Lausanne: Bolt continues to shine after Olympics

Lausanne: Bolt continues to shine after Olympics

Usain Bolt having admitted beforehand he was unlikely to smash his 200 metres World record still put on a "Legend's" display when storming to a Athletissima record victory at the Lausanne Samsung Diamond League meeting on Thursday night.

Bolt who has a close affinity with the Pontaise Olympic Stadium was well aware that less than 30 minutes before Yohan Blake had smashed his arena's 100m record producing the second great sprinting display of the evening.

The Olympic champion may have laboured out of his blocks - last of the eight starters - but he quickly gained ground with an effortless bend before hitting the home straight and opening up a massive lead.

The fastest man of the World, unchallenged and almost three metres clear of his rivals, roared down the straightway to win in 19.58 with a following wind of 1.4m/s, striking one-hundredth-of-a-second from the mark he set three years ago.

Behind him this year’s European Champion Churandy Martina lowered his Dutch record substantially from 19.94 to 19.85 with Nick Ashmeade in his slipstream matching his season's best of 19.94.

"I am very happy with how things turned out here tonight," said Bolt. "19.58 is a very good time and I am more than satisfied. This season has not always been great but I am thrilled with the way it is finishing.

"I have always enjoyed coming to Lausanne and I love the atmosphere in this stadium. The track is fast so you could see great results in the sprints tonight.

"I am very happy for Yohan Blake too. I knew he was going to push real hard tonight and a 9.69 is a wonderful result."

Blake becomes world's 2nd fastest man crushing Bolt’s 100 Meeting Record

The 100m was actually no Diamond Race event but Blake sent a clear message that although he may be in the shadow of his fellow Jamaican, he has every intention of continuing to pressurise his training partner when a new 2013 season begins.

Blake like a bullet after coming out of the blocks forged ahead of the field with a power charged performance to shatter his personal best by 0.06sec with a time and meeting record of 9.69 with the wind reading -0.01m/s.

The 22-year-old who destroyed Bolt's two year old meet record of 9.82, is now equal second with Tyson Gay on the World All-Time list and who challenged him in mid-race before he quickly produced another spurt to defeat the former World champion.

Nevertheless Gay who had a late start to the season after a hip operation gave him a good fight before finishing in 9.83 with Nesta Carter equalling his season's best clocking 9.95.

"I knew I was fast," said last year's World champion Blake. "My coach (Glen Mills) told me I could run faster. Today I finally proved it. I have been working for that and it all came together."

Barshim wins thrilling High Jump with MR

The High Jump was another great contest where Moutaz Essa Barshim not only bettered the 1994 meet record of 2.37m belonging to Javier Sotomayor but also matched Ivan Ukhov's 2012 World leader of 2.39m.

The Qatari also beat the very Olympic champion from Russia who cleared 2.37m as did third placed Robbie Grabarz who equalled the British record with his performance.

Barshim who along with Drouin and Grabarz had a third share of the Olympic bronze medal made what is also a new Area record height at the second attempt while the scheming Ukhov with two failures passed his last attempt before bowing out with the bar at 2.41m.

"I felt great today, I didn't think I could jump that high this season," said Barshim. "I was injured throughout April, May and June but the field was highly competitive."   

Kenyan's dominate the distance races

Silas Kiplagat who finished at the Olympics in seventh place restored his country’s middle distance reputation when keeping his nerve in the final straight with six runners in contention and win the 1500m in 3:31.78.

Last year's World silver medallist was running abreast of Mekonnen Gebremedhin and Nixon Chepseba and an African clean sweep looked to be on the cards until the USA's Matt Centrowitz spoiled the party.

The American couldn't quite catch Kiplagat nor Gebremedhin who clocked 3:31.86 but his efforts in a race where the first five ran under 3:32.00, saw him lower his personal best by almost three seconds to 3:31.96.

"I'm proud of my race tonight," said Kiplagat. "After a disappointing Olympics I've now had a final victory in the Samsung Diamond League. The weather and the track helped a lot."

Paul Koech after a rare defeat at the Samsung Diamond League meet in Monaco prior to the London Olympics returned to winning ways with a comfortable 3,000m steeplechase win in 8:05.30.

The World leader quite happy to follow the pace through splits of 2:38.55 and 5:21.91 came quickly off the final barrier before the bell to accelerate away over the final circuit ahead of Jairus Birech and Bernard Nganga.

Birech with 250m remaining gave it everything he had to close down Koech's 10m lead but had to settle for second in 8:06.38 with Nganga earning a seaon's best 8:08.33.

Pamela Jelimo pumped her arms into the air to celebrate a well earned 800m win when outfoxing Mariya Savinova from Russia who easily took away her Olympic title in London.

Jelimo tracked by Savinova was almost 10m behind pacemaker Ekaterina Kupina who went through the bell in 57.68 with Yelena Kofanova taking over from her fellow Russian and passing through 600m in 1:28.72.

The two main contenders were on their tails but Jelimo caught Savinova by surprise when bursting clear in the middle of the final bend and powering into the home straight.

It proved a winning tactic as she won in 1:57.59 with Savinova more renowned as a Championships runner recording 1:58.10 and Kofanova following her in 1:58.36.

"I started at the back then I finally released my finishing kick in the home straight and it worked," said Jelimo. "I'm happy with the victory."

Mercy Cherono scored a second successive Samsung Diamond League victory when along with Sylvia Kibet and Veronica Nyaruai she broke clear at the bell to ensure a last lap burn up with two her fellow Kenyan's.

The sedate pace after splits of 2:54.89 and 5:54.68 saw eleven runners still in contention at the bell before Nyaruai made a long run for home with 300m remaining which lasted only around 100m.

Then 21-year-old Cherono burst ahead and was never headed winning in 8:40.59. Kibet a two-time World Championships silver medallist powered past Nyaruai to clock 8:42.44 and beat her fellow countrywoman who finished in 8:43.54.

Hurdles: Richardson wins with Merritt out on false start - Jamaicans 1-2 in the 400 W

The was a sensation even before the 110m hurdles race got underway when Olympic champion Aries Merritt who was hoping to smash the world record was disqualified for false starting.
His omission from the contest saw it dominated by last year's World champion Jason Richardson from the US who breezed to an easy win 13.08 from David Oliver and Hansle Parchment.

Oliver who failed to make Team USA at their sudden death Olympic trials finished narrowly ahead of Parchment to scalp the surprise Olympic bronze medallist by 0.01sec in 13.14.
"The false start didn't really disturb me," said Richardson. I managed to stay focused. You know I work too hard all year long to take any risks in the blocks."

While no one disputed Jamaican sprinters would play dominating roles in the sprint races, few would have forecast a 1-2 for them from Kaliese Spencer and Melaine Walker in their 400m hurdles race.

Spencer fourth at the Olympics and last two World Championships got the verdict by just 0.25sec after easing past the 2008 Games gold medallist in the final 20m in a time of 53.49 as both set season's bests.

Perri Shakes-Drayton (GBR) who pushed along the early pace managed to stay in contention to earn a podium place in 53.83 just ahead of Zuzana Hejnova (53.96) the London bronze medallist. But Olympic champion Natalya Antyukh had a race to forget finishing seventh in 55.82.

Olympic silver medallist and the 2008 champion Dawn Harper outstripped her fellow American's Queen Harrison and Ginnie Crawford to take the 100m Hurdles (non-Diamond Race) in a very impressive 12.43.

Harper speeding away in the second half of the race pulled Harrison to a season's best of 12.62 just 0.01sec shy of her lifetime fastest while Crawford hot on her heels ran 12.64.

Photo-Finish Victory for Jeter – James over Santos in the 400

A scintillating finish from Carmelita Jeter saw the American snatch a thrilling 100m victory ahead of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who beat her for Olympic gold in what was a virtual dead heat.

