If the sprinters at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene were impressive, the jumpers were spectacular, giving substance to the premonition that 2015 is indeed the year of the jumps, with several World Records (WR) facing the risk of extinction in the near future.
The duo of Pedro Pablo Pichardo and Christian Taylor had already set the pace, as both athletes soared beyond 18m in the men’s Triple Jump at the Doha Diamond League, making it the first meeting in history where two men jumped above the mark.
And so men’s Pole Vault record holder, Renaud Lavillenie and 2014 Diamond Race winner in the men’s High Jump, Mutaz Barshim, continued in the same fashion, putting up impeccable performances, which formed some of the major highlights at the two-day meeting at the Hayward Field.
Frenchman, Lavillenie was initially billed to compete in Doha but had to pull out after sustaining an injury while competing in a relay at a club meeting in France. However, he more than compensated for the initial absence, much to the delight of the fans as he leapt to a Diamond League Record (DLR) and Personal Best (outdoor) of 6.05m, equaling the second best vault ever seen outdoors.
The 2014 IAAF Male Athlete of the Year had an initial challenge of scaling over 5.70m, needing three attempts to go over the height. Thereafter he became unstoppable, clearing 5.86m, and then 5.96m before jumping his winning distance of 6.05m. He then took three unsuccessful attempts at 6.16m, hoping to match his indoor best and his world record.
USA’s Sam Kendrick was 2nd in 5.80m; Raphael Holzdeppe of Germany was 3rd (5.80m), while Lavillenie’s younger sibling, Valentin finished in 4th place with a distance of 5.70m.
Much was expected from the second best High Jumper in history, Qatar’s Barshim and the 23-year old did not disappoint, making it look so easy, as he didn’t miss a jump all day. The jumper is still taking his time and was in no hurry to strain his body unnecessarily ahead of the long season.
He cleared 2.24m, 2.28m, 2.35m and 2.38m, which was his winning mark in Doha. He was contented with his performance until China’s Zhang Guowei, who eventually finished 2nd, leaped the same distance to set a new PB 3cm higher than his former mark. As such, the Qatari had to raise the stakes, winning with a Meeting Record (MR) of 2.41m. USA’s Erik Kynard was 3rd with 2.35m while world champion, Ivan Ukhov didn’t seem to be at his best, finishing 4th with a distance of 2.32m.
Former world champion in the women’s Long Jump, Tianna Bartoletta was the athlete to beat in the event, taking the day with a wind-assisted (+2.5) distance of 7.11m. The American who won the 100m/Long Jump double at the IAAF World Challenge in Kawasaki didn’t replicate same in Eugene, finishing 6th in the 100m. Bartoletta is keen on making a statement ahead of the World Championships, having returned to her first love, the jumps, and may be seeking to reclaim the title she won in 2005.
Canada’s Christabel Nettey followed with 6.99m, making her joint world leader with Bartoletta who won the Doha Diamond League with the same distance. The British pair of Lorraine Ugen and Shara Proctor followed in 3rd and 4th respectively, (6.89m and 6.70m) while Olympic champion, Brittney Reese was a distant 5th (6.69m).
The men’s Shot Put was won by USA’s Joe Kovacs with 22.12m , while reigning world champion, David Storl was 2nd in 21.92m; another American and world Silver medallist, Ryan Whiting followed with 21.37m. Poland’s Piotr Malachowski beat team mate, Robert Urbanek by a slim margin to win the Discus throw, with both athletes recording 65.59m and 65.42m respectively.
Triple Jump queen, Caterine Ibarguen continued her dominance in the event, jumping to victory with a distance of 15.18m, followed by Yekaterina Koneva (15.04m) and Olha Saladukha (14.48m). You can also get highlights of the track events at the Eugene Diamond League here.
You can click here for highlights of the track events at the Eugene Diamond League!