Elimination racing in track and field is far from new. But it was new to Mohammed Ahmed on Sunday – and it felt, well, tough.
After two afternoons of non-stop action, the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018 concluded on Sunday with Americas capturing the title after a fierce battle with Europe, the defending champions.
For the first time since 2010, Team Americas has triumphed at the IAAF Continental Cup, held in Ostrava, Czech Republic over the last two days.
Various innovations and changes in format resulted in two entertaining days of action at the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018, but ultimately the teams from Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific could not compete with the might of the Americas as they won 18 of the 37 events on their way to lifting the trophy on Sunday (9).
The concluding event of the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018 displayed all the unpredictable entertainment we’ve come to expect of the mixed 4x400m, but in the end the result was anything but a surprise, Team Americas once again reigning supreme and taking a clear win in 3:13.01.
Noah Lyles ended his 100m breakout season on a high, battling Su Bingtian of China and Team Asia-Pacific to add the IAAF Continental Cup title to his growing collection of accolades.
Had Team Americas not already played, and won, on their joker for the men’s events on the second day, then Paul Chelimo and Mohammed Ahmed would have done them proud in the men’s 3000m, where they took first and second place respectively in a race where the elimination element loomed huge.
Lyu Huihui closed out a great year with victory in the women’s javelin in the final field event of the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018, the Asia-Pacific thrower getting the best of Europe’s Christin Hussong in the head-to-head final.
Gong Lijiao added a Continental Cup win to her World Championships title as she came through for victory in the shot put in Ostrava. Gong only had the third best mark of the day overall at 19.63m, but she delivered when it mattered, defeating the American Raven Saunders in the final round.
Running with the composed confidence of a world champion, Elijah Manangoi dispatched his rivals from around the globe for the second straight year with a peerless performance to win the 1500m at the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018.
Shamier Little, beaten to the Diamond League women’s 400m hurdles title in Zurich last month by her US colleague Dalilah Muhammad, the Rio 2016 champion, suffered another narrow defeat here.
Caterine Ibarguen emulated her feat from the recent IAAF Diamond League final, adding a win in the long jump to the victory she achieved in the triple jump a day earlier. Second in the preliminary round, the Colombian kept her composure brilliantly to achieve the best distance of the day with a 6.93m national record leap with her final attempt, overcoming Brooke Stratton from Australia.