In what was a stacked women’s 100m Hurdles consisting of the top hurdlers, Kendra Harrison further laid credence to her capability showing that her former World Lead of 12.36s was no fluke as she effortlessly hurdled her way to victory in a breathtaking time of 12.24s at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene Diamond League.
Harrison seemed to have scaled all ten barriers with ease and it was never in doubt that she was racing to a fast time seeing the way she exquisitely executed the race.
With the astonishing win, she now has the American record, erasing Brianna Rollins’ time of 12.26s which has stood for three years. In fact her time moves her to 2nd in the all time list, and she now has the joint second fastest time alongside World Record (WR) holder Yordanka Donkova.
It was a good race from Harrison to mark the first women’s 100m Hurdles in the Diamond League this season, and she will no doubt be one to look out for in Rio. America has up to six top hurdlers who are very good and will have to outperform the other to get a chance of making their national team. Rollins finished 2nd in the race with a time of 12.53s and Jasmin Stowers 3rd in 12.55s.
Meanwhile, Tori Bowie is proving to be the major contender this year after storming to a World Leading (WL) win in the women’s 200m, running 21.99s at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene Diamond League on Saturday.
It was a remarkable win for Bowie and she had to it in style beating World champion and Silver medallist, Dafne Schippers and Elaine Thompson who finished 2nd and 3rd in 22.11s and 22.16s respectively.
Bowie now has both WLs in the women’s 100m and 200m this year, having won earlier in Doha matching her Personal Best of 10.80s. Buoyed by the fact that she has run good races already this year, Bowie who until 2014 was still competing in the Long Jump, has now moved up from a dark horse to now a major contender.
In the women’s 100m, English Gardner ran a Season’s Best of 10.81s to stun a field that included World and Olympic champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. Tianna Bartoletta finished 2nd in 10.94s with Murielle Ahoure 3rd in 11.01s.
Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare who was competing in her third 100m race of the season finished 6th in 11.16s, a day after she competed in the Long Jump and finished 4th with an SB of 6.73m.
However, the surprise of the day came from Fraser-Pryce who finished 8th in 11.18s. The Jamaican was making her first appearance in the 100m, but she will know there is much work on her hands if she is to make it three successive Olympic titles in Rio.
Meanwhile in the men’s 100m, Justin Gatlin stormed to another sub 10s win, his third of the season and fourth victory in four races this year. Gatlin powered to victory clocking a time of 9.88s (+2.6) beating Asafa Powell who finished 2nd in 9.94s (+2.6) and Tyson Gay 3rd in 9.98 (+2.6)
It’s hard not to look beyond Gatlin as the major challenger for the Olympic title this year, although it most be noted that WR holder, Usain Bolt remains the man to beat in Rio.
Jamaica’s Omar McLeod continued with his impressive form in the men’s 110m Hurdles, making it three wins on the bounce as he came through in 13.06s. David Oliver finished 2nd in 13.38s with Jeff Porter in 13.48s.
Allyson Felix will know she’s got a stiff competition coming up in Rio watching Bahamian Shaunae Miller hold off the late challenge of Francena McCorory to win the women’s 400m in 50.15s. It was Miller’s fourth successive victory, and her long legs aided her path to victory with McCorory hot on her tail, finishing 2nd in 50.23s and Natasha Hastings 3rd in 50.86s.
The men’s 400m was equally a strong contest between Kirani James and Lashawn Merritt, but it was the Grenadian who won in 44.22s with his American counterpart 2nd in 44.39s as former African Record holder Isaac Makwala finished 3rd in 45.37s.
It was a 1-2-3 for Team USA in the men’s 400m Hurdles which was won by Michael Tinsley in 48.74s and Kerron Clement 2nd in 48.87, with Bershawn Jackson finishing 3rd in 49.04s.