Fraser-Pryce seeking a third Athletissima victory looked to have the race tied up until the final five metres. Jeter accelerated to run through the line as they were both credited with times of 10.86.
Behind them World bronze medallist Kelly-Ann Baptiste got clear of Veronica Campbell-Brown by 0.06sec to capture third position in 10.93.

"I always want to win but that was great run," said Jeter."Basically it was an Olympic final - an epic moment. I thought:”I gotta bring this home." 

Kirani James (GRN) after lowering his head and increasing his speed coming off the second bend scored his second post Olympic victory when outstripping the field to win the 400 in a time of 44.37.

The Dominican Luguelin Santos another teenager and the silver medallist behind James at the Olympics gave it everything he had down the home straight but to no avail and had to settle for second in 45.03.

That time still left him plenty of space from last year's World Championships third placer Kevin Borlée from Belgium who found the Caribbean stars far too much a handful and followed them home in 45.27.

Kanter back on top – Spotakova and Adams remain there

Gerd Kanter from Estonia who surrendered his Olympic Discus crown when placing third returned to winning ways with an effort of 65.79m in the third round after having taken the lead throwing 65.56m in the previous one.

Briton Lawrence Okoye the 20-year-old wooden spoonest in the London final saw his opener of 65.27m earn him second place ahead of Frank Casanas from Spain who threw 65.24m. Olympic runner up Ehsan Hadadi was way down in seventh managing a furthest of only 62.67m.

The Javelin belonged from the start to double Olympic champion and World record holder Barbora Spotakova (CZE) whose opener of 67.19m dented the ambitions of her rivals.

Mariya Abakamova from Russia, last year's World gold medallist, took second with 65.80m the in the second round after her disappointing 10th place at the Olympics, while the Daegu bronze medallist Sunette Viljoen threw 64.08m for third.

Few doubted there would be a new meeting Shot Put record as the last time the event was staged at the Athletissima being when Mandy Krieger of the former German Democratic Republic threw 20.37m in 1989.

Olympic champion Valerie Adams from New Zealand only needed her first attempt with an effort of 20.73m to achieve the feat then with her final effort she improved to 20.95m to keep her 2012 unbeaten record.

In another low key contest where former World Junior champion Michelle Carter's (USA) season best of 19.60m was good enough for second, London silver medallist Yevgeniya Kolodko (RUS) needed only a throw of 18.64m for third.

Wins for Lavillenie, Rypakova and Sokolova in the Jumps

The Pole Vault was a very close affair with four men clearing 5.80m and Olympic gold medallist Renaud Lavillenie eventually winning the title on count-back.

His victory saw the Frenchman who had three overall fouls given the verdict with the bar raised to what would have been a meeting record of 5.92m, ahead of former World Indoor silver medallist Malte Mohr (GER) and Commonwealth runner up Steve Lewis (GBR).

It was another close but great success for Lavillenie who has only lost once this season while Konstantinos Filippidis raised his Greek record by four centimetres.  

All of the women Triple Jumpers looked very jaded with only newly crowned Olympic gold medallist Olga Rypakova managing to better 14.50m. The Kazakh’s best of 14.68m came in the third round.

2011 World champion Olha Saladukha from the Ukraine grabbed second place clearing 14.42m in the fifth round while the still to retire veteran Tatyana Lebedeva from Russia snatched a podium finish with 14.39m with her fourth attempt.

Another off-day for Brittney Reese - she finished ninth at the SDL Stockholm meet - denied the Olympic Long Jump Champion a third successive victory in a competition won by Yelena Sokolova.

The Russian who finished second behind Reese in London needed only a fourth round clearance of 6.89m to take the major spoils from Blessing Okakbare and Janay Deloach who cleared 6.73m and 6.71m.

Dave Martin for the IAAF and Samsung Diamond League

(Photo - Samsung Diamond League)