American moves to equal fourth on the world all-time list with 43.45 in California, while Ollie Lockley and Rachael Franklin retain their Isle of Man Easter Festival titles

There were some impressive performances over the Easter bank holiday weekend, as a number of athletes enjoyed strong starts to their seasons.

Mt. SAC Relays, Torrance, California, April 20

Making his 400m season opener, Michael Norman stormed to a time of 43.45 to move from sixth to equal fourth on the world all-time list.

That time puts the NCAA indoor and outdoor champion behind only Wayde Van Niekerk (43.03), Michael Johnson (43.18) and Butch Reynolds (43.29) on the all-time rankings, with the mark matching the best time of 2004 Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner.

It is the fastest ever 400m season debut and saw him win ahead of his training partner and hurdles specialist Rai Benjamin with 44.31.

Keni Harrison won the 100m hurdles in 12.63, while Vashti Cunningham won the high jump with 1.97m.

Brazil’s Paulo Camilo won both men’s sprints in 10.21 (-1.6m/s) and 20.30 (+0.5m/s) ahead of Ameer Webb with 10.33 and 20.64.

Britain’s Alice Wright finished fourth in the 5000m, clocking a PB of 15:45.51, while Jodie Williams ran a 11.44 (-0.1m/s) and 23.37 (0.5m/s) 100m and 200m double.

Lorraine Ugen and Jahisha Thomas jumped 6.48m (-0.3m/s) and 6.29m (0.5m/s) to place fifth and ninth in the long jump respectively.

Long Beach Invitational, California, April 20

Olympic shot put champion Ryan Crouser also had a superb start to his season as he threw 22.74m for the best mark in the world since 1990.

After starting with a throw of 21.53m he improved to 22.73m in round four and then 22.74m in round five.

Payton Otterdahl was second with an outdoor PB of 21.37m.

In the men’s triple jump, Omar Craddock leapt a 17.68m (0.0m/s) PB to beat Christian Taylor with 17.18m (+1.6m/s).

Britain’s Kirsty Law threw 57.68m for her second best ever discus mark, while Amelia Strickler recorded 16.92m in the shot.

Michael Johnson Invitational, Waco, Texas, April 20

Divine Oduduru completed a sub-10 and sub-20 100m and 200m double on the same day, becoming just the 10th male athlete to ever achieve the feat.

Nigeria’s NCAA indoor and outdoor 200m champion first ran a 100m PB of 9.94 (0.8m/s) and then clocked 19.76 (0.8m/s) for a 200m PB less than an hour later.

Phyllis Francis ran 23.01 (+1.2m/s) to win the 200m ahead of hurdler Sharika Nelvis with 23.70.

Lily Beckford achieved a qualifying standard for the European U23 Championships as she clocked a 400m PB of 52.71.

Clermont, Florida, April 20

In windy conditions, Jazmin Sawyers leapt 6.59m (5.3m/s) to win the long jump. Desiree Henry clocked 23.25 (3.9m/s) for 200m to place third.

Asian Athletics Championships, Doha, April 21

The first day of the championships saw world champion Gong Lijiao win the shot put with 19.18m ahead of Noora Salem Jasim’s Bahrain record throw of 18.00m.

China’s Lyu Huihui threw a championship record of 65.83m to win the women’s javelin, while Iran’s Ehsan Hadadi threw a 65.95m championship record to win the men’s discus.

Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser was a dominant 400m winner, clocking 51.34.

Scottish 10,000m Championships, Glasgow, April 19

Shettleston Harriers claimed three of the six medals on offer, with Lachlan Oates and Fionnuala Ross retaining their titles in respective times of 29:40.79 (PB) and 33:50.86.

Dundee’s James Donald was second in the men’s race in a PB of 30:14.18 ahead of Cambuslang’s Ryan Thomson with a 30:19.54 PB, while Kilbarchan’s Elspeth Curran was second in the women’s race in 34:47.82 and Avril Mason of Shettleston third in a 35:07.28 PB.

Isle of Man Easter Festival, April 19-21

Ollie Lockley and Rachael Franklin successfully defended their overall titles after a weekend of action.

Lockley, of Manx Harriers, scored 5 points to Jack Leitch of Edinburgh Uni’s 7 points and Max Milarvie of Edinburgh Uni’s 18.

