Rome DL — Mu Makes A Statement

She missed Pre, but Athing Mu dominated Rome’s 800 with a year-leading 1:57.01. (JIRO MOCHIZUKI)

ROME, ITALY, June 09—She may or may not have been shaky a few weeks ago, but Athing Mu reminded the world that she remains its best 800 runner with a dazzling from-the-front performance to win the Golden Gala in a year-leading 1:57.01.

At the previous day’s press conference the young American had expressed a desire for “something fast and under 2:00.” Mission accomplished.

The Olympic champion, who had withdrawn from the Prefontaine Classic while recovering from COVID, allayed any worries about her condition in her first Diamond League race of the season, a day after she left her teenage years behind.

The pacer, Poland’s Aneta Lemiesz, had been instructed to deliver a 57.5 first lap, but she was a hair fast at 56.42. Mu, who had been on her shoulder since the 200, took over then and led her chasers, prime among them France’s Renelle Lamote, through 600 in 1:27.73.

Then it happened: Mu floated away from the field in her deceptively smooth fashion. By the straightaway she had built an insurmountable lead that continued to grow until she crossed the line more than 10m ahead of Lamote (1:58.48).

“I’m delighted with this result,” said Mu. “I just wanted to see where I was; I’m super happy with this time.”

The men’s distances produced some stirringly fast performances. First came the steeple, an event where no man had ever run three consecutive sub-8:00s in the same season.

Ethiopia’s Lamecha Girma, who had become the 13th to join the sub-8:00 club just 10 days earlier in Ostrava, here ran his historic third-straight on the strength of a strong solo finish. After following the rabbits through a swift 5:22.67 for the first 2K, the 21-year-old built an impressive margin over Abraham Kibiwot and Getnet Wale to finish in 7:59.23. Kibiwot edged Wale on the line, 8:06.73-8:06.74. Back in 8th, Hilary Bor ran another U.S. leader in 8:12.19.

The 5000 brought together an impressive field with plans to make a fast go of it, pacers instructed to give them the first 2K in 5:10 (a 12:55 clip). Ireland’s Paul Robinson hit the numbers perfectly, 2:34.94 and 5:10.74. Australian Jack Rayner, told to cover 7:48 at 3K, yielded just before that mark, which went in 7:41.50. That left the lanky figure of Yomif Kejelcha in the front. He continued to pound the pace, followed only by Olympic 4th-placer Nicholas Kimeli, and Jacob Krop.

With 1600 to go, the Ethiopian surged hard to try to lose his pursuers, throwing in a 61.03. Didn’t work, so he backed off a bit through circuits of 63.27 and 62.21. At the bell, he tried to kick away, but that didn’t work either. The Kenyans went by on the backstretch, Krop leading the way.

In the homestretch Kimeli swung out to lane 3 and outsprinted his countryman to cross first in a world-leading 12:46.33, with Krop a step behind in 12:46.79. Their PRs moved them to No. 7 and =No. 9 on the all-time list. Kejelcha finished in 12:52.10, ahead of Olympic 10K champ Selemon Barega (12:54.87) and Canada’s Mo Ahmed (12:55.84).

Femke Bol was the one who jump-started the evening track events with a dominating 53.02 win over the 400 hurdles. That left Jamaican Janieve Russell (54.18) and Ukraine’s Anna Ryzhykova (54.50) far behind.

The 100H showcased Jasmine Camacho-Quinn doing her thing at a level no one else can. The Puerto Rican, however, had close company for all 10 hurdles, with Britany Anderson mere inches behind at every step until the final barrier, which she clipped. JCQ flew across the line in a world-leading 12.37 while Anderson recovered from the hurdle encounter to clock 12.50.

The men’s 400 saw Kirani James produce a strong 44.54, powerfully surging away from Vernon Norwood (44.81) and Michael Cherry (45.24) in the last 100.

In the women’s 1500, Laura Muir sought to test herself against the World Indoor bronze medalist, Hirut Meshesha, who had won Rabat in a PR 3:57.30. She didn’t exactly ace the test. After a pedestrian 2:13.48 first two laps, Meshesha led at 1200 (3:19.82). Muir attacked hard on the backstretch but the 21-year-old Ethiopian held her off without even changing her stride. At the end of the final turn, Muir threw herself at it again, but Meshesha and teammate Axumawit Ebaye easily strode away from her, Meshesha taking the win in 4:03.79.

