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Report04 Sep 2023

Bol and Dos Santos among winners as meeting records fall in Bellinzona


Femke Bol in Continental Tour action (© FBK Games)

World 400m hurdles champion Femke Bol improved her own meeting record by more than a second to 52.79, holding off world silver medallist Shamier Little (53.64) on a very warm night at the Gala dei Castelli in Bellinzona, a World Athletics Continental Tour Silver meeting, on Monday (4).

Racing in front of 5752 enthusiastic spectators who packed the Comunale Stadium, Little also ran under the previous meeting record that had been set by Bol, who returned to the scene of her first professional race in 2019.

“It’s amazing to see the crowd so close to the athletes in this beautiful meeting,” said the Dutch 23-year-old. “I stared my career in Bellinzona and it’s nice to be back here. I compete a lot, but I do that with passion and with a smile on my face.”

Brazil’s 2022 world champion Alison dos Santos came from behind in the final straight to win the men’s 400m hurdles, improving his own meeting record by 0.11 to 47.50. Wilfried Happio ran a season’s best of 47.56 in second, while his French compatriot Ludvy Vaillant also dipped under 48 seconds with 47.92, beating Trevor Bassitt (48.82).

USA’s Olympic discus champion Valarie Allman followed her winning throw of 70.47m in Berlin with a second consecutive win in Bellinzona with 69.09m in the first round.

Olympic and world champion Daniel Stahl from Sweden threw to 67.24m in the second round to win the men’s discus ahead of last year’s world champion Kristjan Ceh from Slovenia, who produced 67.15m in the fourth round. Fedrick Dacres from Jamaica took third place with 66.19m.

Jamaica’s Oblique Seville stormed to a win in the men’s 100m in 10.01, edging Ferdinand Omanyala (10.04).

Five-time Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah completed a Jamaican double by winning the women’s 100m in a season’s best of 10.92. Imani Lansiquot from Great Britain dipped under 11 seconds for the first time in her career with 10.99. Gina Bass finished third in 11.12, while Zaynab Dosso missed her Italian record by 0.01 with 11.15.

“I am happy with my win as I set my season’s best in Zurich last week and I improved it again,” said Thompson-Herah. “I want to continue this season and run more races.”

USA’s Tamara Clark won the women’s 200m in 22.64, beating Shashalee Forbes from Jamaica (22.74) and Italy’s Dalia Kaddari (22.86).

The women’s pole vault at the Gala dei Castelli was held on Sunday afternoon as a city event in Largo Zorzi in Locarno. Three-time world silver medallist Sandi Morris set a meeting record of 4.80m on her first attempt to win the competition. Morris then failed three attempts at 4.92m.

“My first goal is to end the season healthy, to focus on the preparation for next year’s Olympic Games,” she said. “I am very motivated and I aim to reach the five-metre barrier again and win a medal at the Olympic Games in Paris.”

World University Games champion Angelica Moser cleared 4.58m at the first time of asking to finish second, beating world finalist Elisa Molinarolo from Italy on countback.

Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn won the women’s 100m hurdles for the second consecutive year in 12.56, improving Nadine Visser’s meeting record by 0.01. Visser took second place in 12.61, edging Nia Ali (12.63).

European indoor champion Jason Joseph from Switzerland followed his national record of 13.08 in Zurich with another win in the 110m hurdles on Swiss soil in 13.18. Louis Francois Mendy from Senegal finished second in 13.29 ahead of Orlando Bennett from Jamaica (13.40).

“I feel good. I will end my season at the Diamond League final in Eugene, where I want to confirm my good level,” said Joseph. “I set my national record in Zurich and I came close to this time again here.”

Jamaica’s Natoya Goule-Toppin won the women’s 800m for the second consecutive year in Bellinzona in 1:57.53. US 19-year-old Addison Wiley also dipped under the 1:58 barrier, improving her PB to 1:57.64. European U20 champion Audrey Werro finished third with 1:58.13 for the fourth best European U20 time in history, beating three-time European silver medallist Renelle Lamote from France (1:58.42) and Lore Hoffmann from Switzerland (1:58.73) in a high-quality race where nine women dipped under the two-minute barrier.  

World U20 champion Reynold Cheruiyot pulled away in the final straight to win the men’s 1500m, setting a meeting record of 3:33.98. Dominic Lobalu took second place with 3:3:35.22 ahead of James West (3:35.44).

Five athletes cleared the same height of 2.24m in the men’s high jump. Andriy Protsenko from Ukraine had a clean sheet until that height to take the win over Norbert Kobielski and Stefano Sottile on countback. Olympic and world champion Gianmarco Tamberi also cleared 2.24m on his third attempt to finish ahead of Antonios Merlos from Greece on countback.

Liemarvin Bonevacia took the win in the 400m in 45.43, pipping Italian record-holder David Re (45.70) and Zakithi Nene from South Africa (45.76)

Diego Sampaolo for World Athletics

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