The United States won five of the 10 events - including four of the five women's races - to capture the overall title at the inaugural IAAF World Relays, held in Nassau May 24-25. The American team earned 60 points in the standings (the top eight teams in each event earn points - eight points for the winner, down to one point for the eighth-place team). The U.S. won the men's and women's 4 x 400-meter relays plus the women's 4 x 100, 4 x 200 and 4 x 800 races. The U.S. placed second in both 4 x 1500-meter races and took third in the men's 4 x 800. Baton-passing errors knocked the Americans out of the men's 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relays.
Jamaica was second with 41 points, winning the men's 4 x 100 and 4 x 200 relays, finishing in a world-record time of 1:18.63 in the 4 x 200. Kenya scored 35 points, with victories in both 4 x 1500-meter relays plus the men's 4 x 800. In the 4 x 1500, Kenya set world records in both the men's (14:22.22) and women's (16:33.58) races. A total of 43 nations participated in the World Relays, with 29 scoring at least one point.
The top eight finishers in the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relays automatically qualify for the 2015 World Championships. As a result, Jamaica, Great Britain and Brazil are now qualified in all four events. The U.S. plus Trinidad and Tobago are qualified in three of the four relays.
The World Relays will return to the Bahamas in May 2015.
Egypt's Abdelrahman El Sayed produced the biggest surprise in Sunday's Diamond League meet in Shanghai, winning the javelin throw with an African record distance of 89.21 meters (292 feet, 8 inches). Marius Corbett of South Africa set the previous mark of 88.75/291-2 at the 1998 Commonwealth Games.
In other highlights Sunday, Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare pulled off a rare Diamond League double, winning the long jump (6.86/22-6) and the 200 meters (22.36). In another rarity, American Emma Coburn defeated a strong field on Kenyan runners in the steeplechase, winning in a personal best and world-leading 9:19.80. Additionally, Sandra Perkovic of Croatia won the discus in a national record 70.52, Justin Gatlin took the 100 in a world-leading 9.92 and Renaud Lavillenie won the pole vault in 5.92/19-5, which was also a 2014 world best.
Check out the full results from the Shanghai meet.
Some athletes find their niches when they're very young, while others - such as Ivan Ukhov and Caterine Ibarguen - require more time. Ukhov's route to high jumping success passed through basketball and the discus throw. Ibarguen played volleyball, then turned to the high jump before she found her best event, the triple jump. Check out new profiles of both Ukhov and Ibarguen to discover the details of their athletic journeys.
The season-opening Diamond League meet in Doha last Friday produced plenty of exceptional performances, particularly for an early-season meet. The men's 1500 meters, for example, featured six runners who finished within 3:31. Asbel Kiprop won the race in 3:29.18, followed by fellow Kenyan Silas Kiplagat in 3:29.70. LaShawn Merritt was pushed hard in the 400, as five competitors finished in less than 45 seconds. Merritt prevailed in 44.44.
In the women's 3000, Genzebe Dibaba ran her outdoor personal best (8:26.21), but still faded to sixth on the final lap, as Hellen Obiri won in 8:20.68. Obiri's time is the seventh-best in history. She trails six performers who all ran during China's famous - or infamous, depending on your suspicions - National Games of 1993, during which Wang Junxia set the still-standing world record of 8:06.11.
Four high jump competitors cleared at least 2.37 meters (7 feet, 9¼ inches) in Doha, led by Russia's Ivan Ukhov, who won the meet by topping 2.41/7-10¾. American Erik Kynard and Canada's Derek Drouin tied for second at 2.37, while Mutaz Essa Barshim was fourth, also at 2.37, but with more misses than either Kynard or Drouin.
Nigerian-born Adekoya Kemi, now running for Bahrain, pulled off the meet's biggest surprise. The 21-year-old won the 400 hurdles in 54.59, beating veterans such as Kaliese Spencer and Lashinda Demus.
Check out the meet's full results.
The IAAF has recognized a men's triple jump world record since 1912, and a women's mark beginning in 1990. Despite the 78-year difference you'll find plenty of notable facts about triple jump champions of both genders. Check out new articles on the men's and women's world record progressions in the triple jump.
Francena McCorory posted the only world-leading running time at Saturday's Jamaica International Invitational, winning the 400 meters in 50.24. Sanya Richards-Ross, still nowhere near her top form following two foot surgeries in 2012 and 2013, was fifth in 51.62 in her 2014 debut.
Christian Cantwell posted the other world lead in the Kingston meet, winning the shot put with a toss measuring 21.85 meters (71 feet, 8 inches).
In other meet highlights, Justin Gatlin (10.11 seconds) and Blessing Okagbare (11.19) won the 100-meter races running into headwinds close to 2 meters per second. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Rasheed Dwyer won at 200 meters. Felix Sanchez beat Jehue Gordon in the 400-meter hurdles and Will Claye won the long jump. Check out the meet's full results.
At Sunday's World Race Walking Cup in Taicang, China, Ukraine's Ruslan Dmytrenko was the surprising men's winner, taking the 20-km race in a national record 1:18:37. Russia's Anisya Kirdyapkina won the women's race one day earlier, finishing in 1:26:31.
Last weekend's track and field highlights featured plenty of relay action. In Nairobi on Saturday, the Kenyans Mercy Cherono, Irene Jelagat, Ann Karindi and Perin Nenkampi set a new world 4 x 1500-meter relay record of 17:05.72, breaking the former mark of 17:08.34 set five years ago by a team from the University of Tennessee.
The United States is typically favored in any major 4 x 400-meter competition, but the Americans were edged by a men's team from the Bahamas at the Penn Relays Saturday. The quartet of Michael Mathieu, Demetrius Pinder, Chris Brown and Ramon Miller ran 3:00.78 to edge the U.S., which finished in 3:03.31. David Verburg, Manteo Mitchell, Kyle Clemons and Kind Butler raced for the U.S. The Americans won the women's 4 x 400 (3:25.62) and the men's 4 x 100 (38.57) , while Jamaica won the women's 4 x 100 (42.81).
In an individual race during Saturday's Drake Relays, Kristin Castlin upset World champion Brianna Hollins in the 100-meter hurdles, finishing in 12.57 seconds to Rollins' 12.58.
Sprint coaches and runners can check out a new four-part series about training for the 400 meters. Topics include basic 400-meter training; speed development; diversifying your training; and finishing strong.
With the names of the four victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon attack written on his bib, on Monday Meb Keflezighi became the first American to win the iconic Boston event since Greg Meyer in 1983.
The 38-year-old Keflezighi, who emigrated from Eritrea at age 12, won the race in a personal best 2:08:37. On the women's side, Kenya's Rita Jeptoo won her third Boston title, finishing in a course record 2:18:57.
Keflezighi's biggest previous victories included the 2009 New York City Marathon and the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. He also earned a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics. Keflezighi started Monday's race quickly, leading by as much as a minute shortly before the halfway mark. Kenyans Wilson Chebet (2:08:48) and Frankline Chepkwony (2:08:50) rallied toward the end but started from too far behind and had to settle for second and third place, respectively.
Another American, Shalane Flanagan, led the women's event early, but hopes for an American sweep faded as Flanagan dropped back about midway through the race. She eventually finished seventh in 2:22:02, the fastest Boston Marathon time ever posted by an American woman. Jeptoo took charge just after the halfway mark and maintained a secure lead for the rest of the race. The 2006 and 2013 Boston winner shattered the previous course record of 2:20:43 set by Margaret Okayo in 2002. The next three finishers also finished inside of Okayo's time, including Ethiopians Bezunesh Deba (2:19:59) and Mare Dibaba (2:20:35) plus Jemima Jelagat Sumgong of Kenya (2:20:41).