Grenada's Bralon Taplin in action in the 400m (© Jean-Pierre Durand)
Continuing his comeback from the injuries that curtailed his 2017 season, Olympic finalist Bralon Taplin sped to a 44.88 indoor lifetime best over 400m at the Charlie Thomas Invitational in College Station, Texas, on Saturday (3).
The Grenadian flew through the first lap in 21.58 and maintained his form well during the second half of the race to become just the sixth man in history to better the 45-second barrier for 400m indoors. Taplin’s time ranks him fifth on the world indoor all-time list, just two places and 0.08 behind compatriot Kirani James, the 2012 Olympic champion.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Deon Lendore, Taplin’s former teammate at Texas A&M University, won the other 400m heat. The world indoor bronze medallist, who is also returning from a long injury spell, stopped the clock at 45.85.
Elsewhere in College Station, world 400m champion Phyllis Francis beat 2015 world 400m hurdles silver medallist Shamier Little over 300m, 36.85 to 36.98.
Nigeria’s 2014 world U20 200m silver medallist Divine Oduduru produced the standout performance at the Texas Tech Open in Lubbock.
Having recorded a 60m PB of 6.58 on Friday (2), the Texas Tech student flew to a 20.18 outright lifetime best over 200m on Saturday (3). Teammate Andrew Hudson finished second in 20.42.
Oduduru competed indoors for the first time in his career just three weeks ago, but the 21-year-old now sits at fourth on the world indoor all-time list for the one-lap event behind Frank Fredericks, Wallace Spearman and Christian Coleman.
USA’s 2015 world U18 400m hurdles champion Sydney McLaughlin produced the fastest 400m time in the world this year with her victory over two laps of the track at the Rod McCravy Memorial in Lexington, Kentucky.
Competing on what is now her ‘home’ track, the University of Kentucky student won the women’s 400m in 51.44, but her time won't count for PB or rankings purposes as it was set on an oversized track.
USA’s Olympic 5000m finalist Shelby Houlihan obliterated her indoor 3000m PB at the Scarlet and White Invitational at Boston University to climb to second on the North American indoor all-time list
Followed closely by Marielle Hall for most of the race, the 24-year-old churned out consistent lap splits of 34 to 35 seconds before unleashing an impressive 28.5 final 200m, bringing her to the finish line in a world-leading 8:36.01. Hall finished second in 8:40.20 to become the fifth-fastest US woman ever for the distance.
Another middle-distance world lead was set at the Camel City Invitational on the unbanked JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem. Multiple NCAA champion Edward Cheserek stuck to the pacemaker during the first of the men’s mile and opened up a significant gap on the rest of the field before going on to win in 3:53.85.
His time broke the facility record set by Matthew Centrowitz in 2016, the year in which Centrowitz went on to win the Olympic title. Olympic 5000m silver medallist Paul Chelimo was a distant second behind Cheserek in 3:58.59.
Sprinting events produced the bulk of top performances at the University of New Mexico Collegiate Classic in Albuquerque. NCAA 100m champion Mikiah Brisco sped to her second 60m PB of the year, winning the short sprint in 7.08 to move to second on this year’s world list.
Brisco also won her 200m heat in a PB of 23.34, but the fastest times of the day came from a pair of teenagers in another heat. In a close race, Daija Lampkin finished just ahead of Alabama teammate Tamara Clark, 23.05 to 23.10. They now sit at sixth and ninth respectively on the world indoor U20 all-time list for the distance, relegating Allyson Felix to 10th place.
One week after setting a Norwegian indoor 400m record, world 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm reduced it further in Barum. The 21-year-old clocked 45.59, moving him to equal 10th on the European indoor all-time list.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF