Former junior rivals make major impact in men’s 100m on opposite sides of the world
On a big night for global sprinting, Noah Lyles and Filippo Tortu sped to lightning-fast 100m performances.
Two years ago the duo finished one-two in the 100m at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships in Bydgoszcz (pictured above with Lyles centre, Tortu right and bronze medallist Mario Burke left), but now they are making their mark as seniors.
Lyles ran a world lead of 9.89 (1.1) to win the US title in Des Moines last night (June 22) after having earlier run 9.89 (0.7) in the semi-finals just over 90 minutes earlier.
The 20-year-old used his trademark strong finish to run down Ronnie Baker in the final metres to win by two hundredths of a second.
“There is definitely a switching of the guards going on right now,” said Lyles, who improved on his 9.93 he ran behind Britain’s Zharnel Hughes’ 9.91 in Jamaica earlier this month.
Racing in Madrid, meanwhile, his former junior rival Tortu broke the 10-second barrier for the first time with 9.99 (0.2) in a race that also saw Su Bingtian set a Chinese record of 9.91.
Tortu’s run saw him break Pietro Mennea’s Italian record of 10.01 which had stood since 1979 and he also became only the second white man to break the 10-second barrier for 100m.
Tortu, who only turned 20 a few days ago, is the reigning European junior champion but the Milan athlete will now be a contender for a medal at the European Championships in Berlin in August.
Elsewhere, Aleia Hobbs won the US women’s 100m title in Des Moines in 10.91 from Ashley Henderson’s 10.96 and Jenna Prandini’s 10.98. In doing so she became the first athlete in her event to win the NCAA and US titles in the same season since 1991.
Olympic champion Elaine Thompson was in action at the Jamaican Championships, meanwhile, as she clocked 11.01 to beat Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce by eight hundredths of a second.
Another long-standing national sprints record fell in Madrid, too, when Bruno Hortelano ran 44.69 for 400m in Madrid to beat a 29-year-old Spanish mark.
While at the same Madrid meeting Shara Proctor long jumped 6.73m (-0.1) to beat fellow Brit Lorraine Ugen by 13cm as Commonwealth champion Christabel Nettey finished third.
And in a pole vault street meet in Athens, Greece, Katerina Stefanidi cleared 4.80m to win from Yarisley Silva (4.73m) and Holly Bradshaw (4.66m).