08 June, 2017

Golden Gala 2017: four world leads in Rome

Middle distance runners Hellen Obiri and Sifan Hassan grabbed the headlines in a magic 37th edition of the Golden Gala Pietro Mennea. Italian sprint sensation Filippo Tortu thrilled the enthusiastic Rome fans by setting a 200m personal best of 20.34 in the men’s 200 metres.

Middle distance runners Hellen Obiri and Sifan Hassan and German javelin star Thomas Rohler grabbed the headlines in a magic 37th edition of the Golden Gala Pietro Mennea which was marked by four world seasonal best times in middle-distance races. Obiri set the Kenyan record and the world seasonal best in the eagerly-awaited women’s 5000 metres with 14:18.37 after Genzebe Dibaba went through at 3000m in 8:38.27.  Dutch middle-distance runner Sifan Hassan improved the meeting record and the world seasonal best with 3:56.22. Conseslus Kipruto set the world seasonal best in the men’s 3000 steeplechase with 8:04.63. Ekaterini Stefanidi set the women’s pole vault world seasonal best with 4.85m. Mariya Lasitskene cleared 2.00 before making three attempts at 2.05m. Dafne Schippers made a winning debut on the Rome track setting her second fastest time of the season with 10.99 in the 100  metres. Italian sprint sensation Filippo Tortu thrilled the enthusiastic Rome fans by setting a 200m personal best of 20.34 in the men’s 200 metres, where André De Grasse set his seasonal best with 20.01. Yulimar Rojas beat Caterine Ibarguen in the women’s triple jump with 14.84m.

Golden Gala report event by event:

Women’s 5000 metres: The final race of the 37th edition of the Golden Gala Pietro Mennea lived up to the expectations by setting a new Kenyan record and a world seasonal best with an impressive 14:18.37 (fifth fastest time in history). Kenyan Agnes Tirop, world cross country champion in 2015, finished a distant runner-up with 14:33.09 beating world junior cross country champion Letesenbet Gidey, who also clocked a lifetime best of 14:33.32. Turkey’s Yasemin Can also improved her personal best in fourth place with 14:36.82 (second European Under 23 time in history). Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba finished a distant sixth with 14.41.55 after going through in the lead in a world leading time of 8:38.27

Hellen Obiri:

“When I came to this race, I told myself that nobody can beat me. From the beginning, I was looking to the front. I was thinking about the time around 14:18 and I even think I can improve it at the next competition. I thought that Genzebe would push it forward to go faster but when she did not do that. I tried to pus hit myself”

Men’s javelin throw: Olympic champion Thomas Rohler clinched his second Diamond League win of the season with 90.06 metres. In a repeat of the first DL competition of the year in Doha, German Johannes Vetter took the lead with 88.15m in the fifth attempt overtaking Rohler, who was leading with a throw of 87.89m in the third round. Rohler responded to Vetter with a huge throw to 90.08m in the sixth attempt.

Thomas Rohler:

“I made ita gain. It was hard today. I was stable at 87m and the progression, our competition was similar to the Doha competition between Vetter and me. I am super happy. At the last round I was really pushed hard by Vetter. I wanted to win the meeting today, so I needed 90m. The atmosphere in the stadium was great. Many young kids helped us. With Vetter and the other German javelin throwers we have a very strong team. Everybody can win such a competition ”

Women’s 1500 metres: Sifan Hassan highlighted the 37th edition of the Golden Gala Pietro Mennea by setting the world seasonal best and the new meeting record with an impressive 3:56.22. Two more women dipped under the 4 minutes barrier: Kenyan Winny Chebet, second with 3:59.16 and 20-year-old German rising star Konstanze Klosterhalfen, third with 3:59.30. Sweden’s Meraf Bahta finished fourth setting a personal best of 4:00.59 ahead of Ethiopian Gudaf Tsegay (4:01.42).

Sifan Hassan:

“It is amazing. I am very surprised, such a fast time. I am so happy. This is my first 1500m of the season and I sttarted so well. I am so glad about the time. I felt strong, but I did not push and I did not start too fast. It was not so hard for me”

Men’s 3000m steeplechase: Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto edged Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali in a close sprint into the finish-line setting the world seasonal best of 8:04.63. El Bakkali, fourth at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, improved his personal best to 8:05.17. Two-time Diamond League winner Jairus Birech and Amos Kirui also dipped under the 8:10 barrier with 8:07:84 and 8:08.34.

Women’s pole vault: Reigning Olympic and European champion Ekaterini Stefanidi needed just three jumps at 4.65m, 4.75m and a world seasonal best of 4.85m to clinch her second consecutive DL competition after Doha. The Greek star made three attempts at the world record height of 5.07m. Cuban Yarisley Silva cleared 4.75m to finish second with 4.75m beating Olympic bronze medallist Eliza McCartney on countback. 

Ekaterini Stefanidi:

“I felt rested and when you are jumping, you do not feel how long the competition is. I got a bit scared at 5.07m but my last attempt was the best. In training it looks like I was going to jump 5.07m, so it i salso the mental barrier”

Women’s high jump: Mariya Lasitskene won her second DL competition of the season after Doha by clearing 2.00m. The Russian jumper had a clean-sheet clearing all attempts until 1.98m at the first time of asking until 1.98m before clearing 2.00m in her second attempt. She then made three unsuccessful attempts at the meeting record height of 2.05m.

Maria Lasitskene:

“I really like this stadium because the Olympic stadium is still here. I can feel it in the air. I felt well during the competition and made just a small mistakes”.

Women’s 100 metres: The Flying Dutchwoman Dafne Schippers won a close 100 metres in 10.99 on her debut on the Rome Olympic Stadium track in 10.99 edging Olympic Games 100m and 200m fourth placer Marie Josée Ta Lou, who set her seasonal best of 11.03 and Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle Lee Ahye (11.07).

Dafne Schippers:

“The resulti s ok for me. To get faster I just need more races. The more starts I have, the faster I get. That is the key now. I am preparing for both distances. So we’ll see how it goes.

Men’s 200 metres: Canadian Olympic silver medallist André De Grasse made a winning debut on the Rome track improving his seasonal best to 20.01 edging Olympic bronze medallist Christophe Lemaitre (20.28) and last year’s Rome 100m and 200m winner Ameer Webb (20.33). Italian sprint rising star Filippo Tortu thrilled the Rome crowd by finishing fourth in his first DL race with a hugely impressive personal best of 20.34.

André De Grasse:   

“This was a great race for me today. I wanted to come home and stay relaxed. I could execute the race very well. I did a good job. My coach told me just to hit and bring it home well”

Women’s triple jump: Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas won the South American battle with Colombian olympic and world champion Caterine Ibarguen with an excellent 14.84m. Ibarguen, winner in Rome last year, had to settle with second place this time with 14.78m. Kazakhstan’s Olga Rypakova, Olympic champion in London 2012, finished third with 14.64m.

Men’s 100 metres: Great Britain’s Chijindu Ujah, European edged out European record holder Jimmy Vicaut and this year’s Eugene winner Ronnie Baker in a seasonal best of 10.02. Vicaut took a narrow second place over Baker with the same time of 10.05.

Men’s 110 metres hurdles: World record holder Aries Merritt won for the first time in his career in a seasonal best of 13.13 edging last year’s Rome winner and Diamond League champion Orlando Ortega by 0.04. Reigning world champion Sergey Shubenkov finished third setting a seasonal best of 13.21 ahead of European Indoor champion Andrew Pozzi (13.24). 

Women’s 400 metres hurdles: Jamaica’s former world junior champion Janieve Russell won for the second consecutive year in Rome in 54.14 beating olympic silver medallist Sara Petersen from Denmark (54.35) and Wanda Nel Theron from South Africa (54.58).

Janieve Russell:

“Last year I also won in Rome. This year I wanted to achieve a SB at the Olympic Stadium. I am gladi t worked. I have to fly home, see the video of this race and talk to my coach to talk to my coach about improvements. My next big aim is our national Trials where I hope to be on top”

Women’s 400 metres: US Natasha Hastings, two-time Olympic champion with the 4x400 relay, dominated the women’s 400 metres setting a seasonal best of 50.52 to take the lead in the Diamon League Standing with 15 points. Jamaican Novlene Williams Mills finished runner-up in 51”04 ahead Ukraine’s Olha Zemlyak (51.08).

Men’s 800 metres: European Indoor and outdoor champion Adam Kszczot won for the first time in Rome after a close race in the final sprint holding off World Junior champion and this year’s Shanghai winner Kipyegon Bett (1:46:00) and NCAA champion Donovan Brazier (1:46.08).

Adam Kszczot:  

“The first 150m were very fast. Later, the pace died. It was really horrible, so I tried to pus hit again. I had to change the pace 3-4 times. But I was able to beat the guys with even better times, what makes me happy. This year I am very focused on the World Championships in London, as I want to become the world medallist again. I hope the weather in London will be the same as here today because it was great. I like Rome, the crowd here and the atmosphere”

Women’s shot put: China’s Gong Lijao won the women’s shot put with 19.56m and produced five more puts over the 19 metres barrier, which would have been enough to win the competition. US Daniella Bunch finished runner-up with 18.95m ahead of Olympic champion Michelle Carter (18.86m).

Men’s 400 metres hurdles (national event): Mario Lambrughi, European Championships semifinalist, won an all-Italian 400m hurdles race in 49.41 ahead of José Reynaldo Bencosme, who also dipped under the 50 seconds barrier with 49.75.https://rome.diamondleague.com/en/programme-results/programme-results-rome/

Results - Photos (by Giancarlo Colombo/FIDAL)