The women’s 200 brought together a tough field, with Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah taking her first loss this year in one of her flagship events. It was Shericka Jackson, running in lane 4 to ETH’s 6, who came off the turn with a sizeable lead and continued to stretch it out, her long legs carrying her to the line in 21.91, her No. 3 mark ever. Well back, ETH was left to tussle with Dina Asher-Smith over the runner-up spot, outleaning the Brit for a 22.25–22.27 edge. Shaunae Miller-Uibo crossed 4th in 22.48.

Organizers saved the men’s 100 for last, and favored Fred Kerley — Olympic champ Lamont Marcell Jacobs is currently sidelined — did not disappoint, powering away from Kyree King for the win, 9.92–10.14. The only major non-DL event of the night was the men’s 200, where Kenny Bednarek served up another dominating win, producing a 20.01 against a field of lesser lights.

On the field, the men’s discus produced another chapter in the Summer of Kristjan Čeh, as the Slovenian continued to produce throws farther than anyone else has hit all year. Here, save for a round 2 foul, he improved with every effort and checked out at 232-0 (70.72) to handily beat Lukas Weißhaidinger (224-1/68.30) and Daniel Ståhl (216-1/65.87).

The shot was a Joe Kovacs show, as any of his final 4 throws led by his 71-8¼ (21.85) would have topped runner-up Filip Mihaljević’s 69-6 (21.18), with 3rd placer Konrad Bukowiecki hitting the same mark. JuVaughn Harrison took the high jump with a modest 7-5¼ (2.27) on a clearance that left the bar shaking.

In the women’s long jump, Olympic champ Malaika Mihambo (22-3½/6.79) and American Quanesha Burks (22-2½/6.77) were having a heck of a battle through four rounds until Ukraine’s Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk produced a 22-5¾ (6.85) in round 5 to steal the win.


ROME DL MEN’S RESULTS

100(-0.2): 1. Fred Kerley (US) 9.92; 2. Kyree King (US) 10.14; 3. Cravont Charleston (US) 10.17; 4. Nigel Ellis (Jam) 10.17; 5. Emile Erasmus (SA) 10.22; 6. Chituru Ali (Ita) 10.25; 7. Mike Rodgers (US) 10.29; 8. Isiah Young (US) 10.35.

Non-DL 200(-0.1): 1. Kenny Bednarek (US) 20.01; 2. Luxolo Adams (SA) 20.33; 3. Filippo Tortu (Ita) 20.40; 4. Eseosa Desalu (Ita) 20.59; 5. Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (GB) 20.59.

400: 1. Kirani James (Grn) 44.54; 2. Vernon Norwood (US) 44.81; 3. Michael Cherry (US) 45.24; 4. Lidio Feliz (DR) 45.46; 5. Christopher Taylor (Jam) 45.47; 6. Liemarvin Bonevacia (Neth) 45.79; 7. Edoardo Scotti (Ita) 45.89; 8. Isaac Makwala (Bot) 45.90.

St: 1. Lamecha Girma (Eth) 7:59.23 (first ever to run 3 sub-8:00 in a row) (non-Kenyan: x, 6 W); 2. Abraham Kibiwot (Ken) 8:06.73; 3. Getnet Wale (Eth) 8:06.74; 4. Conseslus Kipruto (Ken) 8:08.76; 5. Amos Serem (Ken) 8:09.93 PR; 6. Ahmed Abdelwahed (Ita) 8:10.29 PR; 7. Osama Zoghlami (Ita) 8:11.00 PR;

8. Hillary Bor (US) 8:12.19 (AL);

9. Leonard Bett (Ken) 8:12.34; 10. Daniel Arce (Spa) 8:14.31 PR; 11. Mohamed Amine Jihnaoui (Tun) 8:16.38 PR; 12. Ala Zoghlami (Ita) 8:24.04; 13. Yemane Hailesilassie (Eri) 8:26.17; 14. Abraham Seme (Eth) 8:28.62;… rabbits—Lawrence Kemboi (Ken) (2:39.95), Wilberforce Kones (Ken) (5:22.67).

