Sunday May 19, 2013
China's Li Jinzhe thrilled the Shanghai crowd last Saturday by defeating a strong long jump field with a world-leading effort measuring 8.34 meters (27 feet, 4¼ inches). Overall, however, the season's second Diamond League meet was dominated by injury news, with several athletes returning from ailments while others sustained injuries during the meet. Indeed, Li's competitors included 2004 Olympic champion Dwight Phillips, who missed all of last season with an injury. Phillips placed 10th, leaping 7.62/25-0
Another Olympic champion, LaShawn Merritt, ran his first 400-meter race since his 2012 injury and placed second to Kirani James. James ran a world-leading 44.02 seconds to Merritt's 44.60. Look for Merritt and James to duel for 400-meter dominance all the way to the World Championships in August.
Aries Merritt began cramping up prior to his 110-meter hurdles race Saturday, then pulled off the track before reaching the first hurdle. Yelena Isinbayeva may also have suffered a minor injury. The Russian had already cleared 4.70/15-5 to win the pole vault when she felt pain in her leg trying to clear 4.85/15-11.
Carmelita Jeter, whose muscles cramped up at the Mt. SAC relays last month, left the Shanghai track on a stretcher after grabbing her thigh late in the 100-meter race. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won the event in a world-leading 10.93.
Other notable events included 2012 World Junior champion Conseslus Kipruto's steeplechase victory, in a world-leading 8:01.16, plus veteran Tero Pitkamaki's triumph in the javelin, as he threw a 2013-best 87.60/287-4.
Check out the full results from the Shanghai meet. The Diamond League season moves to the United States for the addidas Grand Prix in New York on May 25.
Review the 2013 World Championship qualifying standards.
Thursday May 16, 2013
Brittney Reese unleashed the world's best long jump in nine years to help open the 2013 Diamond League season in Doha on May 9. Reese leaped a personal best 7.25 meters (23 feet, 9½ inches), the longest effort in the Diamond League's brief history.
Other field highlights from Doha included Sandra Perkovic winning the discus with a toss measuring 68.23/223-10, while Ryan Whiting continued his early-season shot put domination, winning with a personal best 22.28/73-1.
On the track, Amantle Montsho edged Allyson Felix in the 400 meters, 49.88 to 50.19, Justlin Gatlin won the 100 in 9.97 seconds, David Rudisha opened his season by taking the 800 in 1:43.83 and Abeba Aregawi won a fast early-season 1500 in 3:56.60.
Check out the full results from Doha. The Diamond League's next stop is this Saturday in Shanghai.
One day before the Doha meet, Usain Bolt returned from a brief injury timeout to barely edge fellow Jamaican Kemar Bailey Cole in the 100 at the Cayman Invitational. Bolt, clearly running cautiously after tweaking a hamstring recently, finished in 10.09 seconds. Carmelita Jeter won the women's 100 in a world-leading 10.95, while LaShawn Merritt continued his injury comeback by winning the 200 in 20.26.
Wednesday May 8, 2013
American Tyson Gay visited the home of his key sprint rivals Saturday and posted the year's first sub 10-second 100 meters, winning the Jamaica International Invitational in 9.86 seconds. Kingston fans missed a chance to see Gay battle the island's native stars due to an epidemic of hamstring problems. Usain Bolt suffered a mild hamstring strain while training for the event, but should return shortly. Johan Blake tore a hamstring in April and probably won't compete again until June. Asafa Powell also missed the meet with a long-term hamstring problem.
Other successful Americans at the Jamaican meet included Dawn Harper-Nelson, who won the 100-meter hurdles in 12.62 seconds, plus Ryan Whiting, who threw a world-leading 21.47 meters (70 feet, 5 inches) in the shot put. The home fans did get to enjoy Veronica Campbell-Brown's win in the 100 (11.01 seconds), plus 200-meter victories by Nickel Ashmeade (20.0) and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (22.38).
Surprising Olympic javelin gold medalist Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago returned to competition for the first time since London last Friday. He recorded the second-best toss of his career, a winning effort 84.39/276-10, at the TnT Elite Twilight Games in Trinidad.
The 2013 Diamond League series returns Friday as David Rudisha, Tomasz Majewski and Allyson Felix headline the opening meet in Doha, Qatar.
Thursday May 2, 2013
It's too early in the season to draw conclusions, but last weekend's Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa produced some interesting storylines that are worth watching as the outdoor season heats up.
A few events went as expected, with Brittney Reese winning the long jump in 6.94 meters (22 feet, 9¼ inches), although Janay DeLoach was close behind at 6.92/22-8½. Christian Taylor won the triple jump in 17.12/56-2, while Reese Hoffa took the shot put with a winning toss of 21.71/71-2. Luguelin Santos' victory in the 400 was also no surprise, but his time of 44.74 seconds this early in the year is impressive.
A pair of world record-holders didn't fare as well as some other favorites. Aries Merritt showed that he hasn't reached midseason form yet in the 110-meter hurdles, running 13.48 to finish second behind Jamaica's Andrew Riley (13.43). Yarisley Silva cleared 4.85/15-11 in the pole vault to beat Jenn Suhr, who set the world indoor mark in March. Additionally, Queen Harrison defeated all three of America's 2012 Olympians in the 100-meter hurdles, winning in 12.71.
The U.S. women's 4 x 800-meter relay record fell during the Penn Relays Saturday, as the quartet of Lea Wallace, Brenda Martinez, Ajee Wilson and Alysia Montano won in 8:04.31. The previous mark of 8:17.09 was set in 1983 by a team led by Mary Decker.
In marathon racing last weekend, Ethiopia's Dereje Debele won in Dusseldorf in a course record 2:07:48, while Francis Kiprop of Kenya broke the course mark in Madrid, winning in 2:10:37.