Franklin, also of Manx Harriers, scored 3 points ahead of Naomi Lang of Edinburgh Uni with 7 points and Amy Frankland of Edinburgh Uni with 11 points.

Edinburgh Uni won the men’s team title and Manchester Uni the women’s.

Lockley and Franklin started their title defences with convincing wins in the Bushy’s 10km road race at Port Erin. Lockley won in 30:40, with Franklin exactly 5 minutes behind in 35:40.

This year’s men’s four-mile Full Factory Peel Hill Race saw some of the fastest ever times recorded, with Felix McGrath of Keele Uni winning in 20:34 ahead of Leitch in 20:39 and Lockley in 20:46. The women’s three-mile race was won by Franklin in 16:38 as she broke the course record ahead of Lang with 16:50 and Frankland with 17:42.

The final event was Sunday’s Outback 5km, won by Lockley in 14:44 and Franklin in 17:18.

Intertrust Guernsey Easter Running Festival, April 19-22

City of Portsmouth’s Jacob O’Hara regained the overall men’s title that he won as a 16-year-old two years ago, while local Louise Perrio took the overall women’s award as well as doing the results compilation, Martin Duff reports.

Sarah Mercier won the opening 5km race in 16:38 for a Guernsey national record as Perrio finished fourth, while Guernsey’s Commonwealth Games competitor Josh Lewis won the men’s race ahead of O’Hara in 15:32.

With his main rivals from the previous day’s 5km opting out, it was left to O’Hara to dominate day two’s cross country. He won in 25:36 ahead of Will Woodcock. Perrio took the women’s race honours in 30:45.

Scratch teams were made up to make for a more competitive race in the 4x1M relay but 16-year-old Chris Bain ‘won’ the opening leg and his Guernsey ‘Wolf Pack’ squad of young middle-distance runners maintained their advantage to the end.

On the last day of action, Jacob O’Hara notched up his third overall fastest 10km time to comfortably regain his title in 33:05. Mercier was chasing her second Guernsey record but was thwarted by the windy conditions which limited her to a 35:37 clocking. Perrio ran 39:23 in third to secure the series award.

Tonbridge, April 22

Clare Elms ran 4:48.65 for 1500m to take over two seconds off the world W55 record in her first outdoor race of the year.

She finished second to Phoebe Barker who clocked 4:39.60.

IAAF Race Walking Challenge and  Pan American Race Walking Cup, Mexico, April 20-21

Sweden’s Perseus Karlstrom won the men’s 20km race walk in 1:23:40 ahead of Spain’s Diego Garcia with 1:23:59 and Mexico’s Carlos Sanchez with 1:24:01.

Brazil’s Erica de Sena won the women’s race in 1:29:22 ahead of Peru’s Kimberly Garcia with 1:29:33 and Spain’s Maria Perez in 1:31:11.

Mexico’s Isaac Palma and Peru’s Evelyn Inga won the 50km events the following day, clocking 3:49:39 and 4:22:57 respectively.

Eldoret City Marathon, Kenya, April 21

Valary Aiyabei won the women’s title in 2:27:17 ahead of Vivian Kiplagat (2:28:06) and Elizabeth Rumokol in 2:33:00, while Matthew Kisorio won the men’s race in 2:12:38 ahead of David Kiplimo (2:12:51) and Kenneth Kemboi (2:15:43).

Rabat Marathon, Morocco, April 21

Kenya’s Olympic and world 5000m medallist Sylvia Kibet set a course record and PB of 2:25:52 to win the women’s race ahead of her compatriots Shelmith Muriuki (2:33:29) and Priscah Cherono (2:34:27).

Sammy Kigen completed a Kenyan double as he ran 2:08:12 to win from Morocco’s Othmane El Goumri (2:08:20) and Ethiopia’s Chele Dechase (2:08:25).

Nagano Marathon, Japan, April 21

Uganda’s Jackson Kiprop took the men’s title in 2:10:39, while Meskerem Hunde won the women’s race in 2:33:32.

Yangzhou Jianzhen International Half Marathon, China, April 21

Kenya’s Perine Nengampi won the women’s race in 68:04, while Ethiopia’s Berehanu Tsegu won the men’s title in 59:56.

» See the April 25 issue of AW magazine for more from this week’s athletics and running events

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