by Diego Sampaolo
Five world leading performances set by Jasmine Camacho Quinn in the women’s 100m hurdles (12.34), Nicholas Kimeli in the men’s 5000 metres (12:46.33), Athing Mu in the women’s 800 metres (1:57.01), Shericka Jackson in the women’s 200 metres (21.91) and Sandi Morris in the women’s pole vault highlighted a great night of athletics at the 42nd edition of the Golden Gala Pietro Mennea in the Olympic Stadium in Rome. Five meeting records were broken by Krjstian Ceh in the men’s discus (70.72m), Shericka Jackson in the women’s 200m, Camacho Quinn in the 100m hurdles and Kimeli in the 5000m.
Women’s 100 metres hurdles:
Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho Quinn from Puerto Rico smashed her own previous meeting record to win the women’s 100 metres hurdles in 12.37, one 0.01 faster than the time she clocked in Florence last year. The Puerto Rican hurdler also improved her one world seasonal best by 0.02. Jamaica’s Britany Anderson clocked her seasonal best of 12.50 to take second place ahead of 2019 world champion Nia Ali (12.71).
Jasmine Camacho Quinn: “I know what is coming out here and everytime I just need myself that I have competed in the big world stage like the Olympics. This year I feel more responsibility. Everytime I step out I am going to measure me against being the Olympic champion. I feel that it a lot of pressure. After Worlds, I will be able to relax a bit, but I have other meets”.
Women’s 200 metres:
Three-time Olympic medallist Shericka Jackson from Jamaica won the eagerly-awaited win in the women’s 200 metres setting the world seasonal best and a meeting record with 21.91 beating Olympic champion Elain Thompson Herah (22.25) and world champion Dina Asher Smith (22.27).
Shericka Jackson: “I am actually very good today. I just wanted to come out and run a strong race. I think I did pretty good. When it comes to the Jamaican Trials or major championships, I try not to have a different mindset than when I am at a Diamond League. Anything can happen on the day, so I just focus on coming out and perform at my best”.
Men’s 100 metres:
Olympic silver champion Fred Kerley stormed to his first Diamond League win in the men’s 100 this season equalling his seasonal best 9.92. Kerley took the second win of his career in Rome four years after claiming victory in the 400m.
Fred Kerley: “This was a good race. I ran a season best. I cannot complain. I did not have to push a lot against my competitors. I did not give my 100%. I enjoyed the race and the crowd.”
Men’s 200 metres:
Olympic silver medallist Kenneth Bednarek scored back-to-back 200m wins in 20.01 beating Luxolo Adams (20.33) repeating the same finish order as Rabat. Filiippo Tortu finished third in 20.40 beating his fellow 4x100 teammate Eseosa Desalu (20.50).
Men’s discus throw:
European under 23 champion Kristjan Ceh improved the meeting record three times to 70.72m in the final round. Ceh backed up this result with two more throws over the 69 metres (69.06m and 69.71m) which were over the previous Golden Gala record of 68.76m held by Piotr Malachowski since 2010. Ceh took his third Diamond League win of the season after taking his previous victories in Birmingham with 71.27m and Rabat with 69.68m.
Olympic bronze medallist Lukas Weisshaidinger took second place with 68.30m beating world and Olympic champion Daniel Stahl (65.87m).
Krjstian Ceh: “Every competition is getting better and better, so it is a good result here today. Having competed against the three medallists from the Olympic Games does not make me nervous than usual, because I am always nervous before every competition”
Men’s 5000 metres:
Kenya’s Nicholas Kimeli chased down his compatriot Jacob Krop to break Eliud Kipchoge’s meeting record with a lifetime best and a world leading time of 12:46.33 in a race where the top eight runners dipped under 13 minutes. Kimeli ran the seventh fastest time in history. Krop also dipped under 12.47 clocking 12:46.79. Yomif Kejelcha finished third with 12:52.10 ahead of 10,000m olympic champion Selemon Barega (12:54.87) and Mo Ahmed from Canada (12:55.84), Telahun Bekele (12:57.18), Muktar Edris (12:58.63) and Thierry Ndikumenayo (12:59.39).
Women’s 800 metres:
Olympic champion Athing Mu set the world seasonal best clocking 1:57.01 in her first overseas Diamond League race. Renelle Lamote finished second in 1:58.48. Elena Bellò from Italy broke the 1:59 barrier for the first time in her career to finish third with 1:58.97 beating Rabat 800m barrier Mary Moraa (1.59.26) and Freweyny Hailu from Ethiopia (1:59.39).
