In what seemed like an easy day at the track, Usain Bolt sprinted his way to a World leading time of 9.76 seconds at the Compeed Golden Gala in Rome, the third stop along the Samsung Diamond League series of elite meets.
This story is a little tiring, because after all, we expect nothing but the best from Bolt. After speculation on his fitness due to a disappointing time in Ostrava last Friday, he shut the haters up real quick. In a repeat of last year, Bolt won ahead of Asafa Powell, 9.91, and Christophe Lemaitre, 10.04.
Kaliese Spencer powered ahead of LaShinda Demus to win the 400m Hurdles in a season’s best of 54.39. American Demus finished in a season’s best of 54.80, with fellow teammate Tierra Brown, third in 54.96.
Javier Culson hurdled his way to victory over rivals Bershawn Jackson and former Olympic Champ Felix Sanchez in a time of 48.14. Jackson clocked 48.25. Culson never faltered even with Jackson slowly gaining on him. On the last hurdle, Sanchez crashed to the floor, suffering from a cramp. Ouch!
Kenyan Paul Koech, who, get this, was left out of last year’s Kenyan team for the World Championships, won the 3,000m Steeplechase in the the third fastest time ever! His time of 7:54.31 was not too far off the World record of 7:53.63.
A big upset in the women’s 1,500m as Ethiopian Abeba Aregawi produced a World leading, Ethiopian and Meet record of 3:59.23. Only 21 years old, she outkicked Helen Obiri (3:59.68) and favorite Genzebe Dibaba, who was third in 4:00.85.
And it all came down to the final 300m, as Vivian Cheruiyot held off Meseret Defar by just 0.03 sec in a World leading time of 14:35.62 for the 3,000m. Cheruiyot, is last year’s World 5,000m and 10,000m gold medalist.
Robbie Grabarz out jumped his competitors in the Men’s High Jump, soaring to a personal best of 2.33m. Second place came as a tie between Trevor Barry, the bronze medalist in Daegu, and gold medalist Jesse Williams, both who cleared 2.31m.
World silver medalist Nadezhda Ostapchuk struggled throughout the competition and ended up only third as Valerie Adams, in her first competition since winning the World Indoor Championship gold medal, threw a World lead and Meeting record of 21.03m. Ostapchuk managed only one valid throw of 19.58m.
Fantu Magiso stole the shine from a stacked field of ladies in the 800m. This is what you could possibly see in the Olympic final later this year, a field which included Olympic and World champions Pamela Jelimo and Mariya Savinova plus former World gold medalists Caster Semenya and Janeth Jepkosgei. Fantu, only 19 years old, ran an Ethiopian record of 1:57.56. Jelimo clocked 1:58.33 with Savinova on her outdoor debut clocking 1:58.56 for third.
The African nations are really taking over huh? World Indoor 60m silver medalist Murielle Ahoure of Ivory Coast sprinted to a surprising victory in the 100m, ousting four Jamaican sprinters including Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser, Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart . Her time of 11.00 was enough to hold off Fraser who placed second in 11.06.
Tags: Abeba Aregawi, Asafa Powell, Bershawn Jackson, Caster Semenya, Christophe Lemaitre, Fantu Magiso, Felix Sanchez, Genzebe Dibaba, Helen Obiri, Janeth Jepkosgei, Javier Culson, Jesse Williams, Kaliese Spencer, Kerron Stewart, Lashinda Demus, London, London Olympics, Mariya Savinova, Meseret Defar, Murielle Ahoure, Nadezhda Ostapchuk, Olympics, Pamela Jelimo, Paul Koech, Robbie Grabarz, Rome, Shelly-Ann Fraser, Sherone Simpson, Tierra Brown, Trevor Barry, Usain Bolt, Valerie Adams, Vivian Cheruiyot