Michael Norman breaks 200m Golden Gala record: 19.70
Eight world seasonal best marks highlighed a fabulous edition of the Golden Gala Pietro Mennea in front of 37700 spectators in the Rome Olympic Stadium. Michael Norman won the eagerly-awaited 200 metres showdown in 19.70 beating Noah Lyles (19.72). The other world seasonal best marks were set by Elaine Thompson in the women’s 100m (10.89), Donovan Brazier in the men’s 800m (1:43.63), Genzebe Dibaba in the women’s 1500m (3:56.28), Benjamin Kigen in the 3000m steeplechase (8:06.13), Telahun Bekele in the 5000m (12:52.98), Malaika Mihambo in the women’s long jump (7.07m), Bohdan Bondarenko in the men’s high jump (2.31m).
Event by even report:
Men’s 200 metres: US Michael Norman won the blockbuster 200 metres race in a world seasonal best 19.70 edging out double Diamond League champion Noah Lyles, who lost for the first time in a Diamond League 200m race but clocked an impressive 19.72 in his seasonal best over this distance. Norman improved Walter Dix’s meeting record of 19.86 set in 2010 and Carl Lewis’s Italian all-comers’ record of 19.82 set in 1988 at Sestriere. Ecuador’s Alex Quinonez finished third with 20.17 ahead world and European champion Ramil Gulyev (20.35) and Italian 100m record holder Filippo Tortu (20.36).
Michael Norman: “I am really with the time. There was a great flow. It was amazing. I did not have any expectations coming into this race. I just want to improve myself and not chase a time. The atmosphere here is great and the weather too. I changed a few things race-pattern wise. I was a lot of stronger today and I tried to hold the composure. I want to go back and work with my coach”
Women’s 100 metres: Jamaica’s double olympic champion Elaine Thompson won in Rome for the second time in her career setting the world seasonal best with 10.89. Thompson edged three-time European champion Dina Asher Thompson (10.94), this year’s Shanghai winner Aleia Hobbs (11.12) and last year’s Rome 200m winner Marie Josèe Ta Lou (11.14).
Dina Asher Smith: “The race was not what I expected, and I really had a fast start. Opening the season with 11 seconds isn’t bad at all, especially when I am feeling a little rusty. If I can run 10.94 when I am feeling rusty, it’s not bad at all”.
Men’s 800 metres: US Donovan Brazier set a world seasonal best with 1:43.63 edging this year’s Doha Diamond League winner Nijel Amos by the narrow margin of 0.02. Canada’s Brandon McBride also dipped under the 1:44 barrier with 1:43.90 to finish third ahead of Kenya’s Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich (1:44.11) and olympic bronze medallist Clayton Murphy (1:44.59).
Donovan Brazier: “I feel very good with this win. It was a good start. Nijel Amos always sets the pace for the races but I knew I could come away with a win. Recently I have had some really close races, but this is a great winning time and WL. Finishing so close it’s nerve racking but I am glad I got a win tonight”.
Men’s 400 metres hurdles: US Raj Benjamin dominated the race setting his seasonal best and the second fastest time in his career with an outstanding 47.58. The 2018 NCAA champion narrowly missed Abderrahmane Samba’s meeting record set last year with 47.48.
Raj Benjamin: “I feel pretty good. The race was tough. I am happy that I progressed from Shanghai. The race was good until the ninth hurdle. It is warm here. I am very happy with that. The energy of the audience motivated me. The stadium and the crowd are great. We saw the Pantheon and the Colosseum. It is amazing how they left everything how it was.”
Women’s 400 metres hurdles: Reigning olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad set the second fastest time of the year with 53.67, narrowly missing her world seasonal best of 53.61 set last month in Doha.
Dalilah Muhammad: “The race tonight went really well. It was another solid win, especially with such a strong competition here. I have some competitions coming up next in Poland and Oslo, where I am hoping to set a seasonal best”.
Men’s high jump: Former world and European champion Bohdan Bondarenko made a successful come-back from injury by winning in Rome for the second time in his career with a seasonal best of 2.31m. Syria’s Majd Eddin Ghazal finished second with 2.28m beating Maksim Nedasekau and European indoor champion Gianmarco Tamberi.
Men’s triple jump: World seasonal leader Omar Craddock won with a solid 17.50m in his second attempt beating meeting record holder Pedro Pablo Pichardo, who leapt to 17.47m in the first round.
