Matthew Centrowitz wins the Track Meet 1500m (© Kirby Lee)
The USA’s Trayvon Bromell and Matthew Centrowitz have both had their fair share of injury setbacks over the past few years but showed they remain on course in this Olympic season by claiming dominant wins at the Track Meet, a World Athletics Continental Tour Bronze meeting, in California on Saturday (15).
Two weeks after his world-leading 9.88 in Florida, Bromell ran 9.92 to win the 100m by 0.3 ahead of Chris Royster, meaning the 2016 world indoor 60m champion has posted two of the three fastest times in the world so far this year.
For 2016 Olympic champion Centrowitz, the winning time of 3:35.26 was his fastest since the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha and it saw him finish almost a second clear ahead of Great Britain’s Jake Heyward in a PB of 3:36.24 and Marc Scott in 3:36.28. Moving ahead with 200m to go, Centrowitz looked fully in control and eased away for a dominant victory. There had been some drama at the start as athletes jostled for position, with Moh Ahmed and Eric Avila falling.
Double world champion Sifan Hassan made her outdoor 2021 debut, winning the 5000m by a huge margin in 14:35.34. The Dutch runner had a big lead over the rest of the field after just a couple of laps, and by the time she reached the half-way mark she had a 13-second margin over her pursuers. She passed through 3000m in 8:46.79 and her pace dropped slightly in the closing stages, but she still won unopposed.
Josette Norris made up a bit of ground over the final few laps, finishing second in 14:51.42. Rachel Schneider (14:52.04) and Emily Sission (14:53.84) were next to finish, and Canada's Kate Van Buskirk was the fifth woman to finish inside 15 minutes (14:59.80).
Another Olympic champion to take a win was Jamaica’s Omar McLeod as, competing in his first 110m hurdles race since the world final in 2019, he ran 13.11 (1.4m/s) to beat Devon Allen with 13.26. In only his third race since 2018, 2012 Olympic gold medallist Aries Merritt clocked 13.90 in sixth.
Omar McLeod in the 110m hurdles (© Kirby Lee)
There was a big win for Britain’s Katie Snowden in the 1500m as she improved her PB from 4:05.29 to an Olympic qualifier of 4:02.98 after a home straight surge. She finished half a second ahead of Kate Grace (4:03.54), with Jessica Hull third (4:04.16) and 2017 world steeplechase champion Emma Coburn fourth (4:04.28).
European 1500m champion Laura Muir joined her British compatriot in success, winning the 800m in 1:58.71 as the top five – also including Allie Wilson, Adelle Tracey, Hanna Green and Hanna Green – all finished inside two minutes.
The USA’s multiple world medallist Brittney Reese won the long jump with a 6.80m (0.4m/s) leap, while Kendall Ellis ran 50.30 to win the 400m, Daryll Neita clocked 11.12 (0.6m/s) to win the 100m and Britany Anderson posted a slightly wind-aided 12.69 (2.1m/s) to win the 100m hurdles.
The women's 400m hurdles was won by Rhonda Whyte in 55.11, Jesus Tonatiu Lopez took the men's 800m in 1:46.59 and Payton Otterdahl won the men's shot put with a 21.53m throw.
Seccafien and Talbi on top in 10,000m
Six athletes, led by Andrea Seccafien and Zouhair Talbi, achieved Olympic standards when Track Meet action got under way with three 10,000m races on Friday (14).
The first was won by Talbi of Morroco, as he ran 27:20.61 to improve on his previous PB of 28:02.89 from 2019 and dip inside the qualifying mark of 27:28.00.
The USA’s Emmanuel Bor and Joe Klecker followed him under the standard, running 27:22.80 and 27:23.44 respectively, as the top 10 all went sub-28 minutes.
Connor Mantz was fourth in 27:41.16 and Sam Chelanga fifth in 27:42.02.
The other men’s 10,000m was won by Matt McClintock in a PB of 28:13.69, seven seconds ahead of Ben Eidenschink.
Andrea Seccafien on her way to 10,000m victory (© Justin Britton)
Seccafien broke the Canadian record to win the women’s event, clocking 31:13.94 to also lead the next two under the qualifying standard.
The USA’s Ednah Kurgat and Sara Hall, the 2020 London Marathon runner-up, achieved the 31:25.00 mark with respective times of 31:21.65 and 31:21.90.
Just missing the time were the USA’s Makena Morely (31:25.19) and Britons Amy-Eloise Markovc (31:25.91) and Jess Judd (31:25.98).
Seccafien adds this national 10,000m record to the Canadian half marathon record of 1:09:38 she set last year.
Pay-per-view coverage meant that fans were able to tune in to watch the action, with the majority of that money going to the athletes and the rest covering production costs.
The meeting continues on Saturday night, with double world champion Sifan Hassan among the entries as she races the 5000m.
Jess Whittington for World Athletics