SHANGHAI, China, Sporting Alert – Double World Championships silver medallist Justin Gatlin blew away his challengers to win the men’s 100m in 9.95 seconds at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Shanghai on Saturday (14).
Gatlin, who missed a couple of training session with a toe injury, looked smooth over the opening metres, and although the gap closed a bit in the last part of the race, the American was never tested, as he posted a season’s best for 2016.
“I came out here to execute,” Gatlin said. “I know this being an Olympic year, it is a long season.
“My coach and I have a plan.”
Qatar’s world-leader Femi Ogunode was second in 10.07, with Michael Rodgers of USA taking third in 10.10.
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The shocker at the meet, however, came in the men’s 800m where world record holder David Rudisha was well beaten into fifth place after being overtaken by four runners in the closing metres.
“I am so upset! I lost two-seconds because of the start,” a very disappointed Rudisha said.
“There were high jumpers in the lane and they start.”
Rudisha was hoping to break 1:44.00 in his opening Diamond League meeting for 2016, but the Olympic champion had to settle for 1:46.24.
The win went to Kenya’s Ferguson Rotich, who ran 1:45.68 in a very tactical race, which resembled that of a major championships, as no one really went out for a fast time – preferring to go for the top points instead.
In fact, it was a Kenyan top three sweep for the event, with Robert Biwott getting second in 1:45.84 and Alfred Kipketer, 1:45.93.
Meanwhile, after a long delay for two false-starts, Omar McLeod extended his outstanding form this season by posting another world-leading time and became the first to dip under 13-seconds in the men’s 110m hurdles after clocking 12.98 secs for victory.
The Jamaican World Indoor champion who came into the meeting with a 2016 world best of 13.05, improved that time and came within .01 seconds off his personal best.
Once again, it was another Jamaican, Hansle Parchment, who followed McLead home in 13.12 secs.
Former Cuban Orlando Ortega, now competing for Spain was the first of the two hurdlers to be disqualified for jumping the gun before world record holder and Olympic champion Aries Merritt got kicked out for the same reason.
Despite the electronic evidence, the American didn’t think he did anything wrong and stayed on the track until he finally decided to leave the starting line.
Miller Too Strong
World silver medallist Shaunae Miller powered her to victory in the women’s 400m in 50.45 secs, after starting very strongly to set the tone.
The Bahamian sprinter went about her business very fast over the first 200m to take an advantage heading into the home straight.
And although Jamaica’s Stephanie Ann McPherson challenged her at the top of home straight, Miller had enough to put away her rivals in the last 60m.
McPherson held on for second place in a season’s best time of 50.98, with American Natasha Hastings taking third place in 51.10.
World bronze medal winner Shericka Jackson of Jamaica finished down the track, sixth in 53.02.
Improving Tinsley Holds On For Win
American Olympic silver medallist Michael Tinsley clocked a season’s best time of 48.90 secs to win the men’s 400m hurdles after maintaining his form in the closing metres to hold off his rivals.
Tinsley’s previous season’s best was 49.36, done at the Drake Relays on 29 April.
Following the American home were Poland’s Patryk Dobek, who ran 49.01 for a season’s best and Bahamian World Championships bronze medallist from Beijing 2015, Jeffery Gibson, who finished strong for third with a time of 49.11.
World Championships gold medallist Nicholas Bett of Kenya faded to sixth in 49.31.
Kipyegon In Top Form, As Records Go
Faith Kipyegon of Kenya sprinted away from her rivals with a 43.5 secs final 300m on her way to setting a meeting and national record, as well as a world-leading time of 3:56.82 to dominate the women’s 1500m.
Her compatriot Hellen Obiri was further back in second with a time of 3:59.34, a season’s best, while third went to Ethiopia’s Dawit Seyaum in 3:59.87.
American 2011 world champion Jenny Simpson struggled on the day and finished sixth, despite improving her best time in 2016 to 4:04.56.
In the women’s 200m, 2013 World Championships 100m and 200m silver medallist Murielle Ahouré of the Ivory Coast won the battle with Veronica Campbell-Brown in the last 60m to take first place in 22.72.
Campbell-Brown, the 2004 and 2008 Olympic 200m champion, came into the final 100m with the edge, but the Jamaican was unable to match Ahoure’s determination over the last 60m, and fell back to second in 22.82, well off her season’s best of 22.29.