Photo Credit: EPA

Multiple Olympic and World Champion Usain Bolt finally dipped below 10s for the first time this season, clocking a Season’s Best (SB) of 9.98s to win the men’s 100m at the Ostrava Golden Spike meeting in the Czech Republic on Friday, May 20, 2016.

Going by the expression on his face after the race, it would appear that sprinting legend expected to clock a faster time. Ramon Gittens of the Barbados followed in 10.21s, with Iranian Hassan Taftian placing 3rd in 10.25s. The African pair of Mosito Lehata and Hua Wilfried Koffi placed 4th and 5th respectively in 10.36s and 10.38s.

Earlier in the week, we discussed how Usain Bolt opened his outdoor season with a not-so-impressive time at the Cayman Invitational. Listen to this clip to find out who the top contenders for Usain Bolt would be this year.

Femi Ogunode (9.91s), Justin Gatlin (9.94s), Yohan Blake (9.95s), South Africa’s  Akani Simbine (9.96s) and  Mike Rodgers (9.97s) have all gone faster  than the World Record (WR) holder in 2016, but there is certainly a lot of room for catching up enroute the road to Rio.

Great Britain’s James Ellington returned a time of 20.35s to win the men’s 200m. Likourgos-Stefanos Tsakonas and Artur Delaney were 2nd and 3rd respectively in 20.36s and 20.49s.

Jamaica’s Javon Francis stunned the highly experienced field in the men’s 400m, upstaging the likes of Tony McQuay and Jeremy Wariner to win the race with a time of 44.87s. McQuay and homeboy Pavel Maslak followed in 2nd and 3rd in 45.17s and 45.46s, while Martyn Rooney finished 4th in 45.78s.

Glasgow 2014 Bronze medallist Christine Day clocked 51.09s to finish ahead of the field in the women’s 400m, with Canada’s Carline Muir (51.84s) and Jessica Beard (51.88s) of the USA following in 2nd and 3rd.

USA’s Jarret Eaton took it easy to win the 110 Hurdles in 13.25s, with Jeff Porter and Lawrence Clarke following in 2nd and 3rd respectively in 13.42s and 13.57s.

2011 World Championships Bronze medallist LJ van Zyl of South Africa stunned World Leader Johnny Dutch to claim the top spot in the men’s 400m Hurdles in 48.67s. The American was 2nd in 49.01s, with Patryk Dobek of Poland taking 3rd in 49.51s. Jamaica’s Jaheel Hyde stumbled on a hurdle and couldn’t complete his race.

Kaliese Spencer narrowly lost the women’s 400m Hurdles title to Poland’s Joanna Linkiewicz who snatched the win with a Personal Best (PB) of 55.40s. Spencer followed in 2nd place in 55.43s, with home-girl and two-time World Champion Zuzana Hejnova coming in 3rd in 55.69s.

Czech Republic’s Filip Sasinek set a PB of 3:36.32 to win the men’s 1500m, as Timo Benitz and Chris O’Hare followed in 3:36.40 and 3:36.58 respectively.

European Junior Bronze medallist Konstanze Klosterhalfen set a PB of 4:06.91 to win the women’s 1500m. Lucia Hrivnak Klocova was 2nd in 4:07.96, and Danuta Urbanik 3rd in 4:08.05.

It was a 1-2 for Ethiopia in the women’s 3000m as Belaynesh Oljira stormed to victory with a time of 3:38.55, as compatriot Haftamnesh Tesfay followed in 8:40.80. Bahrain’s Dalila Abdulkadir Gosa finished 3rd with 8:51.31.

The men’s Javelin throw produced one of the most exciting moments of the evening as the Top 3 finishers all kept the best for last, waiting until their final throws to produce their best marks for the night.

Germany’s Thomas Rohler decimated the field with his WL throw of 87.37m, finishing ahead of Beijing 2015 Silver medallist and African Games Champion, Ihab Abdelrahman who recorded an SB of 84.85m. Poland’s Marcin Krukowski (POL) was 3rd with a throw of 84.74m.

Reigning World Champion Julius Yego opened his season in Ostrava but had to settle for 5th place with his SB of 81.10m, which was recorded in his very first throw of the evening. The Kenyan will be hoping to improve as the season progresses.

The Polish duo of Pawel Fajdek and Anita Wlordacyzk, who are the reigning World Champions in the men and women’s Hammer throw, set WLs of 80.66m and 78.54m respectively to win their events.

WR holder Renaud Lavillenie could not hide his disappointment at missing the opportunity of erasing his Meeting Record (MR) of 5.92m in the Pole vault, which he set three years ago. He had to make do with his winning mark and SB of 5.83m. World champion Shawn Barber placed 2nd with a clearance of 5.70m.

Radek Juška secured another victory for the hosts, winning the men’s Long Jump title with his leap of 7.92m. China’s Changzhou Huang was 2nd in 7.59m, while WR holder in the Decathlon, Ashton Eaton followed in 3rd place (7.55m). Nigeria’s Ezekiel Ewulo finished  4th with a mark of 7.34m.

Poland’s Konrad Bukowiecki and Tomasz Majewski were the Top 2 finishers in the men’s Shot put, recording throws of 21.01m and 20.84m respectively.

Photo Credit: EPA
Photo Credit: EPA

Yemi Galadima is a Senior Sportswriter and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the African Athletics Championships, African Games, Olympics and World Athletics Championships. She also freelances for World Athletics.


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