 2011 world champion Fabiana Murer in the pole vault as she cleared 4.80m for her best clearance since her world title three years ago. She beat the likes of Olympic champion Jenn Suhr in front of a home crowd and Olympic silver medallist Yarisley Silva, both with a best of 4.70m. Joining Murer in her world-leading ways was Olympic bronze medallist Linda Stahl who threw 67.32m in the third round to win the javelin, while Kimberly Williams won the triple jump with a best of 14.31m (+2.1) in the second round.
Teenager Dawit Seyaum attempted battle with world indoor and outdoor champion Abeba Aregawi in the women’s 1500m and applied some pressure on the home straight but Aregawi was the stronger and clocked a 4:00.13 meeting record for the win ahead of the 17-year-old Ethiopian’s 4:00.66. Two-time world silver medallist Javier Culson also set a world lead in the 400m hurdles with 48.03 as Olympic silver medallist Michael Tinsley finished second in a season’s best 48.56. In the women’s 100m hurdles, Queen Harrison won with 12.62 from Dawn Harper-Nelson with 12.63. Britain’s Tiffany Porter was fifth with 12.89.
» Full results from the adidas Grand Prix can be found here