Athing Mu: “I am super excited about this result. I just wanted to come out here and see where I was at. I know what my level was a couple of weeks ago, so I took this race as a rest one. I knew that the pace was going to go out. It is actually very loud in the stadium. This summer it is going to be amazing with the World Championships
Women’s 400 metres hurdles:
Olympic bronze medallist Femke Bol clocked the fifth fastest time of her career to score her third consecutive win in the women’s 400 metres hurdles with 53.02. Janieve Russell from Jamaica, who won in Rome twice in 2016 and 2017, took runner-up spot in 54.18 ahead of Olympic finalist Anna Ryzhykova (54.56).
Femke Bol: “I am very happy. The race went quickly for me. It is my second second 400m hurdles of the year. All this is preparation for the World and European Championships. I am more relaxed. I am satisfied with how I executed the race. I am not having too many competitions before the Worlds. I am missing a World or a European Championships medal”
Men’s 3000 metres steeplechase:
Olympic and world silver medallist Lemecha Girma broke the 8 minutes barrier for the third time in the past 10 days to take the win in the men’s 3000 metres steeplechase with 7:59.23. Commonwealth silver medallist Abraham Kibiwott finished second with 8:06.73 ahead of Getnet Wale (8:06.74) and Conseslus Kipruto, who set his seasonal best with 8:08.76. Ahmed Abdelwahed from Italy set the third fastest national time with 8:10.29 to finish sixth ahead of his compatriot Osama Zoghlami, who set his PB with 8:11.00.
Women’s pole vault:
World indoor champion Sandi Morris cleared 4.81m in her second attempt to set the world leading mark. Morris showed once again her consistency by winning her third consecutive Diamond League competition this season after Birmingham (4.73m) and Rabat (4.65m).
Olympic bronze medallist Holly Bradshaw from Great Britain and Italian record holder Roberta Bruni shared the second place with 4.60. It was a memorable day for Bruni, who reached her first top-three spot position in the Diamond League circuit after getting her degree at the University. Olympic champion Katie Nageotte finished fourth with 4.60m beating Tina Sutej on countback.
Sandi Morris: “I am ecstatic today. This is the highest I have jumped since last season. I am working with a new coach. It is a very different situation”.
Men’s 400 metres:
Grenada’s three-time Olympic medallist Kirani James dug deep in the final straight to claim the win in the men’s 400 metres in 44.54 ahead of Vernon Norwood (44.81) and last year’s Diamond League winner Michael Cherry (45.24).
Kirani James: “I thought It was a good race. It was very competitive. I am happy with the outcome. The field was very strong. My race is always very competitive. I am to compete against these guys”.
Men’s shot put:
Olympic silver medallist Joe Kovacs threw to 21.85m in the third round. Kovacs produced a consistent series with four more throws over the 21 metres (21.09m, 21.69m, 21.56m, 21.27m). Kovacs missed Konrad Bukowiecki’s meeting record by just 12 cm. Filip Mihaljevic from Croatia took second place with 21.18m beating Bukowiecki on countback.
Women’s 1500 metres:
Ethiopia’s Hirut Meshesha scored her second consecutive Diamond League win clocking 4:03.79 beating her compatriot Axumawit Embaye (4:04.53) and Olympic silver medallist Laura Muir (4:04.53) in a tactical 1500 metres race.
Women’s long jump:
Ukraine’s world silver medallist Maryna Bekh Romanchuk took the lead with 6.85m in the fifth round overtaking Malaika Mihambo, who leapt to 6.79m in the first round. Quanesha Burks took third place with 6.77m.
Men’s high jump:
Mr. Jumps Ju’Vaughn Harrison took the win the men’s high jump with 2.27m to beat Poland’s Norbert Kobielski on countback. Olympic Gianmarco Tamberi cleared 2.24m in his second attempt to take third place before failing three attempts at 2.27m.
Ju’Vaughn Harrison: “I just came here to do my best. I was rusty at the beginning but I was able to clear 2.27 in the first attempt. I was able to stay clean. The crowd was great. I really hope to come back here. It was good to see them cheer for their national hero Tamberi”.
Men’s 3000 metres walking race:
Italian 20 km specialist Francesco Fortunato won the men’s 3000 metres walking race with 10:57.77. Olympic 20 km champion Massimo Stano finished third in 11:0615 behind Gianluca Picchiottino (10:59.91).