Omar Craddock: “I feel great phenomenal. This is my first Diamond League win after six years. I saw the kids I worked with in a kids clinic two days ago, that gave me extra boost”
Men’s 5000 metres: Ethiopia’s Telahun Bekele took an upset win with a world seasonal best of 12:52.98 edging last year’s Diamond League champion Selemon Barega, who set his seasonal best of 12:53.04. It was an outstanding race with six men under 13 minutes. Olympic bronze medallist Hagos Gebrhiwet completed the Ethiopian sweep finishing third with 12:54.92 beating Birhanu Balew (12:56.26), Abadi Hadas (12:56.46) Canada’s Mohamed Ahmed (12:58.16). European 10000m bronze medallist Yeman Crippa smashed his PB with 13:09.52 setting the third fastest time in Italy.
Women’s 1500 metres: World record holder and former world champion Genzebe Dibaba set the world seasonal best with 3:56.28 in an outstanding race where European champion Laura Muir and Gudaf Tsegay also dipped under the 4 minutes barrier with respectively 3:56.73 and 3:59.96. Jenny Simpson was the first US finisher in fourth place with 4:01.18.
Laura Muir: “This is the start of the season, and I am definitely getting there. It’s my seasonal best and I have never done 3:56 at this time in the season. I am going to train hard to run even faster now. Having Dibaba in the race, and trying to stay with her is extra motivation. We had the top of the field here this evening, they are all world class athletes, so I feel very proud to be amongst them, but always aim to run my own race”
Women’s long jump: Reigning world outdoor champion Malaika Mihambo set the world seasonal best and her personal best with 7.07m in the fourth round. The German long jump star also produced a second best jump of 6.90m in the third attempt. Reigning triple jump Olympic champion and Diamond League long and triple jump champion Caterine Ibarguen finished runner-up with 6.87m in the third round ahead of four-time world champion and two-time Rome Golden Gala winner Brittney Reese (6.76m).
Malaika Mihambo: “It was time for me to get this 7 jump out finally. I am over the moon. I thought I would start with 7.00m or so, but i now achieved already 7.07m. I can hope for a good season. The jump was good, powerful and I had a good flying height. I am here with my co-coach Soren Eisenhofer. My coach told me that it was ok to achieve a new PB without him. I hope to stay healthy. I am only at the beginning of this year’s training, the peaks will be in August and in October”.
Men’s shot put: The long-standing meeting record jointly held by Ulf Timmermann and Christian Cantwell with 21.67 was broken twice in a few minutes by Brazil’s Darlan Romani with 21.68m in the second attempt and then by 2017 European Indoor champion Konrad Bukowiecki from Poland, who clinched the win with 21.97m in the fifth round. US Darrell Hill, who won the Diamond League in 2017, overtook Romani to move into second place with 21.71m. Former world champion Joe Kovacs finished fourth with 21.46m ahead of reigning European Indoor and outdoor champion Michal Haratyk from Poland (21.26m).
Men’s 110 hurdles: Last year’s Diamond League champion Sergey Shubenkov won for the third time in his career in Rome with 13.26 holding off world indoor champion Andy Pozzi (13.29) and South African record holder Antono Alkana (13.30).
Women’s 400 metres: Barhein’s world silver medallist and 2018 Diamond League champion Salwa Eid Naser won on the Olympic Stadium track for the second time in her career in 50.26. Naser scored her second consecutive win in the Diamond League this season following her win in Shanghai.
Salwa Eid Naser: “It was a hard race. I was not expecting to run so fast, because the season just got started. I got second in London 2017 and I feel I can better. My aim is to be world champion”.
Women’s pole vault: Two-time European bronze medallist and former world under 20 champion Angelica Bengtsson took a surprising win setting a national record and a personal best of 4.76m. World indoor champion Sandi Morris finished second with 4.66m on countback over Venezuela’s Robeilys Peinado, Cuba’s Yarisley Silva, USA Katie Nageotte and Greece’s Katerina Stefanidi.
Women’s javelin throw: Two-time world medallist Lyu Huihui scored her second Diamond League win this season after Shanghai with 66.47m in her fifth round overtaking Turkey’s Eda Tugsusz, who went to the lead with 64.51m in the fourth round. Thanks to her win in the Eternal win Lyu consolidated her lead in the Diamond League Qualifiers Standing with 16 points.
Lyu Huihui: “I feel great. This is my second Diamond League win. The conditions are good and the audience also. I like this stadium very much. I am satisfied with the result. It shows the level that I have”.
Men’s 3000 metres steeplechase: Benjamin Kigen won the final race of the evening clocking the world seasonal best of 8:06.13 holding off Ethiopia’s Getnet Wale (8:06.83) . Chala Beyo also dipped under 8:10 finishing third with 8:09.95.
by Diego Sampaolo