In one of the highest quality weekends of the 2020 outdoor season so far, several world and Olympic medallists were in action across Europe, North America and Asia.
Following an unbeaten indoor campaign and a 5.86m victory in Oslo last month, world record-holder Mondo Duplantis maintained his winning streak in the pole vault. The 20-year-old Swede, competing at the Bauhaus Jump Challenge in Gothenburg on Saturday (4), sailed over his opening heights of 5.35m, 5.50m and 5.60m on his first attempts. He then needed two tries at 5.70m, the height at which he effectively won the competition as Norway’s European U20 champion Pal Haugen Lillefosse topped out at 5.60m.
Duplantis then got over 5.85m on his first try and scaled a world-leading 5.94m on his third. That proved to be his best mark of the day as he ended his series with three unsuccessful attempts at 6.00m.
Compatriot Michaela Meijer won the women’s contest with a first-time clearance of 4.60m and went on to have three attempts at 4.82m. Opponents Angelica Bengtsson and Lisa Gunnarsson failed to get over their opening heights.
European indoor silver medallist Thobias Montler won the men’s long jump with a wind-assisted 8.13m, also landing a wind-legal 8.07m (1.5m/s). Khaddi Sagnia enjoyed a similarly comfortable victory in the women’s long jump, leaping 6.64m (0.0m/s).
Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Noah Lyles were among the top sprinters opened their outdoor campaigns in Florida at the ‘Showdown in Otown’ meeting in Montverde on Saturday.
Miller-Uibo kick-started her afternoon with a 50.52 win over 400m, beating 2014 world U20 200m champion Kaylin Whitney, who clocked a PB of 51.99.
Five hours later, the Olympic 400m champion was back on track, this time for the 200m, which she duly won in 22.61 (-1.1m/s). 2018 NCAA 400m champion Lynna Irby was second in 23.06.
Lyles, contesting his first race since anchoring the USA to victory in the 4x100m at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, sped to a 9.93 win in his 100m heat, helped by a following wind of 4.0m/s. 2017 world champion Justin Gatlin was second in that heat in 9.99 and neither man went on to contest the final.
USA’s 2016 world indoor 60m champion Trayvon Bromell also impressed in the heats. The 2015 world 100m bronze medallist, who has been hampered by injury for the best part of three years, won his heat in 10.04 (1.6m/s), his fastest time since the 2016 Olympic final.
Kenny Bednarek, who won his heat in a PB of 10.23, went on to improve that by winning the final in 10.14. Less than two hours later, he won the 200m in a world-leading 20.06 (1.0m/s), finishing ahead of Josephus Lyles (20.41).
Double NCAA sprint champion Sha’Carri Richardson also impressed in the 100m. After a wind-assisted 10.94 (2.8m/s) in the heats, she won the final in a world-leading 11.05 (0.5m/s), beating Hannah Cunliffe (11.14).
The ‘Test Wedstrijd’ meeting in Arnhem was held in poor conditions on Saturday, but it didn’t seem to affect European U20 champion Femke Bol.
The 20-year-old took almost a second from her PB in the 400m hurdles, clocking a Dutch record of 54.47. Elsewhere, Nadine Visser won the 100m hurdles in 12.90 (0.9m/s) after a 12.99 run in the heats.
World champion Daniel Stahl did just enough to win the discus in Hasselby on Saturday. The Swede recorded three valid throws just beyond 66 metres, the best landing at 66.55m. Compatriot Simon Pettersson improved throughout the competition and ended his series with 66.32m, just 23 centimetres shy of Stahl’s winning mark.
With lockdown restrictions having now eased in Japan, several of the country’s top distance stars returned to action in Shibetsu on Saturday.
World U20 3000m champion Nozomi Tanaka sped to a PB of 4:08.68 in the 1500m, holding off Keny’’s Helen Lobun (4:10.00). World finalist Ronald Kwemoi won the men’s event in a world-leading 3:38.33, beating fellow Kenyan Justus Soget (3:39.23).
Jon Mulkeen for World Athletics
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