Mykolas Alekna (© AFP / Getty Images)
World silver medallist Mykolas Alekna launched himself further up the world discus all-time list by throwing 71.00m at The Big Meet in Berkeley, California, on Saturday (29).
The 20-year-old recorded his previous best of 69.81m last June but in his third competition of 2023 he added more than a metre to that mark. Competing for California in a California vs Stanford clash, Alekna won by almost 11 metres.
Elsewhere in the throws, world shot put champions Ryan Crouser and Chase Ealey got their seasons off to a successful start by winning their respective competitions at the Drake Relays, a World Athletics Continental Tour Silver meeting, in Des Moines on Saturday (30).
Both athletes also won during an indoor contest at the same meeting three days earlier.
In the outdoor competitions, which were affected by heavy rain, Crouser threw 22.38m to win the men’s event ahead of Tripp Piperi (21.49m), while Ealey managed a best of 19.12m to win the women’s competition ahead of Maggie Ewen (18.76m).
Crouser’s mark lasted a short while as the men’s world lead, as over at the Music City Challenge in Nashville, two-time world champion Joe Kovacs also started his season and threw 22.69m.
Back in Des Moines, Tia Jones clocked 12.44 (1.1m/s) to win the invitational 100m hurdles ahead of Tonea Marshall (12.61), Nia Ali (12.67) and world record-holder Tobi Amusan (12.69). Jamal Britt took the 110m hurdles in 13.29 (2.0m/s) ahead of Darius Luff (13.48), Eric Edwards (13.56) and Olympic champion Hansle Parchment (13.60).
Anna Cockrell and CJ Allen both won the invitational 400m hurdles finals, clocking 55.52 and 48.78, respectively.
After running an event record of 4:28 to win the USATF 1 Mile Road Championships on Tuesday, Nikki Hiltz returned to the track to win the 1500m in 4:09.02, finishing a second ahead of Simone Plourde (4:10.04). Sam Prakel also claimed mile victory on Tuesday, running 4:02.
On Thursday, world champion Brooke Andersen broke the Drake Relays women’s hammer record with a throw of 78.69m.
Over at the Penn Relays – a World Athletics Continental Tour Bronze meeting – on Saturday, world indoor 800m champion Ajee' Wilson pipped Natoya Goule in the 600m, 1:24.45 to 1:24.96. Sage Hurta-Klecker was third in 1:25.33.
Making a return to track action, Olympic fourth-place finisher Devon Allen retained his 110m hurdles title by just two thousandths of a second ahead of Rafael Pereira as they both clocked 13.46.
Josette Andrews claimed a dominant win in the 1500m, breaking the Penn Relays record with 4:04.88 to finish clear ahead of Sinta Vissa in 4:07.27.
The Oda Mikio Memorial in Hiroshima also offered Continental Tour Bronze action and among the winners there was world bronze medallist Haruka Kitaguchi, who thew a world lead of 64.50m to win the women's javelin.
Yumi Tanaka won the women’s 100m hurdles final in a personal best of 12.97 (0.6m/s) ahead of Masumi Aoki with 12.98 and Mako Fukube with 13.02. Fukube had earlier clocked 12.95 (0.6m/s) in the heats. Shuhei Ishikawa won the 110m hurdles in 13.43 (0.3m/s) ahead of Shunya Takayama in 13.47.
Over at the Texas Invitational in Austin, Olympic 200m bronze medallist Gabby Thomas stepped up to the 400m and stormed to a PB of 49.68 in just her fourth ever race over the distance. Lynna Irby-Jackson was second in 50.40.
Julien Alfred ran 10.95 (1.8m/s) to win the women’s 100m, while Olympic champion Valarie Allman won the discus throw with 68.20m.
Two of the sport’s most exciting sprint talents clashed at the Corky/Crofoot Shootout in Lubbock on Saturday (29).
Teenager Issam Asinga, who beat Noah Lyles over 100m last week, got the better of Ghana’s James Dadzie in the 100m, both men recording wind-assisted times of 9.89 (3.2m/s).
Just 80 minutes later, the two men were back on track for the 200m, this time Dadzie winning convincingly in a national record of 19.79 (1.3m/s), elevating him to fifth on the African all-time list. USA’s Courtney Lindsey was second in a PB of 19.94, and Asinga was third in a PB of 19.97, making him the fifth fastest U20 sprinter of all time for the distance.
Kennedy Blackmon and Adaejah Hodge enjoyed a similarly competitive rivalry in the women’s sprints, emerging with one victory apiece.
Blackmon took the 100m in 11.06 from Hodge (11.11), both setting PBs. Hodge returned to take the 200m in a wind-assisted 22.32 (5.0m/s) with Blackmon in second (22.56).
At the LSU Invitational in Baton Rouge, Aleia Hobbs maintained her 2023 win streak with a 100m run of 11.04 (1.9m/s), while Godson Oghenebrume won the men’s final in a wind-assisted 10.01 (3.3m/s).
Ackera Nugent pipped Alia Armstrong in the 100m hurdles, 12.52 to 12.56, while Shamier Little won the women’s 400m in 50.61 and Vernon Norwood the men’s 200m in 20.41.
Drake Relays results
Penn Relays results
Oda Mikio Memorial results