Photo credit: @Diamond_League

Just when we thought we had seen the best of Abderrahman Samba, he comes up with another spectacular display that leaves fans applauding a remarkable talent, who’s now taking up the mantle of bringing glitz and entertainment to Athletics.

Samba yet again put up a show for the fans, this time at the Paris Diamond League where he ran a new Personal Best (PB), World Lead (WL), Asian Record (AR), Diamond League Record (DLR) & Meeting Record (MR) to win the men’s 400m Hurdles with a time of 46.98s.

He became only the second athlete in history to go under 47s in this event, joining World Record holder, Kelvin Young as the only men to do so.

One could see how fast the race was, as both Karsten Warholm and Kyron McMaster went out very hard, setting the perfect pace for Samba. Then the Qatari glided past them, opening a big gap in the home straight to win emphatically.

In fact, McMaster who was 2nd in that race, finished 2nd with a National Record and PB of 47.54s. Warholm finished 3rd in that race with a time of 48.06s.

If you thought Samba’s show was the last to come from Paris, you do be mistaken, as South Africa’s Caster Semenya produced an identical sweep of records to win the women’s 800m.

Semenya raced to a staggering WL, PB, African Record (AR), DLR and MR of 1:54.25 to emphatically put down her feet as presently the undisputed best athlete in this event.

Such was Semenya’s gap that despite not starting with a pacemaker in the race, she had over a second on Francine Niyonsaba who tried her best to stay with her, finishing 2nd with a Season’s Best of 1:55.86s. Ajee Wilson finished a distant 3rd in 1:57.11

Meanwhile in the women’s 400m, Nigerian-born Bahrain athlete Salwa Eid Naser pulled away in the home straight to win with a new Asian Record of 49.55s. Naser has been so good this season, that she has now won her 3rd consecutive Diamond League race on the bounce. Jessica Beard finished 2nd in 50.39s and Phyllis Francis 3rd in 50.50s

In the women’s 200m, Shericka Jackson was the clear winner, racing through the finish with a PB of 22.05s, and Jenna Prandini 2nd in 22.30s. It wasn’t the kind of finish Marie Josee Ta Lou would have wished, finishing 3rd in 22.50s.

The men’s 200m which was not a Diamond League event, produced some really fast times. Michael Norman raced to a PB of 19.84s to win the men’s 200m race, beating Rai Benjamin who also clocked a PB of 19.99s to finish 2nd and Alex Quinonez 3rd in 20.08s

In the men’s 100m, Ronnie Baker equalled Noah Lyles World Lead to win with a new Personal Best of 9.88s. Jimmy Vicaut clocks a Season’s Best of 9.91s to finish 2nd and Su Bingtain 3rd, also with a time of 9.91s. It’s a new Asian Record and PB for the Chinese athlete.

Kenya had a 1-2-3-4 in the women’s 3000m Steeplechase as Beatrice Chepkoech came up with an impressive win, taking the victory with a WL and PB of 8:59.36.

Another Kenyan athlete was at the end of a win, this time around it’s Timothy Cheruiyot who was way on his own as he easily won men’s 1500m with a WL of 3:29.71. Cheruiyot was so good that he had over 2s on Ayanleh Souleiman who was 2nd in 3:31.77.

Athletics coverage was a discovery, having to move away from regularly writing about Football. Although it was initially daunting, but now being an authority in it makes the past effort worthwhile. From travelling on the same international flight with Nigerian athletes, to knowing you could easily interview: World Record holder Tobi Amusan, then Ese Brume, I have cut my teeth in this beat earning the trust of Athletics sources. Formerly the Content Manager-Sports at Ringier media Nigeria, Chris is a Senior Sports writer, Photographer & Community manager at Making of Champions.


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