5000: 1. Nicholas Kimeli (Ken) 12:46.33 PR (WL) (7, 12 W); 2. Jacob Krop (Ken) 12:46.79 PR (=9, x W);

3. Yomif Kejelcha (Eth) 12:52.10 (7:41.50, 10:15.10); 4. Selemon Barega (Eth) 12:54.87; 5. Moh Ahmed (Can) 12:55.84; 6. Telahun Haile (Eth) 12:57.18; 7. Muktar Edris (Eth) 12:58.63; 8. Thierry Ndikumwenayo (Bur) 12:59.39 NR; 9. Levy Kibet (Ken) 13:01.32 PR; 10. Milkesa Mengesha (Eth) 13:02.42; 11. Yemaneberhan Crippa (Ita) 13:04.95;… rabbit—Paul Robinson (Ire) (2:34.94, 5:10.74).

Field Events

HJ: 1. JuVaughn Harrison (US) 7-5¼ (2.27); 2. Norbert Kobielski (Pol) 7-5¼; 3. Gianmarco Tamberi (Ita) 7-4¼ (2.24); 4. tie, Andrii Protsenko (Ukr) & Brandon Starc (Aus) 7-4¼; 6. Marco Fassinotti (Ita) 7-2½ (2.20); 7. Jonathan Kapitolnik (Isr) 7-2½; 8. Django Lovett (Can) 7-½ (2.15); 9. Loïc Gasch (Swi) 7-½.

SP: 1. Joe Kovacs (US) 71-8¼ (21.85) (67-8, 69-2½, 71-8¼, 71-2, 70-9, 69-9½) (20.62, 21.09, 21.85, 21.69, 21.56, 21.27); 2. Filip Mihaljević (Cro) 69-6 (21.18); 3. Konrad Bukowiecki (Pol) 69-6 (21.18); 4. Darlan Romani (Bra) 69-4¾ (21.15); 5. Armin Sinančević (Ser) 68-9¼ (20.96); 6. Nick Ponzio (Ita) 67-6¾ (20.59); 7. Michał Haratyk (Pol) 66-4½ (20.23); 8. David Storl (Ger) 65-11½ (20.10); 9. Leonardo Fabbri (Ita) 65-5½ (19.95).

DT: 1. Kristjan Čeh (Slo) 232-0 (70.72) (218-1, f, 225-7, 226-7, 228-8, 232-0) (66.48, f, 68.76, 69.06, 69.71, 70.72); 2. Lukas Weißhaidinger (Aut) 224-1 (68.30); 3. Daniel Ståhl (Swe) 216-1 (65.87); 4. Andrius Gudžius (Lit) 215-11 (65.82); 5. Lawrence Okoye (GB) 212-4 (64.72); 6. Sam Mattis (US) 209-9 (63.93); 7. Simon Pettersson (Swe) 209-1 (63.73); 8. Matt Denny (Aus) 208-5 (63.53).

ROME WOMEN’S RESULTS

200(1.3): 1. Shericka Jackson (Jam) 21.91; 2. Elaine Thompson-Herah (Jam) 22.25; 3. Dina Asher-Smith (GB) 22.27; 4. Shaunae Miller-Uibo (Bah) 22.48; 5. Marie Josée Ta Lou (CI) 22.77; 6. Mujinga Kambundji (Swi) 22.80; 7. Allyson Felix (US) 22.97; 8. Dalia Kaddari (Ita) 23.29; 9. Beth Dobbin (GB) 23.36.

800: 1. Athing Mu (US) 1:57.01 (WL, AL);

2. Renelle Lamote (Fra) 1:58.48; 3. Elena Bellò (Ita) 1:58.97 PR; 4. Mary Moraa (Ken) 1:59.26; 5. Freweyni Hailu (Eth) 1:59.39; 6. Natoya Goule (Jam) 1:59.54; 7. Catriona Bisset (Aus) 1:59.73; 8. Lindsey Butterworth (Can) 1:59.93; 9. Jemma Reekie (GB) 2:00.28; 10. Halimah Nakaayi (Uga) 2:01.15; 11. Rose M. Almanza (Cub) 2:02.40;… rabbit—Aneta Lemiesz (Pol) (56.42).

