Impressive victories by Jacob Kiplimo, Ryan Crouser, Christian Taylor and Faith Kipyegon produced the key highlights at the Golden Spike, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on Tuesday (8).
Kiplimo’s track break-out
In the men’s 5000m, the 19-year-old Kiplimo fought off Selemon Barega in a fierce homestraight brawl to take the win in 12:48.63, one of seven meeting records to fall on a clear night in this eastern Czech city where 3000 spectators were allowed entry to Mestsky Stadium to help celebrate the meeting’s 59th edition.
Just 3:30 into the race it was Barega, running behind pacer Lamecha Girma, who looked to be in control. With four laps to go he was already all alone and well ahead of the sprawled out pack.
But Kiplimo, who was running well behind during the middle stages of the race, worked his way back to the front, moving a step ahead with two laps to go and maintained the lead when the bell sounded with 11:52 on the clock.
Barega put on the pressure by Kiplimo didn’t bend. The Ethiopian made his final attempt for the win as they hit the home straight, pulling even when the pair shifting into a full on stride-for-stride side-by-side sprint. Kiplimo fought that off too and pulled away for good with some 40 metres to go.
Barega clocked 12:49.08 while further back, Yemaneberhan Crippa reached the line in 13:02.26 to break the Italian record.
“I wanted the fast time so I kept on pushing,” said Kiplimo, the silver medallist in the senior race at last year’s World Cross Country Championships. “It was a fight in the home straight. And it was wonderulf.”
It was also the first big-meet victory for the teenager. More are likely on their way.
Crouser throws 22.43m
Ryan Crouser chiseled together another fine series to win for the eighth time in as many competitions this year. Opening with a 21.79m effort, he improved to 22.08m in the second round and 22.31m in the third before nailing his biggest throw of the night, 22.43m in the fourth to seal the win and secure another meeting record.
“That’s one of my farthest throws in Europe so I’m really happy with it,” said Crouser, the world leader with 22.91m. “Especially considering that day four after coming from the US is always kinds of a down day. The consistency wasn’t too bad so I think if I can keep being consistent eventually the big 23-metre throw will come.”
He still has appointments to keep in Zagreb and Belgrade before calling it a season.
Michal Haratyk of Poland was second with 21.65m with Italy’s Leonardo Fabbri third with 21.27m.
Strong, solo Kipyegon
Faith Kipyegon produced a powerful performance to take the 1500m in convincing fashion.
Controlling the tempo from the 800m point, the Olympic champion pulled away for good with some 250 metres remaining, with Laura Weightman briefly giving chase. Kipyegon clocked 3:59.05, a season's best and another meeting record.
Weightman, who was briefly passed by Jemma Reekie as they approached the final bend, overtook the Scot in the homestretch to finish second in 4:01.96 with Reekie further back in 4:03.25.
Taylor triples 17.42m world lead
In typical fashion, Christian Taylor produced the goods in the final round to win the triple jump, reaching a world-leading 17.46 in the final round to steal the win from Hugues Fabrice Zango, who controlled the competition since the second round when he jumped 17.42m.
Taylor needed time to find his rhythm, shaking off a pair of back-to-back modest efforts with a 17.12m jump in round three. He didn’t produce another measured jump until his last.
Two-time world 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm extended his unbeaten streak to ten with a convincing 47.62 victory, another meeting record.
It wasn’t quite the follow-up he was expecting after his stunning 46.87 European record in Stockholm where a clip of the final hurdle dashed his world record ambitions there. This time, he chopped his stride badly as he approached the ninth barrier, but if he was disappointed, he hid it well.
“It’s always nice to get a win, but I was a little surprised by the time to be honest,” said Warholm, who was flown to Ostrava on Sunday on a private jet.
“I had a little stutter step, I had to switch (lead legs). There was nothing dramatic about it, I just had to do a switch. But that probably affected my time. Everything that breaks your rhythm is going to impact your finish time.”
Ludvy Vaillant of France was second in 49.14, a season’s best.
Hassan out-sprints Chelangat
Sifan Hassan, Sheila Chelangat and Yasemin Can waged a strong battle in the women’s 5000m, but through it all, Hassan, the world 1500m and 10,000m champion, was just biding her time. That came, she decided, with about 300 metres to go, when she pulled past Chelangat and ran off down the backstretch and eventually to a convincing 14:37.85 victory.
Chelangat, who took care of much of the pacesetting chores, was second, passing Can in the waning stages to clock in 14:40.51, a career best for the 22-year-old Kenyan. Can, running in her first race on the track this year, was next in 14:40.70.
800m wins for Muir and Wightman
Laura Muir was again the class of the field in her event, this time the 800m, turning in a solid 1:58.84 victory. Poland’s Sofia Ennaoui, who was second to the Scot in the Silesia 1500m on Sunday, was second again in 2:00.82.
Jake Wightman took down a solid field in the men’s race in 1:44.18, a career best for the 26-year-old who's better known for his 1500m exploits. The performance lopped a hefty sum from his previous best of 1:44.61 set two years ago.
Behind him, Swede Andreas Kramer smashed through the 1:45 barrier for the first time to finish second in 1:44.47, a national record. World silver medallist Amel Tuka was third in 1:44.51, his best race of the season.
The third Jake to take home a win was Jakob Ingebrigtsen who capped the night with a solid 3:33.92 victory in the 1500m. The Norwegian star led at the bell and held off challenges by Kenya’s Kumari Taki and Australian Stewart McSweyn, who finished second and third, respectively.
Meet records also came in a series of non-traditional events.
Femke Bol, the world leader in the 400m hurdles, prevailed over the shorter non-standard 300m distance, overtaking Slovak Emma Zapletalova over the penultimate hurdle and holding on for the 38.55 win, a world lead over the rarely-contested distance. The Slovak was next in 38.97 with Briton Jessie Knight clocking 39.35 to finish third.
Arthur Gue Cisse of Ivory Coast won the men’s 150m in 15.15 ahead of Dutchman Taymir Burnet while Dafne Schippers took the women’s in 16.56, a European best. Ajla Del Ponte of Switzerland was second in 16.74.
Elsewhere on the infield, world discus champion Daniel Stahl notched a 15th straight win with a 66.42m best, ahead of compatriot Simon Pettersson, who reached 65.90m.
Ernest John Obiena of the Philippines produced an upset in the pole vault, beating world champion Sam Kendricks on countback at 5.74m.
On the women’s side, Holly Bradshaw took the win at 4.60m to notch her fifth victory in eight outdoor competitions this season. Swede Michaela Meijer was second at 4.54m.
Barbora Spotakova thrilled the appreciative crowd with victory in the javelin, throwing 65.19m in the first round to effectively put the competition out of reach. Poland's Maria Andrejczyk was second with a final-round throw of 63.59m.
On the men’s side, Latvia's Gatis Cakss took the win with an 83.41m effort in the sixth round, beating Pole Marcin Krukowski, whose best throw of 83.27m also came in the final round.
Maksim Nedasekau of Belarus kicked off the programme with victory in the high jump, topping 2.24m.
Bob Ramsak for World Athletics