Hansle Parchment dips for 110m hurdles victory in Xiamen (© Liam Blackwell / Diamond League AG)
There were mixed fortunes for the recently crowned world champions in action at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Xiamen, where Hansle Parchment, Feng Bin and Emmanuel Wanyonyi were among the winners at an event that offered a series of thrilling rematches.
The men’s 110m hurdles closed the programme at the Egret Stadium on Saturday (2) as Xiamen hosted the first Diamond League meeting in China since 2019. It proved to be a fitting finale, as the top four from the recent World Athletics Championships in Budapest all took to the start line.
Much of the focus was on USA’s Grant Holloway, who claimed a third consecutive world title in Hungary, and he got a good start. But under pressure from Jamaica’s Olympic champion Parchment in the lane next to him, and USA’s Daniel Roberts in the lane beyond that, Holloway hit the last hurdle hard and did well to stay on his feet. Parchment edged ahead and dipped over the finish line to win in 12.96 – just 0.02 off both his PB from 2014 and the world leading mark set by Rasheed Broadbell in July – as Roberts came through for second in 13.03 and Holloway held on for third in 13.12.
It was a repeat of the podium finishers in Budapest, where Parchment secured silver behind Holloway and Roberts bagged bronze ahead of his US compatriot Freddie Crittenden, who placed sixth in Xiamen.
The men’s 800m also featured a clash of world medallists and this time the result was the fastest performance in the world this year and a victory for World Championships runner up Wanyonyi of Kenya.
Canada’s Marco Arop timed his kick to perfection to win the world title but on this occasion he didn’t quite have enough to hold off a determined Wanyonyi, who dropped back slightly down the home straight but found the edge on approach to the finish line, clocking a PB of 1:43.20 to win by 0.04. Benjamin Robert of France finished third in 1:43.88, while Britain’s Ben Pattison, who joined Arop and Wanyonyi on the podium in Budapest, was ninth this time in 1:44.87.
A world medallist also prevailed in an exciting women’s discus contest that ended with a last-gasp win by China’s Feng on home soil.
Croatia’s multiple global champion Sandra Perkovic opened with a strong season’s best of 67.32m to make a statement after finishing fifth in the world final and she backed that up with 67.30m in round two. But Feng, the 2022 world champion who gained bronze in Budapest, saved her best for last and launched the implement 67.41m to snatch the win by just 9cm. USA’s world champion Laulauga Tausaga, who threw a PB of 69.49m to win in Budapest, this time recorded 64.31m to finish third.
There was no such challenge in the women’s high jump, as Ukraine’s world champion Yaroslava Mahuchikh overcame a scare at 1.95m – which she cleared on her third and final attempt – and went on to equal the world lead with her season's best clearance of 2.02m, to win by 10cm.
Mahuchikh had the competition won with that clearance of 1.95m and she then soared over 1.98m first time before passing at 2.00m and managing 2.02m, also on her first try, before calling it a day. Slovenia’s Lia Apostolovski, who was ninth in the world final, finished second this time thanks to her 1.92m clearance, while Eleanor Patterson, the silver medallist in Budapest, finished third on countback after clearing the same height.
Serbia’s Ivana Vuleta backed up her first world outdoor title win with another victory, leaping 6.88m to lead the women's long jump ahead of Burkina Faso’s Marthe Koala and Nigeria’s Ese Brume. Vuleta soared a world-leading 7.14m to add gold in Budapest to the world indoor crowns she claimed in Birmingham and Belgrade and the 33-year-old now has her eye on winning a fifth Diamond League trophy.
Vuleta’s best mark came in the fifth round and four of her other jumps also surpassed 6.70m. Koala secured the runner up spot with 6.79m and Brume was third with 6.71m.
The men’s triple jump was won by Italy’s Andy Diaz Hernandez, who leapt 17.43m in the final round. He narrowly led the contest with 17.25m from his second attempt but built on that with his final jump, with world champion Hugues Fabrice Zango of Burkina Faso settling for second place with a best of 17.22m.
The world lead was equalled in the men’s 100m, Christian Coleman rebounding after his fifth-place finish in the world final to win in 9.83m. That matched the best so far this year achieved by world champion Noah Lyles to win in Budapest and world bronze medallist Zharnel Hughes, who ran the world-leading time in June.
Racing as part of a 10-strong field, Coleman got a good start and managed to hold off the fast-finishing Kishane Thompson of Jamaica, who dipped for a PB of 9.85 from lane 10. USA’s Fred Kerley, the 2022 world champion, was third in 9.96, while Italy’s Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs was seventh in 10.05, equalling his season’s best. Jamaica’s Ackeem Blake suffered a fall at the start.
Kenya’s world 5000m bronze medallist Beatrice Chebet was a class apart in the women's 3000m, claiming a clear win in a world-leading PB of 8:24.05. The 23-year-old, who won the world cross country title in Bathurst in February and then added 5000m bronze in Budapest to the silver medal she claimed in Oregon last year, finished four seconds ahead of Mexico’s Laura Galvan, who took more than 12 seconds off her national record with 8:28.05.
Chebet had looked in control, even when Galvan pushed the pace and led at the bell. Chebet kicked past her off the penultimate curve and strode away, with Galvan holding on for second place ahead of Kenya’s Margaret Akidor, who clocked a PB of 8:29.88 in third. A total of 10 athletes ran PBs in the race.
Ethiopia’s world indoor 800m medallist Freweyni Hailu launched a well-timed attack in the women’s 1500m, claiming the win in 3:56.56 ahead of Kenya’s Nelly Chepchirchir, Australia’s Linden Hall and Britain’s Melissa Courtney-Bryant, as the top four all dipped under four minutes.
Freweyni Hailu on her way to a 1500m win in Xiamen (© Liam Blackwell / Diamond League AG)
Hailu, who finished seventh in the world 5000m final in Budapest, was ahead as the pacemaker dropped out with 500m to go. Chepchirchir then kicked past her with 250m remaining but Hailu had more in reserve and challenged again, running wide off the final bend. Chepchirchir ran a PB of 3:56.72 for the runner up spot.
Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali was among the world champions in action, fresh from retaining his 3000m steeplechase title in Budapest, and he again asserted his dominance. Untroubled, he even had time to slow to a jog as he reached the finish line, which he crossed with 8:10.31 on the clock, his arms raised in celebration. He was followed by Ethiopia’s world U20 silver medallist Samuel Firewu in 8:11.29, with Kenya’s Amos Serem a few seconds back in third in 8:14.41.
The main track programme kicked off with a brilliant battle in the men’s 400m. Grenada’s Kirani James, the 2011 world champion and 2012 Olympic gold medallist, held off USA’s world bronze medallist Quincy Hall by thousands of a second, both athletes recording 44.38 – a meeting record and a season’s best for James – with James getting the nod in a photo finish. Jamaica’s Rusheen McDonald finished third in 44.82.
Marileidy Paulino’s win in the women’s 400m was much more decisive, the world champion of the Dominican Republic running 49.36 to finish well clear ahead of Jamaica’s Candice McLeod and USA’s Lynna Irby-Jackson, who respectively clocked 50.19 and 50.45. World bronze medallist Sada Williams finished fourth in 50.95.
Rushell Clayton, the bronze medallist in Budapest, won the women’s 400m hurdles in 53.56, leading a Jamaican top three ahead of Andrenette Knight (53.87) and Janieve Russell (54.01).