1500: 1. Hirut Meshesha (Eth) 4:03.79 (3:19.82); 2. Axumawit Embaye (Eth) 4:04.53; 3. Laura Muir (GB) 4:04.93; 4. Ciara Mageean (Ire) 4:05.44; 5. Cory McGee (US) 4:05.69; 6. Gaia Sabbatini (Ita) 4:05.82; 7. Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal (Nor) 4:05.83; 8. Federica Del Buono (Ita) 4:06.16; 9. Winnie Nanyondo (Uga) 4:06.17; 10. Helen Schlachtenhaufen (US) 4:06.94; 11. Hanna Klein (Ger) 4:07.21; 12. Habitam Alemu (Eth) 4:07.43; 13. Ludovica Cavalli (Ita) 4:08.39 PR; 14. Marta Pérez (Spa) 4:08.72;… rabbit—Ellie Sanford (Aus) (64.13, 69.35 [2:13.48]).

100H(0.1): 1. Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (PR) 12.37 (WL);

2. Britany Anderson (Jam) 12.50; 3. Nia Ali (US) 12.71; 4. Pia Skrzyszowska (Pol) 12.74; 5. Danielle Williams (Jam) 12.90; 6. Nadine Visser (Neth) 12.98; 7. Megan Tapper (Jam) 13.08; 8. Luminosa Bogliolo (Ita) 13.10; 9. Elisa Maria Di Lazzaro (Ita) 13.10.

400H: 1. Femke Bol (Neth) 53.02; 2. Janieve Russell (Jam) 54.18; 3. Anna Ryzhykova (Ukr) 54.50; 4. Lina Nielsen (GB) 54.73 PR; 5. Rushell Clayton (Jam) 54.80; 6. Ayomide Folorunso (Ita) 54.84; 7. Viktoriya Tkachuk (Ukr) 55.37; 8. Linda Olivieri (Ita) 56.25; 9. Yasmin Giger (Swi) 56.52.

Field Events

PV: 1. Sandi Morris (US) 15-9¼ (4.81) (out WL, AL) (14-5¼, 14-9, 15-1, 15-5 [2], 15-7 [2] [out WL, AL], 15-9¼ [2], 16-¾ [xxx]) (4.40, 4.50, 4.60, 4.70 [2], 4.75 [2], 4.81 [2], 4.90 [xxx]); 2. Roberta Bruni (Ita) 15-1 (4.60); 2. Holly Bradshaw (GB) 15-1; 4. tie, Katie Nageotte (US) & Tina Šutej (Slo) 15-1; 6. Katerína Stefanídi (Gre) 14-9 (4.50); 7. Robeilys Peinado (Ven) 14-5¼ (4.40); 8. Elisa Molinarolo (Ita) 14-5¼;… nh—Angelica Moser (Swi).

LJ: 1. Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk (Ukr) 22-5¾ (6.85) (f, 21-6¾, f, 21-5¼, 22-5¾, 22-3½) (f, 6.57, f, 6.53, 6.85, 6.79); 2. Malaika Mihambo (Ger) 22-3½ (6.79) (22-3½, 22-2¼, f, 21-1¼, p, 22-1¾) (6.79, 6.76, f, 6.43, p, 6.75); 3. Quanesha Burks (US) 22-2½ (6.77) (21-1½, 22-2¼, 21-5¼, 22-2½, 21-8¾, f) (6.44, 6.76, 6.53, 6.77, 6.62, f); 4. Milica Gardašević (Ser) 22-¼ (6.71); 5. Christabel Nettey (Can) 21-11½ (6.69); 6. Khaddi Sagnia (Swe) 21-10¼ (6.66); 7. Jazmin Sawyers (GB) 21-8¼ (6.61); 8. Larissa Iapichino (Ita) 21-6 (6.55); 9. Chantel Malone (BVI) 20-7¾ (6.29).

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