There were so many Meet Records (MR) at the Meeting International Mohammed VI d’Athlétisme de Rabat, one of the highest recorded in the Diamond League series this season.
With Rabat hosting its second successive Diamond League competition, it was a given that many MRs would tumble, going by the calibre of athletes who turned out for the meet.
Elaine Thompson who held the previous MR of 11.02s in the women’s 100m, had not much difficulty as she set a new one of 10.87s. What was very interesting was the challenge Ivory Coast’s Marie Josee Ta Lou put up as she was with Thompson up till the last 20m.
Ta Lou finished 2nd with a Season’s Best (SB) of 10.90s, with Michelle-Lee Ahye finishing 3rd in 11.02s, and Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare came in 4th with a time of 11.03s.
In the men’s 100m which was a non Diamond League event, Chijindu Ujah stepped up a gear as he went past Ben Yousef Meite to also win with an MR of 9.98s. Meite was 2nd in 10.01s and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake 3rd in 10.18s.
Men’s 200m saw Andre De Grasse also come away with an MR of 20.01s after Ameer Webb made him work hard for it finishing 2nd in 20.18s and Zharnel Hughes posting an SB of 20.22s.
Another event that recorded an MR was the women’s 400m where Shaunae Miller-Uibo easily took the win in 49.80s, and Natasha Hastings 2nd in 50.86s and Quanera Hayes 3rd in 51.08s.
Zuzana Hejnova looked to be getting back in form after holding off Janieve Russell to win women’s 400m Hurdles with an SB of 54.22s. Russell finished 2nd in 54.36s and Eilidh Doyle 3rd in 54.92s.
In the men’s 800m, Botswana’s Nijel Amos nearly clocked an MR as he raced to a time of 1:43.91 to secure the win. This is the 3rd successive race that Amos is winning and looks like the major contender to David Rudisha’s world title next month. Kipyegon Bett finished 2nd in 1:44.28 while Donavan Brazier was 3rd in 1:44.62.
Angelika Cichocka went past home favourite Rbbe Arafi to win women’s 1500m in 4:01.93 and the latter 2nd in 4:02.19, while Brenda Martinez was 3rd in 4:02.75
One of the surprises of the competition came in the men’s 3000m Steeplechase where Conseslus Kipruto dropped off and the Did Not Finish (DNF) the race. It was an exciting scene seeing the home favourite Soufiane EL Bakkali storm to a PB of 8:05.12 to win. Kipchoge Birech was 2nd in 8:10.91 and Amos Kirui 3rd in 8:12.18
Ryan Crouser showed why he is considered the best Shot Put athlete in the world at the moment, throwing an MR of 22.47m. Interestingly there was no MR in this event coming into the competition, but the American ensured that he will now hold the record after being the only one to go over 22m.
Jamaica’s O’Dayne Richards was 2nd throwing a new National Record (NR) of 21.96m, while Ryan Whiting was 3rd with a mark of 21.26m
Men’s Pole Vault was another event without an MR prior to the competition, as Pawel Wojciechowski set a new record of 5.85m. Former world champion Raphael Holzdeppe finished 2nd scaling a height of 5.70m, same height as Piotr Lisek who was 3rd.
In the women’s Javelin, Barbora Spotakova continued her impressive form as she secured the win with a mark of 63.73m. Martina Ratej was 2nd with 62.46m while Tatsiana Khaladovich was 3rd with 62.38m
Meanwhile in the women’s Triple Jump, Caterine Ibarguen was back to winning ways with a leap of 14.51m, while Kimberly Williams was 2nd with 14.31m and Paraskevi Papachristou 3rd with a mark of 14.21m.
South Africa’s Rushwal Samaai was 0.03m away from equaling his own MR as he jumped a distance of 8.35m, beating Jarrion Lawson who narrowly finished in 2nd with an SB of 8.33m, and Yahya Berrabah 3rd with 8.14m
The next stop in the Diamond League series will be in Monaco and it is expected to also be as interesting as Rabat.