Shanghai Diamond League — Round 1 Of 400H To Samba

Abderrahmane Samba & Rai Benjamin each clocked the No. 2 time of their careers. (ERROL ANDERSON/THE SPORTING IMAGE)

SHANGHAI, CHINA, May 18—It was a faceoff nearly a year in the making. And when the dust settled at Shanghai Stadium, Abderrahmane Samba had illustrated yet again how difficult a full lap hurdler he is to beat. This time it was Rai Benjamin—the joint third-fastest 400 hurdler of all-time—to experience the Qatari’s late-race strength as the pair squared off for the first time since they began climbing the all-time lists nearly a year ago. Expectations were high, and given the early-season date, Samba exceeded most in the year’s second Diamond League meet.

Running to Samba’s outside in lane 5, Benjamin took the early lead, leading by about half a stride until the pair reached the fifth hurdle. Samba briefly pulled ahead, but Benjamin kept up the pressure through the turn and as they approached hurdle 9. There, Benjamin lost his rhythm, giving Samba an opening he took full advantage of. Three strides later, reigning No. 1 Ranker Samba was in the lead for good, padding his advantage as he cleared hurdle 10 before crossing the line in 47.27, the second-fastest time of his career in just his second race of the season. And he did it on less than a handful of restless hours of sleep after losing a battle with jetlag.

“To be honest with you, I couldn’t sleep last night,” he revealed. “I fell asleep this morning at about 7:00 and got up at 10:30. But I’m so happy. It’s my second-fastest time so I think the season will be great again like last year.” It was also his 12th straight victory.

Only 8 other men have ever run faster; Benjamin—who clocked 47.02 in a limited season last year—among them. Despite his late-race dip in fortunes, the 21-year-old American was pleased with the second-fastest time of his career, a U.S.-leading 47.80. “I was good until 9 and 10,” he said. “I wish I could have those hurdles back; but it’s fine, it’s the season opener so I can’t really complain too much. I didn’t go out too strong, he just had it at the end and I didn’t. I just have to go home and work on some things and come back.”

Noah Lyles edged by Christian Coleman late in the going of the 100. (ERROL ANDERSON/THE SPORTING IMAGE)

In the meet’s other big showdown, Noah Lyles notched a minor 100 upset over Christian Coleman with a 9.86 PR, but it was the manner in which he pulled it off that was most impressive. Astonishingly, Lyles wasn’t even in the race until nearly 70m in, at which point a phenomenal maintenance of speed moved the 21-year-old from well back in 6th to about an inch ahead of Coleman at the line. Both were credited with 9.86s, reigning DL 200 champion Lyles getting the nod over the ’18 series 100 winner by a scant 0.006, 9.852–9.858. Further back, Akani Simbine was 3rd in 9.95 and Reece Prescod 4th in 9.97. “This was a message to myself,” said Lyles, who chipped 0.02 from his PR set last year. “The 100 has never been my dominant thing so I wanted to make sure this year that everybody knew I was a 100 and 200 runner, and not just a 200 runner kind of running the 100.”

Aleia Hobbs, the ’18 U.S. women’s 100 champion, made her DL debut a notable one, taking a convincing victory in 11.03, 0.04 clear of Nigerian Blessing Okagbare. And she did it with a heavily taped wrist she broke two weeks ago while playing laser tag with some kids. “I knew I had to have a good start, and I got out well but everything else was kind of blurred,” Hobbs said. “Then I felt the push towards the end but I tried to stay relaxed and that’s what I did.” Double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson was 3rd, clocking 11.14.

In another eagerly awaited faceoff, the women’s 400, reigning world silver medalist Salwa Eid Naser held off Sydney McLaughlin, who was making her DL debut. After contrasting starts—the Bahraini got out quickly while the American held back—they were virtually even midway through the final turn. But after entering the straight, Naser began to gradually pull away before stopping the clock in 50.65 to the American teenager’s 50.78.

Fred Kerley, the ’18 Diamond League champion, dominated the men’s 400 in 44.81, more than half a second clear of Michael Cherry, who clocked 45.48. Olympic champion Omar McLeod collected a record fourth 110m hurdles victory in what is considered the meeting’s signature event. Out strong, the Jamaican cruised to a 13.12 performance, holding off China’s Wenjun Xie, the Asian champion, who lowered his lifetime best to 13.17. It was an emotional victory for McLeod, who learned of his aunt’s death the night before. The victory, he said, was a humble tribute. “It was really tough to just get out of bed and show up, but I wanted to show up, and whatever the outcome, to be sure I was there and do the best that I could.”

On the infield, the men’s javelin was decided early, with German Andreas Hofmann sealing the win with a 287-3 (87.55) first-round effort. Cheng Chao-Tsun of Taiwan, the Asian recordholder, was 2nd with 285-10 (87.12), a season’s best. Olympic champion Thomas Röhler opened his campaign a distant 4th, reaching just 272-1 (82.95).

In the women’s shot world leader Chase Ealey notched the biggest win of her young career, taking not only her first Diamond League victory, but also defeating world champion Lijiao Gong in the process. The U.S. indoor champion reached 64-3 (19.58) in the second round, her one solid throw of the competition, but enough to hold off Gong, who responded with a 63-8¾ (19.42) in the second round and 63-9½ (19.44) in the second.


SHANGHAI DL MEN’S RESULTS

Shanghai, China, May 18—

100(0.9): 1. Noah Lyles (US) 9.86 (9.852) PR (WL, AL); 2. Christian Coleman (US) 9.86 (9.858) (=WL, AL);

3. Akani Simbine (SA) 9.95; 4. Reece Prescod (GB) 9.97; 5. Bingtian Su (Chn) 10.05; 6. Zhenye Xie (Chn) 10.09; 7. Isiah Young (US) 10.14; 8. Mike Rodgers (US) 10.15; 9. Tyquendo Tracey (Jam) 10.18.

Non-DL 200(0.0): 1. Aaron Brown (Can) 20.07; 2. Andre De Grasse (Can) 20.21; 3. Clarence Munyai (SA) 20.37; 4. Kyle Greaux (Tri) 20.40; 5. Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (GB) 20.60; 6. Alonso Edward (Pan) 20.62; 7. Jak Ali Harvey (Tur) 20.96.

400: 1. Fred Kerley (US) 44.81; 2. Michael Cherry (US) 45.48; 3. Nathan Strother (US) 45.52; 4. Nathon Allen (Jam) 45.73; 5. Bralon Taplin (Grn) 45.93;… dnf—Isaac Makwala (Bot).

5000: 1. Yomif Kejelcha (Eth) 13:04.16 (WL);

2. Selemon Barega (Eth) 13:04.71 (7:54.83); 3. Hagos Gebrhiwet (Eth) 13:04.83; 4. Birhanu Balew (Brn) 13:05.04; 5. Telahun Haile (Eth) 13:05.94; 6. Nicholas Kimeli (Ken) 13:06.16 PR (10:37.57); 7. Joshua Cheptegei (Uga) 13:06.68; 8. Stanley Waithaka (Ken) 13:08.97; 9. Chala Regasa (Eth) 13:12.71 PR; 10. Richard Yator (Ken) 13:13.24; 11. Soufiyan Bouqantar (Mor) 13:13.68 PR;

12. Paul Chelimo (US) 13:13.94 (out AL);

13. Mogos Tuemay (Eth) 13:15.04 PR; 14. Nibret Melak (Eth) 13:15.35; 15. Stephen Kissa (Uga) 13:19.85; 16. Hassan Mead (US) 13:23.15; 17. Albert Rop (Brn) 13:29.88; … dnf—Abdelaati Iguider (Mor);… rabbits—Bram Som (Neth) (2:35.20), Cornelius Kiplangat (Ken) (5:13.50).

110H(0.7): 1. Omar McLeod (Jam) 13.12; 2. Wenjun Xie (Chn) 13.17 PR; 3. Sergey Shubenkov (Rus) 13.28; 4. Orlando Ortega (Spa) 13.28; 5. Freddie Crittenden (US) 13.36; 6. Andrew Pozzi (GB) 13.39; 7. Milan Trajkovic (Cyp) 13.41; 8. Antonio Alkana (SA) 13.47; 9. Jianhang Zeng (Chn) 13.71.

400H: 1. Abderrahman Samba (Qat) 47.27 (WL) (x, =15 W); 2. Rai Benjamin (US) 47.80 (AL) (14, x A);

3. Thomas Barr (Ire) 49.41; 4. Patryk Dobek (Pol) 49.64; 5. Rasmus Mägi (Est) 50.06; 6. Takatoshi Abe (Jpn) 50.27; 7. Marcio Teles (Bra) 50.90.

Field Events

HJ: 1. Yu Wang (Chn) 7-5¾ (2.28); 2. Maksim Nedasekau (Blr) 7-5¾; 3. Ilya Ivanyuk (Rus) 7-5¾; 4. tie, Jeron Robinson (US), Brandon Starc (Aus) & Jamal Wilson (Bah) 7-4½ (2.25); 7. Majd Eddin Ghazal (Syr) 7-4½; 8. Michael Mason (Can) 7-3¼ (2.22); 9. Mateusz Przybylko (Ger) 7-3¼; 10. Bohdan Bondarenko (Ukr) 7-2¼ (2.19);… nh—Bryan McBride (US).

LJ: 1. Tajay Gayle (Jam) 27-½ (8.24) (26-0, f, f, 25-6, 27-½, 26-1¾) (7.92, f, f, 7.77, 8.24, 7.97); 2. Jianan Wang (Chn) 26-9¼ (8.16); 3. Ruswahl Samaai (SA) 26-8½ (8.14); 4. Yaoguang Zhang (Chn) 26-2¼ (7.98); 5. Miltiadis Tentoglou (Gre) 26-1¾ (7.97); 6. Zarck Visser (SA) 25-11 (7.90); 7. Changzhou Huang (Chn) 25-11 (7.90); 8. Emiliano Lasa (Uru) 25-9¼ (7.85); 9. Zack Bazile (US) 24-9¼ (7.55);… 3f—Damar Forbes (Jam).

JT: 1. Andreas Hofmann (Ger) 287-3 (87.55) (WL) (287-3, f, 265-11, f, f, 277-0) (87.55, f, 81.05, f, f, 84.43);

2. Chao-Tsun Cheng (Tpe) 285-10 (87.12) (265-10, 285-2, 285-10, f, 274-10, f) (81.04, 86.93, 87.12, f, 83.76, f); 3. Marcin Krukowski (Pol) 277-3 (84.51); 4. Thomas Röhler (Ger) 272-1 (82.95); 5. Qizhen Liu (Chn) 263-7 (80.35); 6. Jakub Vadlejch (CzR) 262-5 (80.00); 7. Julius Yego (Ken) 255-4 (77.82); 8. Qun Ma (Chn) 243-1 (74.11).

SHANGHAI DL WOMEN’S RESULTS

100(0.2): 1. Aleia Hobbs (US) 11.03; 2. Blessing Okagbare (Ngr) 11.07; 3. Elaine Thompson (Jam) 11.14; 4. Vitoria Cristina Rosa (Bra) 11.16;

5. Jenna Prandini (US) 11.19; 6. Xiaojing Liang (Chn) 11.22 PR; 7. Michelle-Lee Ahye (Tri) 11.23; 8. Yongli Wei (Chn) 11.40; 9. Ashley Henderson (US) 11.53.

400: 1. Salwa Eid Naser (Brn) 50.65;

2. Sydney McLaughlin (US) 50.78 (AL);

3. Christine Botlogetswe (Bot) 51.29; 4. Stephenie Ann McPherson (Jam) 51.39; 5. Jessica Beard (US) 51.40; 6. Lisanne de Witte (Neth) 51.80; 7. Justyna Święty-Ersetic (Pol) 51.85; 8. Shakima Wimbley (US) 52.69; 9. Guifen Huang (Chn) 54.17.

1500: 1. Rabab Arafi (Mor) 4:01.15 (out WL);

2. Gudaf Tsegay (Eth) 4:01.25 (3:15.66); 3. Winnie Nanyondo (Uga) 4:01.39 NR; 4. Dawit Seyaum (Eth) 4:01.40; 5. Sifan Hassan (Neth) 4:01.91; 6. Axumawit Embaye (Eth) 4:01.95 PR; 7. Winny Chebet (Ken) 4:02.94; 8. Alemaz Teshale (Eth) 4:03.79;

9. Alexa Efraimson (US) 4:04.53 (AL);

10. Nelly Jepkosgei (Ken) 4:05.07; 11. Georgia Griffith (Aus) 4:05.39; 12. Esther Chebet (Uga) 4:07.75; 13. Xiaoqian Zheng (Chn) 4:15.21; 14. Emily Lipari (US) 4:19.94; … rabbits—Morgan Mitchell (Aus) (65.34), Josephine Kiplangat (Ken) (2:09.72).

St: 1. Beatrice Chepkoech (Ken) 9:04.53 (WL) (6:03.40);

2. Celliphine Chespol (Ken) 9:11.10; 3. Peruth Chemutai (Uga) 9:17.78; 4. Winfred Yavi (Brn) 9:19.63;

5. Mercy Chepkurui (Ken) 9:23.59 PR (8, x WJ);

6. Maruša Mišmaš (Slo) 9:29.48; 7. Geneviève Lalonde (Can) 9:29.82 NR; 8. Fancy Cherono (Ken) 9:31.00;

9. Shuangshuang Xu (Chn) 9:33.89; 10. Luiza Gega (Alb) 9:34.94; 11. Weynshet Ansa (Eth) 9:43.32;

12. Mel Lawrence (US) 9:44.36 (AL);

13. Lucie Sekanová (CzR) 9:49.23; 14. Özlem Kaya (Tur) 9:58.95;… rabbit—Caroline Tuigong (Ken) (3:01.84).

Field Events

PV: 1. Katerína Stefanídi (Gre) 15-5¾ (4.72) (14-10, 15-1¾, 15-5¾, 15-7¾ [xxx]) (4.52, 4.62, 4.72, 4.77 [xxx]); 2. tie, Nikoléta Kiriakopoúlou (Gre) & Ling Li (Chn) 15-5¾ (Li NR); 4. Sandi Morris (US) 15-5¾; 5. Katie Nageotte (US) 15-1¾ (4.62); 6. Iryna Zhuk (Blr) 14-10 (4.52); 7. Alysha Newman (Can) 14-10; 8. Holly Bradshaw (GB) 14-6 (4.42); 9. Annie Rhodes-Johnigan (US) 14-6; 10. Huiqin Xu (Chn) 14-0 (4.27);… nh—Kristen Leland (US).

SP: 1. Chase Ealey (US) 64-3 (19.58) (57-9½, 64-3, f, f, 58-1¼, f) (17.61, 19.58, f, f, 17.71, f); 2. Lijiao Gong (Chn) 63-9½ (19.44) (62-3¾, 63-8¾, 62-10¾, 61-10¼, 62-11¼, 63-9½) (18.99, 19.42, 19.17, 18.85, 19.18, 19.44); 3. Aliona Dubitskaya (Blr) 61-7½ (18.78); 4. Jessica Ramsey (US) 61-¾ (18.61); 5. Danniel Thomas-Dodd (Jam) 60-10 (18.54); 6. Maggie Ewen (US) 60-7¾ (18.48); 7. Fanny Roos (Swe) 60-½ (18.30); 8. Paulina Guba (Pol) 58-7¼ (17.86); 9. Anita Márton (Hun) 57-11 (17.65); 10. Dani Hill (US) 56-11½ (17.36).

JT: 1. Huihui Lu (Chn) 219-5 (66.89) (MR) (177-11, 219-5, 215-5, f, 206-0, 213-5) (54.24, 66.89, 65.66, f, 62.79, 65.06); 2. Līna Mūze (Lat) 212-10 (64.87) PR; 3. Christin Hussong (Ger) 210-4 (64.10); 4. Madara Palameika (Lat) 204-10 (62.45); 5. Nikola Ogrodníková (CzR) 202-4 (61.68); 6. Kelsey-Lee Barber (Aus) 201-5 (61.40);

7. Ariana Ince (US) 197-8 (60.26) (AL);

8. Sunette Viljoen (SA) 188-10 (57.56);… 3f—Tatsiana Khaladovich (Blr). ◻︎

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