Field events ruled the day in the Czech Republic as the 57th annual Golden Spike meeting, part of the IAAF World Challenge series, went down in Ostrava. Check out the full results here and read on for highlights from the event.
Juan Miguel Echevarria Establishes Wind-Legal World Lead, Best Series In More Than 20 Years
The star of last week's Diamond League meeting in Stockholm was 19-year-old Cuban long jumper Juan Miguel Echevarria, who nearly jumped out of the pit with a monster (and slightly wind-aided) mark of 8.83m (+2.1). Today in Ostrava, he set a wind-legal world leader of 8.66m (+1.0) to beat reigning world outdoor champion Luvo Manyonga of South Africa for the second weekend in a row.
Echevarria's series today was the best in 21 years. World record holder Mike Powell was in the stadium today—to watch his daughter race the 200m and also to be on hand in case Echevarria broke his record. It didn't happen today, but trust that we'll continue to see Powell in the audience keeping a close eye on Echevarria throughout the summer circuit.
Echevarria's series today:— Jon Mulkeen (@Statman_Jon) June 13, 2018
The last person to record three wind-legal 8.50m+ jumps in one competition was Ivan Pedroso in Padua back in 1997 (a year before Echevarria was born).
Selemon Barega Is The Top Distance Man In The World Right Now
Ethiopian 18-year-old Selemon Barega ran one second off his PB in 7:37.54 to win the 3K over Birhanu Balew of Bahrain.
The win marks his third consecutive prominant victory after capturing titles at the Prefontaine Classic two mile in 8:20.01 and the Stockholm Diamond League 5K in 13:04, a world leader. Balew was also second in that race.
American Ben True finished eighth in 7:41.86.
Justin Gatlin Dominates 100m Over Akani Simbine, Mike Rodgers
Reigning world champion Justin Gatlin's strength continues to belie his 36 years, as he made quick work of the 100m field in Ostrava. He dominated the race from start to finish to win in 10.03 (-0.7), well ahead of Akani Simbine (10.13) and Mike Rodgers (10.15).
The 33-year-old Rodgers had nice momentum coming into this meet, as he clocked what was then a world lead of 9.92 (+1.7) in Prague earlier this month. Only Zharnel Hughes' 9.91 is faster this year.
Mutaz Barshim Continues High Jump Streak Over Danil Lysenko
For the third competition in a row, the two most recent world champions in the high jump met in one of Ostrava's most highly anticipated contests. Mutaz Barshim of Qatar, the reigning world outdoor champ, extended his streak over Danil Lysenko of Russia, the reigning world indoor champ, to three consecutive victories: Prefontaine Classic, Bislett Games, and now, Ostrava Golden Spike.
Barshim's winning jump of 2.38m set a new meet record and ranks No. 2 in the world this year behind his own season's best of 2.40m. Lysenko's 2.36m ties for No. 3 in the world for 2018.
Rababe Arafi Dominates 800m; Genzebe Dibaba Well-Beaten
Absent Caster Semenya, the women's 800m in Ostrava belonged to whoever could hang on best (or fade the least) from a hot early pace. Today, that happened to be Rababe Arafi of Morocco, who blazed by early leaders Lynsey Sharp of Great Britain and Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia over the last 300m. Her winning time of 1:59.20 made her the only athlete to break 2:00 in the race as 32-year-old Noélie Yarigo of Benin closed well to take second in 2:00.89. After a 57.2 opening lap, Sharp and Dibaba faded to fifth and fourth place, respectively.
2:01.51, fourth place for Genzebe Dibaba pic.twitter.com/qFlN0GOzBL— FloTrack (@FloTrack) June 13, 2018
Aaron Brown Gets His First Big Win Of The Year
Canada's Aaron Brown continued his strong season by nabbing his first big win, defeating reigning world champion Ramil Guliyev of Turkey and Commonwealth Games champion Jereem Richards of Trinidad and Tobago with a time of 20.05 (-0.9). Both Guliyev and Richards ran 20.09.
Brown has lost to either Guliyev or Richards or both in all of his major races this season, so the win today is a nice step in the right direction. The 26-year-old set a PB of 19.98 for runner-up honors behind Guliyev at the Bislett Games.
World 200m Champion Dafne Schippers Closes Fast On Murielle Ahouré
It's no secret that Murielle Ahouré of Côte d’Ivoire is a fast starter; the 30-year-old won the world indoor 60m title this year in 6.97—making her the seventh-fastest woman in world history—and her 100m season's best of 10.90 is the third-fastest in the world this year.
But Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands also has history as a strong closer, and the two-time world champion over 200m won in the latter half of the race today, clocking 22.52 (-0.8) to Ahouré's 22.60.
Gudaf Tsegay, Norah Jeruto Easily Win Women's 1500m, Steeplechase Races
The second-fastest woman in the world this year over 1500m, Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia, easily won that event at Ostrava in 4:02.46 over Sarah McDonald of Great Britain, who ran a one-second personal best of 4:04.41. The time is nothing spectacular when you consider that Tsegay has run 3:57.64 this year, but her closer looks pretty nice (62 final quarter) after the rabbits took the field through 800m in 2:12.
The result was similar in the women's steeplechase, as Norah Jeruto of Kenya decimated the field by five seconds to win in 9:11.33 for a new meet record. She ran largely solo as the rabbit stepped off the track after 1K. 18-year-old Peruth Chemutai of Uganda clocked a six-second personal best of 9:16.89 for second place.
The 22-year-old Jeruto's PB is 9:03, set last year, and her season's best of 9:07.17 from Rome ranks No. 3 in the world for 2018.