Report02 Sep 2019

Crouser breaks meeting record in Bellinzona


Ryan Crouser in Bellinzona (© Giancarlo Colombo)

Olympic champion Ryan Crouser broke Werner Gunthor’s meeting record in the men’s shot put with 22.28m to highlight the Galà dei Castelli in Bellinzona, Switzerland, on Sunday (2).

Gunthor, who was a special guest at this year’s meeting, held the previous meeting record of 21.48m since 1993. Crouser, who is the world leader this year with 22.74m, has thrown beyond the 22-mere barrier in nine meetings this season.

Chukwuebuka Enekuechi produced his ninth put over 21 metres to take second place with 21.44m just a few days after his win at the African Games in Rabat with 21.48m. European indoor and outdoor champion Michal Haratyk finished third with 20.69m.

Katie Nageotte continued her good period of form by winning a star-studded women’s pole vault with a first attempt clearance at 4.77m before bowing out with three tries at 4.83m. Nageotte scored her second win on Swiss soil this season after winning in Lausanne with 4.82m. Olympic and world silver medallist Sandi Morris had to settle with second place with 4.70m before three misses at 4.77m. Emily Grove from the USA cleared 4.63m to take third ahead of 2015 world champion Yarisley Silva (4.56m).

Reigning world champion Justin Gatlin won the men’s 100m dipping under the 10 seconds barrier with 9.97 on the brand new track, edging out last year’s Bellinzona winner Michael Rodgers, who finished second with 10.00. Hassan Taftian (10.16) and Cameron Burrell (10.17) were next. European 200m silver medallist Nethaneel Mitchell Blake won the B race in 10.11.

Swiss sprint record holder and world indoor 60m bronze medallist Mujinga Kambundji won the women’s 100m here for the third consecutive year in 11.12 beating Tynia Gaither from Bahamas (11.16) and Great Britain’s Darryl Neita (11.20). Kambundji recently broke the Swiss 200m record with 22.26 at the national championships in Basel. World champion and three-time Olympic medallist Tori Bowie finished fifth in 11.29.

“I clocked a good time, but I was a bit tired,” Kambundji said. “Bellinzona is a special place for me. The track is very fast.”

European 400m hurdles champion Lea Sprunger, the poster girl of this year’s meeting, clinched another popular win taking her specialty in 55.24 to the delight of the 5000 spectators who packed the stands of the Comunale Stadium in Bellinzona.

David Kendziera of the US successfully defending hius meeting title in men’s 400m hurdles, clocking 49.06.

Olympic fourth placer Cindy Ofili from Great Britain took the win in the women’s 100m hurdles setting the qualifying standard for the World Championships with 12.85. The British hurdler edged out this year’s Pan American Games champion Andrea Carolina Vargas and Queen Claye of the US, who finished second and third sharing the same time of 12.86.

Ukraine’s Iryna Gerashchenko equalled the stadium record of 1.94m to win the women’s high jump. Italy’s Elena Vallortigara jumped 1.91m in her first competition since June after a serious ankle injury forced a three-month lay-off.

Jamaica’s Andrew Riley clinched a narrow win in the men’s 110m hurdles in 13.60 into a headwind of -0.2 m/s, holding off Italian champion Hassane Fofana by 0.02.

Former world champion Eunice Sum won her second consecutive women’s 800 metres race on Swiss soil in 2:00.94 a few days after her victory in Zurich’s non-scoring race.

Lashawn Merritt, the 2008 Olympic 400m champion, won his specialty in 45.82 in his first race over the distance since the World Championships in 2017.

Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF