Pre Classic/DL Final — Women’s Track

The 57.2/57.8 pacing on Athing Mu’s 1:54.97 AR 800 was nothing like the 55.4/59.6 division of effort in her previous standard. (VICTOR SAILER/PHOTO RUN)

100: Jackson Sharpens Her Short Game

SHA’CARRI RICHARDSON may have walked to the line as the favorite, with the WC gold and the fastest time of the year, but Shericka Jackson had an entirely different plan. The 200 gold medalist from Jamaica blitzed to the DL victory in 10.70, faster than the time she ran in Budapest for silver.

Jackson started in lane 6, next to Richardson in 5. Marie-Josée Ta Lou was in 4, and resurgent Elaine Thompson-Herah in 2.

At the gun, Ta Lou got out best, and had a marked lead at 10m. Richardson got out well, nearly even with Jackson. But where Richardson normally moves into high gear, it was Jackson with the longlegged turnover. She left Richardson behind and soon caught Thompson-Herah and then Ta Lou.

The Jamaican crossed in the second-fastest time of her life, 10.70 with a wind of 0.8, Ta Lou finished in 10.75, and then a crowd hit the line, with Thompson-Herah (10.79) barely ahead of Richardson’s 10.80. TeeTee Terry ran 5th in a season best 10.83.

Jackson appeared subdued in victory, but started making big noise when she realized teammate Natasha Morrison hit a PR 10.85 in 6th.

Said Jackson, facing the next day’s 200, “I just wanted to come out here and execute and I think I did pretty good this evening. I’m grateful, I’m here, I’m enjoying myself and tomorrow is another competition day.”

For her part Richardson noted, “I am not mad at all about the time that I did today. Today was amazing, a great end to the season. It just gives me stuff to work on, prepare for Olympics next year.”

Results (wind 0.8)

1. Shericka Jackson (Jam) 10.70; 2. Marie-Josée Ta Lou (CI) 10.75; 3. Elaine Thompson-Herah (Jam) 10.79; 4. Sha’Carri Richardson (US) 10.80; 5. TeeTee Terry (US) 10.83; 6. Natasha Morrison (Jam) 10.85 PR; 7. Dina Asher-Smith (GB) 10.96; 8. Imani Lansiquot (GB) 11.01; 9. Zoe Hobbs (NZ) 11.18.

(best-ever mark-for-place: 4–6)

200: Two Trophies Twice As Nice

THAT SHERICKA JACKSON was the overwhelming favorite to complete a Diamond League double could not be disputed. The Jamaican, already owner of the 200 gold from Budapest, has gone undefeated in her signature event and owns 5 of the 8 fastest times of the season. With the other World medalists, Gabby Thomas and Sha’Carri Richardson, not competing, the biggest question for fans was how fast Jackson would go.

The 29-year-old has been open about her hopes of taking down Flojo’s 21.34 World Record. The gentle turns of Hayward Field seemed a promising venue. Jackson, though, is one who perhaps needs a competitive push to race her fastest, and none was forthcoming here.

For the meet’s final race, she lined up in lane 7 in a field where only one other, Jenna Prandini, had ever broken 22.00. Far from that form this year, Prandini started in 5, with Budapest 6th-placer Anthonique Strachan in 8, TeeTee Terry in 9 and Marie-Josée Ta Lou in 3. The temperature was 73 (23C), the wind nearly still; the gauge would read only 0.3.

Jackson gave the clock a good run, with a commanding lead at halfway, 11.02 to Terry’s 11.17, with Ta Lou at 11.20 after a strong inside curve. Jackson vigorously worked the second half, closing in 10.55 to cross the line in 21.57. Ta Lou held on for 2nd in 22.10, with Strachan (22.16) reeling in Terry (22.21) for 3rd.

Not a bit disappointed with history’s No. 8 performance, Jackson was all smiles with her double successfully completed. “Last year one of my goals I wrote how I wanted to get two trophies,” she said. “I didn’t get two trophies last year and I rewrote that again, that I wanted two trophies this year. I got it and I’m grateful. The end of the season. I’m healthy and I ran some fast times. So I’m definitely grateful.”

Results (wind 0.3)

1. Shericka Jackson (Jam) 21.57 (x, 8 W);

2. Marie-Josée Ta Lou (CI) 22.10; 3. Anthonique Strachan (Bah) 22.16; 4. TeeTee Terry (US) 22.21; 5. Daryll Neita (GB) 22.35; 6. Kayla White (US) 22.49; 7. Jenna Prandini (US) 22.68; 8. Tasa Jiya (Neth) 22.92; 9. Gemima Joseph (Fra) 23.62.

400: Paulino Win A Lot Like The WC

THE RESULTS at the front reminded one of Budapest’s. World champ Marileidy Paulino won by 0.80 from silver medalist Natalia Kaczmarek; the Dominican’s margin over the Pole at the WC had been 0.81.

The Netherlands’ Lieke Klaver — who was 2nd behind Kaczmarek at the Chorzów DL, handing Paulino her only loss of ’23 — finished powerfully for 3rd.

The wildcard this time was USATF 4th-placer and WC semifinalist Lynna Irby-Jackson out in lane 9. The American blitzed the first 200 in 23.86 to 23.91 for Paulino in lane 5 and 23.98 for Jamaica’s WC 7th-placer Candice McLeod in corridor 4.

Around the turn, though, Paulino ran tough to take the lead and pass 300 in front at 36.27 from McLeod (36.53) and Irby-Jackson (36.65). She thoroughly owned the homestretch and came home in 49.58 for a dominating win.

Budapest bronze medalist Sada Williams (lane 7) held 4th at 200 and through the curve, but Kaczmarek (lane 6) and Klaver (8, lots of action in the outside lanes for this one) poured out strength in the straight to pass McLeod in the last 50 for 2nd and 3rd. Kaczmarek was timed in 50.38, Klaver in 50.47 to 50.76 for McLeod. Williams (51.07 for 5th) and Irby-Jackson (51.60 for 7th) lost momentum on the runin.

Paulino, 26, had preceded her Budapest win with a WC silver on this track in ’22, and her DL trophy win was a repeat of her topper last year.


1. Marileidy Paulino (DR) 49.58; 2. Natalia Kaczmarek (Pol) 50.38; 3. Lieke Klaver (Neth) 50.47; 4. Candice McLeod (Jam) 50.76; 5. Sada Williams (Bar) 51.07; 6. Victoria Ohuruogu (GB) 51.15; 7. Lynna Irby-Jackson (US) 51.60; 8. Aliyah Abrams (Guy) 51.97.

800: Mu Do-Over Nets AR

SOMETIMES A DO-OVER is just what the doctor ordered. Apparently not happy with taking the bronze in Budapest — and experiencing her first 2-lap loss in more than 2 years — Athing Mu asked to be a wild card entrant into the DL Final. That gave her another shot at Mary Moraa and Keely Hodgkinson, the women who beat her at Worlds. She emerged not only with the win, but with an American Record 1:54.97 in what proved to be a wonderfully competitive battle.

Altogether 5 of 8 Budapest finalists lined up, including, of course, all of the medalists. Kaylin Whitney signed on for pacesetting duties with a mandate to hit 55.0 for the first lap, but no one went with her. Well behind Whitney at 200, Hodgkinson passed in 27.5 with Mu on her shoulder. The American stayed in that position, with Moraa working her way up to 3rd, just off Mu’s shoulder. Whitney hit 400 in 55.90, still 10m ahead of Hodgkinson and Mu at 57.2.

Again, Mu ran wide on the turn to stay on the Briton’s shoulder, which had the effect of making Moraa run even wider. The leaders covered the next 100 in 14.7, then Mu pulled even with Hodgkinson on the backstretch. The two 21-year-olds hit 600 in 1:26.4 after a 14.5 stretch. Moraa remained on Mu’s shoulder with Jamaican Natoya Goule-Toppin in the pocket.

On the final turn, Mu kept the pressure on and as she approached the straight she finally made her move, pulling away by inches as, behind her, Moraa let go. Midway down the stretch Hodgkinson threw a final burst at her but it wasn’t enough, as Mu fought back to finish a stride ahead in 1:54.97, breaking the 1:55.04 American (and meet) Record she set at the ’21 Prefontaine Classic. Her last lap took an impressive 57.8.

National records also fell to runner-up Hodgkinson with her 1:55.19 and 3rd-placer Goule-Toppin with her 1:55.96. Moraa finished 4th in a well-beaten 1:57.42. In 8th ran Sage Hurta-Klecker at 1:59.65, just ahead of 5th Avenue Mile champ and Budapest 5th-placer Jemma Reekie at 2:00.34.

“I felt really new and refreshed, and I’m just happy,” said Mu. “I knew I could do something fast if I could just relax and compete. Besides thinking about the competition, I really was just thinking about my own self and what I could do. I wanted to make sure that I ran to the best of my abilities and actually put effort out there, because the last few races that wasn’t the case.”


1. Athing Mu (US) 1:54.97 AR (old AR 1:55.04 Mu ’21) (WL) (8, =14 W) (27.6, 29.6 [57.2], 29.2 [1:26.4], 28.8) (57.2/57.8);

2. Keely Hodgkinson (GB) 1:55.19 NR (=10, x W) (27.5, 29.7 [57.2], 29.2 [1:26.4], 28.8) (57.2/58.0);

3. Natoya Goule-Toppin (Jam) 1:55.96 NR (57.4/58.6); 4. Mary Moraa (Ken) 1:57.42 (57.3/60.1); 5. Halimah Nakaayi (Uga) 1:58.34; 6. Catriona Bisset (Aus) 1:58.35; 7. Renelle Lamote (Fra) 1:58.51; 8. Sage Hurta-Klecker (US) 1:59.65; 9. Jemma Reekie (GB) 2:00.34; … rabbit—Kaylin Whitney (US) (55.90).

1500: Kipyegon Runs Away To MR

ANOTHER BRAVURA PERFORMANCE by Faith Kipyegon brought the Hayward Field crowd to its feet as the Kenyan legend dominated the proceedings with a stunning meet record 3:50.72, the No. 4 time in history.

Brooks Beast Laurie Barton set the pace, hitting the first two laps perfectly at 62.64 and 62.62 (2:05.26). Kipyegon immediately moved to 2nd, with Ethiopian Diribe Welteji next and Laura Muir a stride behind. Yet Kipyegon let Barton slip away, and by 700 there was a 10-meter gap.

On the next turn, Kipyegon moved, leaving the pack behind and catching Barton at the 800. On the backstretch, she continued to stretch her margin, as the audience grew ever louder, realizing a record might be at play. At the bell (2:51.13) she had 20m on the field.

Kipyegon drove as only she can, her fans standing, as she strained for the line to cross in 3:50.73. After her, Welteji closed hard for a PR 3:53.93 to move to No. 6 all-time. Muir finished 3rd in 3:55.16, her No. 2 time ever and her seventh under 3:56. PRs went to Freweyni Hailu in 4th (3:55.68) and Australia’s Linden Hall in 5th (3:56.92 NR). The Americans finished far back, with Cory McGee 10th (4:01.28) and Sinclaire Johnson 12th (4:03.21).

Said the smiling victor, a local favorite who has now won the Prefontaine race a record 6 times (passing Suzy Hamilton’s 5), “I didn’t watch the clock, I was just running my race and see what will happen at the finish line. So it was amazing, to run a meeting record, just fantastic. I didn’t worry about anything, I was just going and not looking back who is following me, just go to the tape and see what I was going to run.”


1. Faith Kipyegon (Ken) 3:50.72 (U.S. all-comers record) (x, 4 W) (62.8, 62.5 [2:05.3], 60.8 [3:06.07], 44.7) (14.4, 29.4, 59.7, 2:00.9; 2. Diribe Welteji (Eth) 3:53.93 PR (6, x W);

3. Laura Muir (GB) 3:55.16; 4. Freweyni Hailu (Eth) 3:55.68 PR; 5. Linden Hall (Aus) 3:56.92 NR;

6. Birke Haylom (Eth) 3:56.98 (x, =2 WJ);

7. Hirut Meshesha (Eth) 3:57.53; 8. Jessica Hull (Aus) 3:57.57; 9. Melissa Courtney-Bryant (GB) 3:59.57; 10. Cory McGee (US) 4:01.28; 11. Ciara Mageean (Ire) 4:03.09; 12. Sinclaire Johnson (US) 4:03.21; 13. Worknesh Mesele (Eth) 4:09.34; … rabbit—Laurie Barton (US) (62.64, 62.62 [2:05.26]).

(best-ever mark-for-place: 7–8)

Steeplechase: World Champ Yavi To No. 2 All-Time

WINIFRED YAVI completed a clean sweep of the major titles this season, fending off a spirited challenge from World Record holder Beatrice Chepkoech to claim the trophy in the No. 2 time in history.

Olympic champion Peruth Chemutai of Uganda took the pace out so hard that no one followed closely. After a lap, she was ahead of the pack — and the pacing lights — by some 30 meters. Well behind her, Budapest bronze medalist Faith Cherotich ran at the front of a pack of 6 identically dressed Africans. After a 2:55.82 first kilo (she had been asked for 2:55.0), Chemutai wheeled off.

Yavi had moved into 3rd, but soon slipped to 4th when teenager Jackline Chepkoech (no relation to Beatrice) took over the lead. By 2K five contenders remained. Shortly after, Yavi made her big move to the front with two laps to go. Beatrice Chepkoech stayed close as the two pulled away. At the bell, Yavi had a 2-stride lead. Chepkoech attacked at the final waterjump, moving ahead but unable to get a real margin and cut in. Yavi fought her way back to the front, maintaining the lead over the final barrier and sprinting as Chepkoech realized her battle was lost.

Yavi’s 8:50.66 sliced more than 3 seconds off her best and broke the MR, as well as the Asian Record and the NR of Bahrain. Only Chepkoech’s WR of 8:44.32 is faster. Beatrice Chepkoech hit 8:51.67, the No. 2 time of her career and the fastest runner-up time ever. Cherotich took 3rd in 8:59.65, as Jackline Chepkoech finished 4th in 9:01.18. American Courtney Wayment ran 9:20.69 for 9th.

“Behind the scenes I’ve been working hard secretly, I’ve been sacrificing a lot, training hard, doing a lot, doing a lot of strength training,” said the winner, who added, “To see the World Record holder behind me I feel like I can even do the same thing like her.”


1. Winfred Yavi (Bhr) 8:50.66 NR (WL) (2, 2 W) (U.S. all-comers record); 2. Beatrice Chepkoech (Ken) 8:51.67 (x, 3 W); 3. Faith Cherotich (Ken) 8:59.65 PR (11, x W; 2, 2 WJ) (5:58.82);

4. Jackline Chepkoech (Ken) 9:01.18; 5. Zerfe Wondemagegn (Eth) 9:05.36; 6. Maruša Mišmaš-Zrimsek (Slo) 9:08.11; 7. Sembo Almayew (Eth) 9:13.08; 8. Marwa Bouzayani (Tun) 9:17.15; 9. Courtney Wayment (US) 9:20.69; 10. Alice Finot (Fra) 9:41.09; … rabbit—Peruth Chemutai (Uga) (2:55.82).

(best-ever mark-for-place: 2, 4–5)

With a 2:43.3 closing kilometer in the 5K, 65.4-lap tempo, Gudaf Tsegay, gritting her teeth with the effort, blasted away from Beatrice Chebet to the threshold of sub-14. (KEVIN MORRIS)

5000: WR As 14:00 Barrier Survives, Barely

DL FINAL distance races at least to some extend tend to reflect end-of-season athlete fatigue and tilting for the series trophy as the No. 1 goal. Not this one as over the last 5 laps it became apparent Gudaf Tsegay, leading World XC champ Beatrice Chebet, was beating out a torrid yet smooth tempo. Something special was in the still, circa 70-degree air:

A stunning reduction of Faith Kipyegon’s 3-month-old World Record by 4.99 to 14:00.21 as the 14-minute barrier only barely escaped a breach.

Ethiopian Tsegay — 26 years old and with world titles to her name last year (5000 on this track) and this (10,000 in Budapest) — and the field followed elite pacemaking by Sinclaire Johnson and Elise Cranny through 2K in 5:37.5 (consistent 67-point laps).

From there de facto rabbit Birke Haylom drove through 3K in 8:26.1 — under the World Junior (U20) record and Ethiopian Haylom is just 17.

Chebet followed close as Tsegay led, a picture in power on the track. The tempo drifted into the 68-point range and then with a kilo to run Tsegay shifted down — to 4400 (600 to go) in 65.7 and then 65.4 to 4800 — dropping her Kenyan pursuer.

Tsegay let fly over the last 200 (32.2) and bore down in the final straight to close in 15.8.

Chebet fought hard behind but her 3.6 deficit with a lap to go grew to 5.71 as she crossed in 14:05.92, the No. 3 all-time mark just 0.72 slower than Kipyegon’s now former WR.

Budapest 10K bronze medalist Ejgayehu Taye placed a well-back 3rd in 14:21.52.

“My focus today was the World Record,” Tsegay said, voicing frustration she was unable to defend her 5K crown in Budapest after winning the 25-lapper: “I miss 5000 for injury, my leg is problem. I’m not sleep, I’m very hungry in my mind. But today is very happy.

Sub-14 aspirations? Naturally. “Yes, I try,” she said.


1. Gudaf Tsegay (Eth) 14:00.21 WR (old WR 14:05.20 Faith Kipyegon [Ken] ’23)

(67.9, 67.5 [2:15.4], 67.5 [3:22.9], 67.1 [4:30.0], 67.5 [5:37.5], 68.3 [6:45.8], 66.8 [7:52.6], 67.6 [9:00.2], 68.6 [10:08.8], 68.1 [11:16.9], 65.7 [12:22.6], 65.4 [13:28.0], 32.2) (2:48.8, 2:48.7 [5:37.5], 2:49.0 [8:26.5], 2:50.4 [11:16.89], 2:43.3) (15.8, 32.2, 64.5);

2. Beatrice Chebet (Ken) 14:05.92 PR (3, 3 W);

3. Ejgayehu Taye (Eth) 14:21.52; 4. Lilian Rengeruk (Ken) 14:40.81; 5. Lemlem Hailu (Eth) 14:42.29; 6. Nozomi Tanaka (Jpn) 14:42.38; 7. Alicia Monson (US) 14:45.98; 8. Weini Kelati (US) 15:25.62;… rabbits—Sinclaire Johnson (US) (2:48.08);

…Elise Cranny (US) (5:37.24—2, 4 A);

…Birke Haylom (Eth) (8:26.03 WJR¶, WYR (old WJR 8:28.83 Zola Pieterse (GB) ’85; old WYR 8:39.00 Pieterse (SA) ’83) (¶ = won’t be ratifiable; WA rules require athlete to finish full race distance).

100 Hurdles: Amusan Races Clear Of Controversy

REDEMPTION. Now Tobi Amusan knows what it feels like. The Nigerian, holder of the World Record at 12.12, returned to the site of last year’s WC glory in quite different circumstances. This summer, she had been provisionally suspended by the AIU for whereabouts violations only to have the charges lifted just in time for her to run Worlds. The defending champion placed a disappointed 6th.

She traveled to Eugene with the prospect of an AIU counter-appeal hanging over her head, then received the news on the eve of her race that the AIU did not file a motion within the 30-day window. Finally, she could race without career doom hanging over her head.

That’s just what she did in the DL Final. Lining up in lane 4, she faced world champion Danielle Williams of Jamaica (3), silver medalist Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (5), and bronze medalist Keni Harrison (6), as well as ’19 world champ Nia Ali. A nice favoring breeze blew; it would be measured at 1.8.

Amusan caught a fast start, and was even with Williams at the first hurdle, with Alaysha Johnson and Ali also out well. Over the next two hurdles she and Williams pulled clearly ahead, then Amusan found a rhythm that left Williams behind, as Camacho-Quinn moved up to challenge.

Over the last few hurdles, the Nigerian’s margin grew. Camacho-Quinn held on to 2nd, and Harrison started to move past Williams. At the line, it was Amusan in 12.33, her fastest time of the year. Camacho-Quinn (12.38) and Harrison (12.44) followed), with Williams (12.47) in 4th.

“This win is not about me,” said Amusan. “It’s for my coach, my family, for everyone who supported me throughout this year. It’s been a rough one and I’m just thankful. I came out here… and said it’s my race to lose, and I give my all.”

Results (wind 1.8)

1. Tobi Amusan (Ngr) 12.33; 2. Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (PR) 12.38; 3. Keni Harrison (US) 12.44; 4. Danielle Williams (Jam) 12.47; 5. Megan Tapper (Jam) 12.48; 6. Alaysha Johnson (US) 12.48; 7. Nia Ali (US) 12.62; 8. Pia Skrzyszowska (Pol) 12.81; 9. Tia Jones (US) 12.82.

(best-ever mark-for-place: 5–6)

400 Hurdles: Bol Finishes Pleased With ’23 Progress

AT THE END OF a remarkable season — 23 wins in 24 races at 200, 400, 500 and 400H — Femke Bol began this one with a 1.4-second yearly time advantage over World silver medalist Shamier Little. Barring disaster, this was not going to be a close affair.

But it was. Anna Cockrell was off like a shot, and held a 0.3 lead by the second hurdle. Little took over soon after, and was 0.2 ahead of Bol (then only 4th) at hurdle 5. The Dutch star slowly closed the gap, but Little, running all-out, held on until the 9th barrier. Then Bol’s strength, speed and superior technique won the day, and she easily separated from the rest.

Bol’s 51.98 is history’s No. 10 performance, and her third under 52 seconds this year. Her margin of victory was about the same as her prerace edge.

Afterward, she said, “I tried to go out a bit fast, but when I get tired this is hard for me. But I had a really strong finish again and my strides worked like I wanted, and finishing in 51 and the Diamond League trophy is all I can ask for. My season was great. I made a lot of progress, changed my strides, and it really paid off.” /Tom Casacky/


1. Femke Bol (Neth) 51.98 (x, 10 W);

2. Shamier Little (US) 53.45; 3. Rushell Clayton (Jam) 53.56; 4. Janieve Russell (Jam) 53.60; 5. Anna Cockrell (US) 54.48; 6. Ayomide Folorunso (Ita) 54.68; 7. Gianna Woodruff (Pan) 54.95; 8. Anna Ryzhykova (Ukr) 54.98; 9. Viktoriya Tkachuk (Ukr) 55.48.

(best-ever mark-for-place: 9)