Some of the world and region’s best athletes Friday (6 May) took part in the opening meet of the Diamond League
Among the headlines to come out of the meet — Jamaican hurdler Omar McLeod topped his previous mark to set a new world-leading time in the men’s 110-metre high hurdles. He crossed the line in 13.05 seconds, three one-hundredths of a second faster than his previous world-leading time. Countryman Hansle Parchment finished second.
In the women’s 100, Dutchwoman Dafne Schippers was defeated by American Tori Brown, who came third in the World Championships last year in Beijing.
The 25-year-old held off a late attack by Schippers to win in a world leading time of 10.80 seconds. Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown finished third in the race.
Lots of the attention on the night focused on the return to the Diamond League of South African Caster Semenya in the women’s 800 metres.
Semenya, who won gold at the 2009 World Championships aged just 18 before securing silver at the London Olympics, has been kept a low profile in recent years following gender testing earlier in her career.
However, the 25-year-old has bounced back impressively this season, winning this event in a time of 1:58:26 minutes, a world leading time so far.
She defeated Ethiopia’s Alemu Habitam in second place by almost a second with Kenya’s Eunice Jepkoech Sum in third.
Kenyan Asbel Kiprop was another to taste success on the opening night of the Diamond League, clinching victory in the men’s 1500 metres.
The three-time Olympic gold medalist set an impressive time of 3:32:15 minutes, even waving to the crowd as he crossed the line.
Kiprop finished comfortably ahead of compatriots Elijan Motonei Mananagoi and Silas Kiplagat in second and third respectively.
There was American success across the board on Friday, as the Diamond League season started with a bang.
Erik Kynard held off strong competition from China’s Guowei Zhang to claim the first Diamond League win in the men’s high jump as the only man to go over 2.33 metres.
There was disappointment for the home fans in the event, as favourite Mutaz Essa Barshim, the Olympic bronze medalist, failed to make an impact dropping out of the competition at 2.19 metres.
Another American, Ameer Webb, won the men’s 200 metres in a time of 19.85 seconds ahead of Panama’s Alonso Edward and Qatar’s Femi Ogunode in second and third respectively.
The Diamond League moves onto Shanghai next weekend.