Abderrahman Samba, Mariya Lasitskene and Caster Semenya among the top performers as French capital stages spectacular Diamond League
Seven world leads were set at a terrific Diamond League meeting in Paris on Saturday (June 30) as many of the world’s top athletes began to hit peak season form.
Top-class performances came thick and fast in the Charlety Stadium as most of the events produced stunning winning marks.
The magnificent seven world leads included…
» Abderrahman Samba – with 46.98 the Qatari athlete clocked the second fastest 400m hurdles time in history and the best since Kevin Young set the world record of 46.78 in 1992.
“I’m coming closer to the world record and I hope to work harder and maybe some day I will do it,” he said.
Behind, Kyron McMaster ran a PB of 47.54 but found himself more than half a second adrift while Karsten Warholm ran 48.06 for third.
» Caster Semenya – the South African’s 1:54.25 was not only a world lead but a Diamond League record and the fourth fastest in history as she closed in on Jarmila Kratochvilova’s 1:53.28 world record from 1983.
Running without pacemakers and going through 400m in 56 seconds, Semenya was imperious on the second lap and pulled runner-up Francine Nyonsaba to a 1:55.86 clocking with US champion Ajee Wilson in third with 1:57.17 as the first 10 broke two minutes.
“In Oslo, we were not very happy about the pace,” said Semenya, “so I said ‘no pace this time and see what you can get out of it’. But 1.54.25? I did not expect that!”
» Mariya Lasitskene – rising to the occasion, literally, the Russian cleared a 2.04m world lead and meeting record to see off the challenge of Nafi Thiam in a much-anticipated head to head.
The world and Olympic heptathlon champion from Belgium jumped 1.97m for second, as Yuliya Levchenko of Ukraine matched her height in third.
» Timothy Cheruiyot – 3:29.71 for the Kenyan as he broke the 3:30 barrier, although it was just over half a second outside his PB set in Monaco last year.
» Sam Kendricks – the American cleared 5.96m in the pole vault to beat up-and-coming Armand Duplantis by 6cm as world record-holder Renaud Lavillenie was third on home soil.
» Beatrice Chepkoech – breaking the nine-minute barrier with 8:59.36, the Kenyan’s time was a world lead and PB.
» Ronnie Baker – in the men’s 100m he equalled Noah Lyles’ 9.88 world-leading time as he took victory from Jimmy Vicaut and Su Bingtian, with the duo clocking 9.91 behind the American winner.
Bingtian equalled his own Asian record as Akani Simbine, in fourth, was also under 10 seconds with 9.94.
Elsewhere, the men’s 200m was another great race as two of the stars of the recent NCAA Championships – Michael Norman and Rai Benjamin – went head-to-head with Norman winning in 19.84 from Benjamin’s 19.99.
The women’s 200m was similarly impressive as it was won by Shericka Jackson of Jamaica in a 22.05 PB from Jenna Prandini.
With top performances throughout the meeting, Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain took the women’s 400m in 49.55 – an Asian area record.
In the field, Sandra Perkovic threw a meeting record of 68.60m in the discus while Caterine Ibargüen of Colombia bounded out to 14.83m in the triple jump to beat Commonwealth champion Kimberly Williams.
Fedrick Dacres was a convincing winner of the men’s discus, meanwhile, with 67.01m.
» The Bad Langensalza meeting in Germany saw Juan Miguel Echevarría of Cuba produce a men’s long jump world lead and PB of 8.68m (0.7) as he beat Luvo Manyonga – the South African jumping 8.42m twice.