Noah Lyles and Michael Norman in the Lausanne 200m (© Gladys Chai von der Laage)
Noah Lyles offered another fluent demonstration at Lausanne’s Athletissima IAAF Diamond League fixture tonight (5) that he could be the next big thing in the men’s sprints as he equalled his 2018 world-leading time and personal best of 19.69 to win a 200metres stacked with talent from his equally young compatriots.
It was another hugely talented US athlete, Michael Norman – who won last month’s NCAA 400m title in a 2018 world-leading 43.61 and followed up with a 200m victory in Paris last Saturday in 19.84 – who led into the final straight, but Lyles moved smoothly past his right shoulder over the final 50 metres.
Norman clocked 19.88, with Ecuador’s Alex Quinonez third in 20.08, one place ahead of Norman’s University of Southern California team-mate Rai Benjamin, winner of his own NCAA title over 400m hurdles in 47.02, who clocked 20.16.
After doing a no doubt carefully choreographed dance of celebration, Lyles pronounced himself “very pleased” to have matched his best time, although he added: “It could have been faster.”
Mihambo edges Spanovic
Germany’s Malaika Mihambo earned a dramatic victory in the women’s long jump as, with her last effort, she matched the lead of 6.90m that Olympic bronze medallist Ivana Spanovic had established with her first effort, winning by virtue of a better second jump – which, at 6.70m, was just three centimetres farther than the Serbian’s second best.
Spanovic, third in this year’s world lists with 6.99m, had one final chance to tip the result her way, but could only manage 6.62m.
Colombia’s reigning Olympic triple jump champion Caterine Ibarguen did her best to add to the drama as she produced her best of the night with a final effort of 6.77m to take third place.
“I am very happy it came together,” said Mihambo. “The Berlin European Championships are a huge target for me, especially competing at home.”
It was a disappointing evening for the two Britons involved – Shara Proctor was fifth with 6.62m, and Lorraine Ugen, who heads the current world lists with the 7.05m she produced to win the national title last weekend, was seventh with 6.48m.
For Olympic champion Tianna Bartoletta of the United States, however, the evening was even worse as she was unable to start.
The women’s pole vault was similarly tight, and won eventually by Greece’s world and Olympic champion Katerina Stefanidi, although it needed a season’s best of 4.82m for her to do so, with the “revitalised” 36-year-old London 2012 champion Jenn Suhr of the United States matching her height but taking second place on countback.
Countback also determined the third-placed competitor, Anzhelika Sidorova, with New Zealand’s Eliza McCartney fourth with the best record of four vaulters clearing 4.72m.
McCartney’s compatriot, the world shot put champion Tomas Walsh, earned victory in unanswerable fashion with a late effort of 21.92m that rendered all the previous shifts in competition irrelevant.
Walsh threatens 22 metres
Darrell Hill of the United States, the defending Diamond League champion, had established an opening lead with an effort of 21.04m, only for Poland’s Michal Haratyk to move past him in the fourth round with 21.21m.
However the blue touch paper was already lit under the Kiwi –and in round five – boom! 21.92m. By the way he walked away you knew he knew the job was done, even before the scoreboard confirmed the distance.
Although the man with whom he has boxed-and-coxed for most of the season, US Olympic champion Ryan Crouser, is hors de combat after injuring himself during the national championships, Walsh, who leads the 2018 world list with 22.67m, is ticking all the boxes he can to establish his own pre-eminence.
In the absence of Qatar’s world high jump champion Mutaz Barshim, who injured his ankle in attempting a world record height of 2.46m in Hungary on Monday night, Authorised Neutral Athlete Danil Lysenko made the most of his opportunity, winning with a season’s best of 2.37m.
Australia’s Brandon Starc and Jeron Robinson of the United States took second and third respectively after clearing 2.29. Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi, still seeking the fitness he lost in a traumatic moment of injury on the brink of the Rio Olympics, cleared 2.25 but finished last on countback.
One centimetre separates Taylor from Pichardo
One centimetre was all that separated perennial men’s triple jump rivals Christian Taylor and Pedro Pablo Pichardo – and it was the US world and Olympic champion who did enough to win with a third round of 17.62m that overtook the Cuban’s second round lead.
Shamier Little of the United States won the women’s 400m hurdles in a season’s best of 53.41 after running neck and neck down the home straight with Jamaica’s Janieve Russell, second in a personal best of 53.46 ahead of Little’s compatriot Georganne Moline, who clocked 53.90.
Nikola Ogrodnikova of the Czech Republic won the women’s javelin with a best of 65.02m, although China’s Liu Shiying looked briefly as if she might have turned things round with her last effort before it was confirmed as being 64.46.
Slovenia’s Martina Ratej was third with 63.28.
Mike Rowbottom for the IAAF