Some new World Championship contenders emerged from the final pre-Daegu Diamond League meet last week, but the big story from London's Aviva Grand Prix was an established contender, defending 400-meter champion Sanya Richards-Ross. The American hadn't regained her form since returning from injury this year, but she broke through with a season's-best time of 49.66 seconds to win in London (though the event wasn't part of the Diamond League series). The performance puts her second on the 2011 charts (behind Anastasiya Kapachinskaya's 49.35 from July).
Photo: Sanya Richards-Ross took a big step toward defending her 400-meter World Championship with a victory in London Aug. 6. Stu Forster/Getty Images
In the men's 400, 18-year-old Kirani James of Grenada ran a world-leading and personal best 44.61 seconds to thrust himself among the Daegu contenders. James was the 2009 World Youth champion and last year's World Junior gold medalist. Meanwhile, American Christian Taylor, 21, won the triple jump with a leap of 17.68 meters (58 feet). With Teddy Tamgho injured, Taylor - the 2007 World Youth champion - is a realistic medal threat.
Other highlights from London included Kaliese Spencer's victory in the 400 hurdles in a world-leading 52.79 seconds, while Dayron Robles scored another 110 hurdles victory over David Oliver. Robles finished in 13.04, while the slow-starting Oliver was third in 13.19.
In a pair of hard-fought women's field rivalries, Valerie (Vili) Adams threw 20.07/65-10 to defeat Nadezhda Ostapchuk in the shot put, while Christina Obergfoll's 66.74/218-11 effort edged Barbora Spotakova in the javelin throw.
Check out the full results from London.
The Diamond League series continues in Zurich on Sept. 8, after the World Championships.