DOHA, QATAR, Sporting Alert – The 2016 IAAF Diamond League opened with some sizzling performances, with world-leading marks being set in the sprints, distance and in the field.
Fast Times To Start The Diamond League
The women’s 100m produced the three fastest time for 2016 in one race, as Tori Bowie, Dafne Schippers and Veronica Campbell-Brown all went under 11-seconds and quicker than the previous world-leading of 10.95 by USA’s Jenna Prandini.
World Championships bronze medallist Bowie held her form to out-lean Schippers and win the event in a personal best equalling and 2016 world-leading time of 10.80secs (+0.7 m/s).
“This being an Olympic year, I’m eagerly looking forward to this outdoor season,” Bowie said.
“I feel I’m a much better runner now than I was last season.”
Schippers, the 2015 IAAF World Championships 200m gold medal winner from Beijing, was second in 10.83, with Jamaica’s three-time Olympic champion Campbell-Brown running a season’s best of 10.91 for third place.
“It was close to my personal best, but my start was bad,” revealed Schippers.
Merritt Good Form Continues
In the men’s 400m, American LaShawn Merritt, running in the first race at the meeting, clocked 44.41 seconds for victory, after using a very strong opening 200m to set up a lead heading into the homestretch.
“I feel good,” Merritt revealed. “I executed the race as I wanted to.
“Now I’ll go back to training and keep working hard.”
Merritt came off the final bend with a lead of three metres, and although he was challenged for a brief moment, the American never looked worried as he powered home to another fast time this season.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Machel Cedenio finished strong to take second place in a season’s best time of 44.68, with third going to Qatar’s Abdelalelah Haroun in 44.81.
Olympic silver medallist Luguelín Santos from the Dominican Republic, still struggling with his early season form, faded to last in 46.53.
The men’s 200m also produced a fast time, with American Ameer Webb clocking a big personal 19.85 secs for first place.
He got home ahead of Alonso Edward of Panama (20.06) and Qatar’s Femi Ogunode (20.10).
American Walter Dix ran a season’s best 20.14 for fourth place.
Jamaica’s Omar McLeod ran a world-leading time of 13.05 secs to win the men’s 110m hurdles, despite hitting the ninth hurdle hard and fell out of rhythm.
The world indoor champions held his form to get home just ahead of countryman Hansle Parchment, who ran 13.10 for second place and Spain’s Orlando Ortega (13.12).
No Match For Kiprop
Meanwhile, Kenya’s three-time 1500m world champion Asbel Kiprop outperformed his rivals on his way to winning this event in a world-leading time of 3:32.15.
Kiprop, who came into the event as the leading contender for the top spot, was never really troubled throughout the race.
“I’m very happy with my performance and the race went exactly as I had planned,” the 2008 Olympic champion said. “I always enjoy running here.”
Kiprop defeated second place Elijah Motonei Manangoi, the world silver medallist by more than one seconds, but the Kenyan star wasn’t reading too much into the final result over his fellow countryman.
“I was more than 1.5 secs faster than Elijah,” he said, “but I wouldn’t read too much into it, as it’s still just the start of the season. There is still a long way to go.”
Semenya Looks Very Sharp
South Africa’s 2009 world champion Caster Semenya carried her early season form over into Europe as the powerful half-miler easily, put away a solid field to win the women’s 100m in a new world-leading time of 1:58.26.
Heading into the home straight, Semenya was two metres behind Ethiopia’s Habitam Alemu, but the South African comfortably switch gears to glide past the 19-year-old and open up a gap in the last 60m.
Alemu set a personal best of 1:59.14 for second place, with third going to 2013 IAAF World Championships gold medallist, Eunice Jepkoech Sum of Kenya in a season’s best of 1:59.74.
In field event action, the women’s triple jump competition produced some impressive marks as well, with Colombian two-time world champion Caterine Ibarguen leaping out to a world-leading and meeting record of 15.04 in the fifth round to take the 10 points.
The 32-year-old Olympic silver medallist also finished her series with a 14.98m effort, which would have won the competition as well.
Yulimar Rojas, 20, the world indoor champion from Portland 2016 stretched out to a wind-aided 14.92m (+2.6 m/s) for second place, with London 2012 Olympic champion Olga Rypakova of Kazakhstan finishing third with a season’s best mark of 14.61.